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Volume 181: debated on Wednesday 21 November 1990

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To ask the Attorney-General what powers the Lord Chancellor has to control public appearances in programmes of political content by judges.

The Lord Chancellor's formal powers over the conduct of judges in England and Wales are limited to the power to remove circuit judges for incapacity or misbehaviour. It is, however, a long-standing convention that judges do not become involved in matters of political controversy, and the Lord Chancellor, as head of the judiciary, would advise any judge who sought his opinion that it would not be appropriate to appear in a programme with a political content.