Historically, the head of the judiciary, a government minister (in charge of the Lord Chancellor's Department), and Speaker of the House of Lords. He thus combined judicial, executive, and legislative functions. He was entitled to preside over the House when it sat as a final court of appeal; he appointed magistrates and higher judicial officials; and he oversaw such matters as the administration of the courts, the Community Legal Service, law reform, data protection, and human rights. Under the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 the Lord Chancellor was stripped of his judicial functions, which were transferred to the Lord Chief Justice, and his role as Speaker of the House of Lords. His other functions have been undertaken since 2007 by the Ministry of Justice, with the Secretary of State taking the historic title of Lord Chancellor.
From: Lord Chancellor in A Dictionary of Law »