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The State Opening of Parliament 

The UK general election took place on Thursday 4 July 2024. The new Parliament met on Tuesday 9 July 2024 for the election of the Speaker and swearing-in of MPs and Lords. The State Opening of Parliament and The King’s Speech will take place on Wednesday 17 July 2024.

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The Lord Chancellor

The Lord Chancellor is a Cabinet minister and currently a Member of the House of Commons. Reforms, including the creation of the Ministry of Justice and the election of a Lord Speaker for the House of Lords, have significantly altered the role of Lord Chancellor in modern times.

Ministry of Justice

On 9 May 2007, the Ministry of Justice was created. The two roles of Secretary of State for Justice and Lord Chancellor have since been carried out by one person with the office-holder holding both titles. The Ministry of Justice is responsible for the courts, prisons and probation services in England and Wales.

Election of the first Lord Speaker

On 4 July 2006, Members of the House of Lords elected their first Lord Speaker. This new role assumed some of the Lord Chancellor's responsibilities, such as chairing debates in the Lords' chamber and speaking for the House on ceremonial occasions.

Judicial Appointments Commission

A new Judicial Appointments Commission began to operate from 3 April 2006. This ended the Lord Chancellor's past position as head of the judiciary (courts of law in England and Wales) and power to appoint judges.

The role of the Lord Chancellor

The reform of the Lord Chancellor's role separated its different responsibilities and made a clearer distinction between government, Parliament and the judiciary.

Commons Library briefings

The House of Commons Library produces briefing papers to inform MPs and their staff of key issues. The papers contain factual information and a range of opinions on each subject, and aim to be politically impartial.

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House of Commons Enquiry Service

The House of Commons Enquiry Service answers questions about the work, history and membership of the House.

Telephone: 0800 112 4272 (Freephone) or 020 7219 4272
Email: hcenquiries@parliament.uk
Text phone: Dial 18001 followed byour full number

Telephone enquiry service is open between 10am-12 midday and 2pm-4pm (Monday to Friday).

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UK Supreme Court - 2009

The judicial function of Parliamentended in 2009, when an independent UK Supreme Courtwas established.

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