20 Facts About Lord Chancellor

1. The Lord Chancellor could exercise all three powers, and some, such as Quinton Lord Hailsham, often did so.

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2. The Lord Chancellor was once the presiding officer of the Chancery Court in London.

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3. The Lord Chancellor is allowed to show his political colours in debates whereas the Speaker of the House of Commons has to show political neutrality.

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4. In the earlier centuries the Lord Chancellor was always a cleric, and usually an Englishman.

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5. The Lord Chancellor became known as the " Keeper of the King's Conscience.

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6. The Lord Chancellor is the second highest ranking of the Great Officers of State, ranking after only the Lord High Steward.

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7. The Lord Chancellor is the central character in the work but is identified only by his title.

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8. The Lord Chancellor could exercise all three powers, and some, such as Lord Hailsham, often did so.

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9. Throughout the United Kingdom, the Lord Chancellor technically outranks the Prime Minister, although the latter generally possesses more power.

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10. Under the Regency Act 1937, the Lord Chancellor is one of the five persons who participate in determining the capacity of the Sovereign to discharge his or her functions—the other individuals so empowered are the Sovereign's spouse, the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales and the Master of the Rolls.

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11. In many cases, the Lord Chancellor would merely be elevated to the office of Lord High Steward temporarily.

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12. The Lord Chancellor does not maintain custody of the Great Seal of Scotland or of the Great Seal of Northern Ireland (which is kept by the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland).

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13. Furthermore, the Lord Chancellor has a role in appointing many judges in the courts of England and Wales.

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14. The Lord Chancellor wears a tricorne hat, but the other Lords Commissioners wear bicorne hats.

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15. In this role the Lord Chancellor wears Parliamentary Robes—a full-length scarlet wool gown decorated with miniver fur.

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16. The Lord Chancellor became known as the "Keeper of the King's Conscience.

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17. The Lord Chancellor performed multiple functions—he was the Keeper of the Great Seal, the chief royal chaplain, and adviser in both spiritual and temporal matters.

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18. The Lord Chancellor is appointed by the Sovereign on the advice of the Prime Minister.

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19. The Lord Chancellor is outranked only by the Lord High Steward, another Great Officer of State, who is appointed only for the day of coronations.

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20. The Lord Chancellor has already thrown three curveballs with this year's Budget.

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