The chief judge of the Queen's Bench Division of the High Court. Historically, he ranked second to the Lord Chancellor in the judicial hierarchy. It was formerly the practice to appoint the Attorney General when a vacancy in the office occurred but this practice has now been abandoned and recent appointments have been either Lords Justices of Appeal or Lords of Appeal in Ordinary. The Lord Chief Justice is ex officio a member of the Court of Appeal and is President of its Criminal Division. Under the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 the judicial functions of the Lord Chancellor, which included the appointment of magistrates and judges, were transferred to the Lord Chief Justice.