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Brougham and Vaux changes

Lord Brougham and Vaux, appointed Lord Chancellor in 1832, energetically pursued additional changes to the judicial role of the House of Lords.

He further increased the number of hours in which the House sat judicially and also established a Judicial Committee of the Privy Council which took over responsibility for the long-established practice of hearing appeals from British colonies from the main Privy Council (a body which advises the Monarch). The same judges sat on both House of Lords appeals and appeals to the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.

Other Brougham and Vaux reforms, such as the separation of the Lord Chancellor's legal and political roles, and merging the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council with the House of Lords as an appellate court, failed.

The role of lay Members in deciding cases gradually diminished and in June 1834 the House decided an appeal in the traditional manner (with the Lord Chancellor on the Woolsack and lay Members voting) for the last time.

Ten years later, the convention that lay Members did not vote on appeals was permanently established following the controversy surrounding the case of O'Connell v. The Queen, in which the Irish politician Daniel O'Connell was convicted of conspiracy by the Court of Queen's Bench in Ireland.