|This article is part of the series: Courts of England and Wales|
|Law of England and Wales|
The President of the Queen's Bench Division is the head of the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court of Justice. The current president is Dame Victoria Sharp.
Until 2005, the Lord Chief Justice among many other roles presided over the Queen's Bench (or King's; as the monarch). The role was separated under the Constitutional Reform Act 2005. Sir Igor Judge became the first president.
3 October 2005: standalone role inaugurated
The office of Vice-President of the Queen's Bench Division predates the separation of the division's presidency from the office of Lord Chief Justice. In 1988, the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Lane, made arrangements for Sir Tasker Watkins, a Lord Justice of Appeal, to be Deputy Chief Justice, deputising across the range of Lane's responsibilities. The arrangement continued under Lane's successor, but when Watkins retired in 1993, Lord Taylor of Gosford appointed Sir Paul Kennedy of the Court of Appeal to oversee the Queen's Bench Division. Lord Bingham of Cornhill, who took over as Lord Chief Justice in 1996, made arrangements with Lord Mackay of Clashfern (Lord Chancellor under John Major) whereby Lord Justice Kennedy would become Vice-President of the Queen's Bench Division with the understanding that it would be made a statutory office at an early date. Lord Bingham made the appointment in 1997, and Lord Mackay's Labour successor, Lord Irvine of Lairg, honoured the commitment in the Access to Justice Act 1999.
The Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales is the Head of the Judiciary of England and Wales and the President of the Courts of England and Wales.
The Chancellor of the High Court is the head of the Chancery Division of the High Court of Justice of England and Wales. This judge and the other two heads of divisions sit by virtue of their offices often, as and when their expertise is deemed relevant, in panel in the Court of Appeal. As such this judge ranks equally to the President of the Family Division and the President of the Queen's Bench Division.
The Vice-President of the Criminal Division is a Lord Justice of Appeal who assists the Lord Chief Justice, the President of the Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales. The post was created by Lord Bingham of Cornhill during his tenure as Lord Chief Justice. He appointed Sir Christopher Rose to take up some of the burden of his duties with respect to the Criminal Division, while appointing Sir Paul Kennedy Vice-President of the Queen's Bench Division to do the same regarding that division of the High Court. This allowed Lord Bingham to spend time hearing cases in both divisions as well as the Queen's Bench Divisional Court and the Crown Court. The current holder is Sir Adrian Fulford.
Igor Judge, Baron Judge, is a former English judge who served as the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, the head of the judiciary, from 2008 to 2013. He was previously President of the Queen's Bench Division, at the time a newly created post assuming responsibilities transferred from the office of Lord Chief Justice. In 2019, he became Convenor of the Crossbench peers in the House of Lords.
There are various levels of judiciary in England and Wales — different types of courts have different styles of judges. They also form a strict hierarchy of importance, in line with the order of the courts in which they sit, so that judges of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales are generally given more weight than district judges sitting in county courts and magistrates' courts. On 31 March 2006 there were 1,825 judges in post in England and Wales, most of whom were circuit judges (626) or district judges (572). Some judges with United Kingdom-wide jurisdiction also sit in England and Wales, particularly Justices of the United Kingdom Supreme Court and members of the tribunals judiciary.
Sir John Bernard Goldring is a British judge. He currently sits as the President of the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal, and serves as the Deputy Investigatory Powers Commissioner. He formerly sat on the Court of Appeal of England and Wales.
Heather Carol Hallett, Baroness Hallett is a retired English judge of the Court of Appeal and a crossbench life peer. She was the fifth woman to sit in the Court of Appeal after Dame Elizabeth Butler-Sloss (1988), Dame Brenda Hale (1999), Dame Mary Arden (2000) and Dame Janet Smith (2002).
The President of the Family Division is the head of the Family Division of the High Court of Justice in England and Wales and Head of Family Justice. The Family Division was created in 1971 when Admiralty and contentious probate cases were removed from its predecessor, the Probate, Divorce and Admiralty Division.
Dame Elizabeth Gloster, DBE, PC is a former judge of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales and Vice-President of the Civil Division. She was the first female judge of the Commercial Court.
Dame Victoria Madeleine Sharp, is the President of the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court of Justice in England and Wales.
The Judges' Council is a body in England and Wales that, representing the judiciary, advises the Lord Chief Justice on judicial matters. It has its historical roots in the original Council of the Judges of the Supreme Court, created by the Judicature Act 1873 to oversee the new Supreme Court of Judicature. This body initially met regularly, reforming the procedure used by the circuit courts, and the new High Court of Justice but met less regularly as time went on, meeting only twice between 1900 and 1907, with a gap of ten years between meetings in 1940 and 1950 respectively. After relative inactivity, it was eventually wound up through the Supreme Court Act 1981, which contained no provisions for its continued existence, something Denis Dobson attributes to newer bodies which performed the duties the Council had originally been created to do.
The High Court of Justice in London, together with the Court of Appeal and the Crown Court, are the Senior Courts of England and Wales. Its name is abbreviated as EWHC for legal citation purposes.
Roger John Laugharne Thomas, Baron Thomas of Cwmgiedd, is a British judge. He served as Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales from 2013 to 2017.
Sir Michael John Burton, styled Mr Justice Burton, is a former judge in the High Court of England and Wales. He was the President of the Investigatory Powers Tribunal between October 2013 and September 2018, having been Vice-President since its inception in 2000, the Chair of the Central Arbitration Committee for over 17 years and the former President of the Employment Appeal Tribunal (2002–2005), which was reformed under his presidency.
The Vice-President of the Civil Division is a Court of Appeal Judge who assists the Master of the Rolls in leading the Civil Division of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales. The power to appoint a Vice-President was created by the Senior Courts Act 1981, but was not exercised until Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers was appointed Master of the Rolls in 2000. Because Lord Phillips was in the process of completing the inquiry into the bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) outbreak, he appointed Sir Martin Nourse the first Vice-President so he could serve as Acting Master of the Rolls.
Sir Arthur William Hessin Charles was a judge of the High Court of England and Wales. He retired on 17 February 2018. A former judge of the Family Division of the High Court of England and Wales and the President of the Administrative Appeals Chamber of the Upper Tribunal, he was latterly a judge of the Queen’s Bench Division and Vice-President of the Court of Protection.
The Senior Presiding Judge for England and Wales is a member of the Court of Appeal appointed by the Lord Chief Justice to supervise the Presiding Judges for the various judicial circuits of England and Wales. At least two Presiding Judges are appointed by the Lord Chief Justice for each of six circuits to supervise the work of the local judiciary. The Senior Presiding Judge is responsible for deployment and personnel issues for all circuits and acts as a "general point of liaison" for the courts, judiciary and Government.
Sir James Michael Dingemans, styled The Rt Hon Lord Justice Dingemans, is a judge of the Court of Appeal, having previously served as a High Court judge.
May is to replace Lord Justice Kennedy in the role. The appointment will come into effect in February 2002...