A bencher or Master of the Bench is a senior member of an Inn of Court in England and Wales and Ireland. Benchers hold office for life once elected. A bencher can be elected while still a barrister, in recognition of the contribution that the barrister has made to the life of the Inn or to the law. Others become benchers as a matter of course when appointed as a High Court judge. The Inn may elect non-members as honorary benchers – for example, distinguished judges and lawyers from other countries, eminent non-lawyers or members of the British Royal Family, who become known as "Royal Benchers" once elected.
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