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Master of the Rolls

From Academic Kids

The Master of the Rolls is the third most senior judge of England, the Lord Chancellor of Great Britain traditionally being first and the Lord Chief Justice second.With the Constitutional Reform Act removing the Lord Chancellor from the judiciary and designating the Lord Chief Justice head of the judiciary of the United Kingdom,the Master of the Rolls may be said to rank after him and the senior Law Lord,who will take the title President of the Supreme Court. The Master of the Rolls is the presiding officer of the Civil Division of the Court of Appeal.

The title of the office derives from the fact that originally, the office-holder was a clerk responsible for keeping the "Rolls," or records, of the Chancery court. The post eventually evolved into a judicial one, but the Master still retained his clerical functions by serving as the nominal head of the Public Record Office up until 1958. However the Public Records Act of that year transferred responsibility for the PRO from the Master of the Rolls to the Lord Chancellor.

The Master of the Rolls is also responsible for registering solicitors, who are officers of the Supreme Court.

The present Master of the Rolls is the Lord Philips of Worth Matravers.He has been designated to succeed as Lord Chief Justice on October 1,2005.

Masters of the Rolls, 1286-present

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