In the United Kingdom, representative peers were those peers elected by the members of the Peerage of Scotland and the Peerage of Ireland to sit in the British House of Lords. Until 1999, all members of the Peerage of England held the right to sit in the House of Lords. All peers who were created after 1707 as Peers of Great Britain and after 1801 as Peers of the United Kingdom held the same right to sit in the House of Lords. Representative peers were introduced in 1707, when the Kingdom of England and the Kingdom of Scotland were united into the Kingdom of Great Britain. At the time there were 168 English and 154 Scottish peers; the English peers feared that the House of Lords would be swamped by the Scottish element, the election of a small number of representative peers to represent Scotland was negotiated. A similar arrangement was adopted when the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Kingdom of Ireland merged into the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland in January 1801. Scotland was allowed to elect sixteen representative peers.
Those chosen by Scotland sat for the life of one Parliament, following each dissolution new Scottish peers were elected. In contrast, Irish representative peers sat for life. Elections for Irish peers ceased when the Irish Free State came into existence as a Dominion in December 1922. However, already-elected Irish peers continued to be entitled to sit until their death. Elections for Scottish peers ended in 1963, when all Scottish peers obtained the right to sit in the House of Lords. Under the House of Lords Act 1999, a new form of representative peer was introduced to allow some hereditary peers to stay in the House of Lords. Under articles XXII and XXIII of the Act of Union 1707, Scottish peers were entitled to elect sixteen representative peers to the House of Lords; each served for one Parliament or a maximum of seven years, but could be re-elected during future Parliaments. Upon the summons of a new Parliament, the Sovereign would issue a proclamation summoning Scottish peers to the Palace of Holyroodhouse.
The elections were held in the Great Gallery, a large room decorated by eighty-nine of Jacob de Wet's portraits of Scottish monarchs, from Fergus Mór to Charles II. The Lord Clerk Register would read out the Peerage Roll; the Roll was re–read, with each peer responding by publicly announcing his votes and the return being sent to the clerk of the crown at London. The same procedure was used; the block voting system was used, with each peer casting as many votes as there were seats to be filled. The system, permitted the party with the greatest number of peers the Conservatives, to procure a disproportionate number of seats, with opposing parties sometimes being left unrepresented; the Lord Clerk Register was responsible for tallying the votes. The return issued by the Lord Clerk Register was sufficient evidence to admit the representative peers to Parliament; the position and rights of Scottish peers in relation to the House of Lords remained unclear during most of the eighteenth century. In 1711, The 4th Duke of Hamilton, a peer of Scotland, was made Duke of Brandon in the Peerage of Great Britain.
When he sought to sit in the House of Lords, he was denied admittance, the Lords ruling that a peer of Scotland could not sit in the House of Lords unless he was a representative peer if he held a British peerage dignity. They reasoned that the Act of Union 1707 had established the number of Scots peers in the House of Lords at no more and no less than sixteen. In 1782, the House of Lords reversed the decision, holding that the Crown could admit anyone it pleases to the House of Lords, whether a Scottish peer or not, subject only to qualifications such as being of full age. Under the Peerage Act 1963, all Scottish peers procured the right to sit in the House of Lords, the system of electing representative peers was abolished. Scottish as well as British and English hereditary peers lost their automatic right to sit in the Upper House with the passage of the House of Lords Act 1999. During the debate on the House of Lords Bill, a question arose as to whether the proposal would violate the Treaty of Union.
In suggesting that the Bill did indeed violate the Articles of Union, it was submitted that, prior to Union, the Estates of Parliament, Scotland's old, pre-Union parliament, was entitled to impose conditions, that one fundamental condition was a guarantee of representation of Scotland in both Houses of Parliament at Westminster. It was implied, that the Peerage Act 1963 did not violate the requirement of Scottish representation, set out in the Article XXII of the Treaty of Union, by allowing all Scottish peers to sit in the House of Lords: as long as a minimum of sixteen seats were reserved for Scotland, the principles of the Article would be upheld, it was further argued that the only way to rescind the requirement of Article XXII would be to dissolve the Union between England and Scotland, which the House of Lords Bill did not seek to do. Counsel for the Government held a different view, it was noted that the Peerage Act 1963 explicitly repealed the portions of the Articles of Union relating to elections of representative peers, that no parliamentary commentators had raised doubts as to the validity of those repeals.
As Article XXII had been, or at least purportedly, there was nothing specific in the Treaty that the bill transgressed. It was further asserted by the Government that Article XXII could be repealed because it had not been entrenched. Examples of entrenched provisions are numerous: Englan
A viscount or viscountess is a title used in certain European countries for a noble of varying status. In many countries a viscount, its historical equivalents, was a non-hereditary, administrative or judicial position, did not develop into an hereditary title until much later. In the case of French viscounts, it is customary to leave the title untranslated as vicomte and vicomtesse; the word viscount comes from Old French visconte, itself from Medieval Latin vicecomitem, accusative of vicecomes, from Late Latin vice- "deputy" + Latin comes. During the Carolingian Empire, the kings appointed counts to administer provinces and other smaller regions, as governors and military commanders. Viscounts were appointed to assist the counts in their running of the province, took on judicial responsibility; the kings prevented the offices of their counts and viscounts from becoming hereditary, in order to consolidate their position and limit chance of rebellion. The title was in use in Normandy by at least the early 11th century.
Similar to the Carolingian use of the title, the Norman viscounts were local administrators, working on behalf of the Duke. Their role was to administer justice and to collect taxes and revenues being castellan of the local castle. Under the Normans, the position developed into a hereditary one, an example of such being the viscounts in Bessin; the viscount was replaced by bailiffs, provosts. As a rank in British peerage, it was first recorded in 1440, when John Beaumont was created Viscount Beaumont by King Henry VI; the word viscount corresponds in the UK to the Anglo-Saxon shire reeve. Thus early viscounts were normally given their titles by the monarch, not hereditarily, they were a late introduction to the British peerage, on the evening of the Coronation of Queen Victoria in 1838, the Prime Minister Lord Melbourne explained to her why: I spoke to Ld M. about the numbers of Peers present at the Coronation, & he said it was quite unprecedented. I observed that there were few Viscounts, to which he replied "There are few Viscounts," that they were an old sort of title & not English.
In Belgium a few families are recognised as Viscounts: Viscount of Audenaerde Viscount of Hombeke Viscount de Spoelberch Viscount Eyskens Viscount Frimout Viscount Poullet A viscount is the fourth rank in the British peerage system, standing directly below an earl and above a baron. There are 270 viscountcies extant in the peerages of the British Isles, though most are secondary titles. In British practice, the title of a viscount may be either a place name, a surname, or a combination thereof: examples include the Viscount Falmouth, the Viscount Hardinge and the Viscount Colville of Culross, respectively. An exception exists for Viscounts in the peerage of Scotland, who were traditionally styled "The Viscount of ", such as the Viscount of Arbuthnott. In practice, however few maintain this style, instead using the more common version "The Viscount " in general parlance, for example Viscount of Falkland, referred to as Viscount Falkland. A British viscount is addressed in speech as Lord, while his wife is Lady, he is formally styled "The Right Honourable The Viscount ".
The children of a viscount are known as The Honourable. The title of viscount was introduced to the Peerage of Ireland in 1478 with the creation of the title of Viscount Gormanston, the senior viscountcy of Britain and Ireland, held today by Jenico Preston, 17th Viscount Gormanston. Other early Irish viscountcies were Viscount Baltinglass, Viscount Clontarf, Viscount Mountgarret and Viscount Decies. A British custom is the use of viscount as a courtesy title for the heir of an earl or marquess; the peer's heir apparent will sometimes be referred to as a viscount, if the second most senior title held by the head of the family is a viscountcy. For example, the eldest son of the Earl Howe is Viscount Curzon, because this is the second most senior title held by the Earl. However, the son of a marquess or an earl can be referred to as a viscount when the title of viscount is not the second most senior if those above it share their name with the substantive title. For example, the second most senior title of the Marquess of Salisbury is the Earl of Salisbury, so his heir uses the lower title of Viscount Cranborne.
Sometimes the son of a peer can be referred to as a viscount when he could use a more senior courtesy title which differs in name from the substantive title. Family tradition plays a role in this. For example, the eldest son of the Marquess of Londonderry is Viscount Castlereagh though the Marquess is the Earl Vane. A viscount's coronet of rank bears 16 silver balls around the rim. Like all heraldic coronets, it is worn at the coronation of a sovereign, but a viscount has the right to bear his coronet of rank on his coat of arms, above the shield. In this guise, the coronet is shown featuring 9 silver balls; the island of Jersey still retains an officer whose function is purely to administer orders of the island's judiciary, whose position remains non-hereditary. The role of the Viscount of Jersey (French: V
Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales
The Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales is the Head of the Judiciary of England and Wales and the President of the Courts of England and Wales. The officeholder was the second-highest judge of the Courts of England and Wales, after the Lord Chancellor, but became the top judge as a result of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005, which removed the judicial functions from the office of Lord Chancellor, altered the duties of the Lord Chief Justice and changed the relationship between the two offices; the Lord Chief Justice ordinarily serves as President of the Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal and Head of Criminal Justice, but under the 2005 Act can appoint another judge to these positions. The Lord Chief Justice's equivalent in Scotland is the Lord President of the Court of Session, who holds the post of Lord Justice-General in the High Court of Justiciary. There is a Lord Chief Justice of Northern Ireland, successor to the Lord Chief Justice of Ireland of the pre-Partition era. For the entire United Kingdom judiciary, there is a President of the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom, though that court does not have final jurisdiction over Scottish criminal law.
The current Lord Chief Justice is Lord Burnett of Maldon, who assumed the role on 2 October 2017. Each of the three high common law courts, the King's Bench, the Court of Common Pleas, the Court of the Exchequer, had its own chief justice: the Lord Chief Justice, Chief Justice of the Common Pleas, Chief Baron of the Exchequer; the Court of the King's Bench had existed since 1234. In 1268 its foremost judge was given the title of chief justice before when one of the justices would be considered the senior judge, fulfil an analogous role; the three courts became divisions of the High Court in 1875, following the deaths of the Lord Chief Justice and Lord Chief Baron in 1880, the three were merged into a single division creating a single Lord Chief Justice of England. The suffix "and Wales", now found in statutes and elsewhere, was unilaterally appended by holder Lord Bingham of Cornhill between 1996 and 2000; the Constitutional Reform Act 2005 made the Lord Chief Justice the president of the Courts of England and Wales, vesting the office with many of the powers held by the Lord Chancellor.
While the Lord Chief Justice retains the role of President of the Criminal Division of the Court of Appeal, the CRA separated the role of President of the Queen's Bench Division. The CRA provides that he or she is chosen by a specially appointed committee convened by the Judicial Appointments Commission. Category:Lord Chief Justices of England and Wales Category:English judges Category:Judges of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales Campbell, Lives of the Chief Justices of England, in four volumes, 3rd ed. London, John Murray 1874
Magistrates' court (England and Wales)
In England and Wales, a magistrates' court is a lower court which holds trials for summary offences and preliminary hearings for more serious ones. Some civil matters are decided here, notably family proceedings. In 2015, there were 330 magistrates' courts in England and Wales, though the government was considering closing up to 57 of these; the jurisdiction of magistrates' courts and rules governing them are set out in the Magistrates' Courts Act 1980. All criminal proceedings start at a magistrates' court. Summary offences are smaller crimes that can be punished under the magistrates' courts limited sentencing powers – community sentences, short custodial sentences. Indictable offences, on the other hand, are serious crimes. Either-way offences will fall into one of the previous categories depending on how serious the particular crime in question is. Cases are heard by a paid district judge. Criminal cases are although not investigated by the police and prosecuted at the court by the Crown Prosecution Service.
Defendants may hire a solicitor or barrister to represent them paid for by legal aid. There are magistrates' courts in other common-law jurisdictions; the current magistrates' courts are a continuation of the system of courts of petty session. Magistrates previously presided in quarter sessions, but the abolition of these in 1972 removed the need for the distinction. In London the Middlesex Justices Act 1792 created a separate system of courts presided over by magistrates, staffed with constables – based on the Bow Street Runners; these became known as police courts. In criminal matters, magistrates’ courts in England and Wales have been organised to deal with minor offences in a speedy manner. All criminal cases start in the magistrates' court and over 95 per cent of them will end there – only the most serious offences go to Crown Court. Summary offences are the least serious criminal offences, they include driving offences, criminal damage of low value, low-level violent offences and being drunk and disorderly.
This kind of'lesser' criminality will be dealt with in summary proceedings at a magistrates' court, where the defendant has no right to a jury trial and no formal indictment is necessary. Both verdict and sentence are in the hands of district judges or magistrates; the sentencing powers of magistrates' courts are therefore limited to a maximum of six months' imprisonment. When dealing with two or more separate either-way offences, the maximum total custodial sentence is 12 months. However, should there be more than one summary only offence, the court's powers are limited to a maximum sentence of six months imprisonment, the nominal maximum sentencing powers of the magistrates' court; the maximum fine available used to be £5,000. However, this was raised by the Legal Aid and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 to allow unlimited fines from March 2015 for specified offences. There is no maximum aggregate fine; some driving offences are punished by endorsement and/or disqualification from driving for a period of time.
There are four types of sentence available to the magistrates - a discharge. The majority of sentences are non-custodial. For either-way offences, if the magistrates feel that their powers of sentencing are insufficient, they can send the case up to a judge at the Crown Court, who can impose more severe sentences; the point is to achieve restorative justice and reformation of the offenders. These alternative punishments are called community sentences. A community sentence would consist of community payback, a duty to work between 40 and 300 hours unpaid in the community; this is complemented by some kind of programme or treatment, offering a helping hand to offenders, engaging them at the same time – ending a drug habit, coping with a mental illness and qualifications for work, more. The judge may issue orders with rules such as curfew, restraining orders and many others. During serving of community sentences to suspended sentence, offenders will be supervised by a probation officer. Either way offences can be dealt by the magistrates' court or in the Crown Court.
There will be a hearing to decide on venue, hearing an outline of the case from both prosecution and defence. The guideline is whether, taking the prosecution case at its most serious, the court believes that a magistrates' court has sufficient powers of sentence. If so, the case will be accepted, a date will be held for a subsequent hearing in a magistrates' court – otherwise the case will be sent to the Crown Court, as with Indictable offences below; the maximum custodial sentence the magistrates can impose for an either-way offence is six month
A county court is a court based in or with a jurisdiction covering one or more counties, which are administrative divisions within a country, not to be confused with the medieval system of county courts held by the high sheriff of each county. Since 2014, England and Wales have had what is described as "a single civil court" named the County Court, with unlimited financial jurisdiction; however it should be understood that there are County Court buildings and courtrooms throughout England and Wales, not one single location. It is "a single civil court" in the sense of a single centrally organised and administered court system. Before 2014 there were numerous separate county court systems, each with jurisdiction across England and Wales for enforcement of its orders, but each with a defined "county court district" from which it took claims. County court districts did not have the same boundaries as counties: the name was used because the county courts had evolved from courts which did in fact correspond to a county's territory.
Today the court sits in many County Court centres corresponding to the old individual county courts. County Court matters can be lodged at a court in person, by post or via the Internet in some cases through the County Court Bulk Centre. Cases are heard at the court having jurisdiction over the area where the claimant lives. Most matters are decided by a district circuit judge sitting alone. Civil matters in England do not have juries. Judges in the County Court are either former barristers or former solicitors, whereas in the High Court they are more to have been a barrister. Civil claims with an amount in controversy under £10,000 are dealt with in the County Court under the small claims track. Claims between £5,000 and £25,000 that are capable of being tried within one day are allocated to the "fast track" and claims over £25,000 to the "multi track." These'tracks' are labels for the use of the court system - the actual cases will be heard in the County Court or the High Court depending on their value.
For personal injury and some landlord-tenant dispute cases the thresholds for each track have different values. Appeals are to a higher judge, the High Court of Justice or to the Court of Appeal, as the case may be. In debt cases, the aim of a claimant taking County Court action against a defendant is to secure a County Court judgment; this is a legal order to pay the full amount of the debt. Judgments can be enforced at the request of the claimant in a number of ways, including requesting the Court Bailiffs to seize goods, the proceeds of any sale being used to pay the debt, or an Attachment of Earnings Order, where the defendant's employer is ordered to make deductions from the gross wages to pay the claimant. County Court judgments are recorded in the Register of Judgments and Fines and in the defendant's credit records held by credit reference agencies; this information is used in consumer credit scores, making it difficult or more expensive for the defendant to obtain credit. In order to avoid the record being kept for years in the register, the debt must be settled within thirty days after the date the County Court judgment was served.
If the debt was not paid within the statutory period, the entry will remain for six full years. County court is the name given to the intermediate court in one Australian state, namely the County Court of Victoria, they hear indictable criminal offences except for treason and manslaughter. Their civil jurisdiction is intermediate over civil disputes where the amount claimed is greater than a few tens of thousands of dollars but less than a few hundreds of thousands of dollars; the limits vary between states. In some states the same level of court is called a district court. Below them are the magistrates courts. Above them are the state supreme courts; some states adopt the two-tier appellate system, with the magistrates courts below and the state supreme courts above. In Northern Ireland there are seven county courts, following the same model as those of England and Wales before unification in 2014; these are the main civil courts. While higher-value cases are heard in the High Court, the county courts hear a wide range of civil actions, consumer claims, appeals from magistrates' courts.
The county courts are called family care centres when hearing proceedings brought under the Children Order 1995 and appeals from the family proceedings courts. Many United States states have a county court system, which may be purely administrative focused on registration of properties and deeds or most may have jurisdiction over civil cases such as lawsuits and criminal courts and jails where trials from misdemeanors to felony cases are centered about a common jail system managed by the county Sheriffs departments. For example, in Texas, county courts handle Class A and B misdemeanors, share jurisdiction with justice of the peace and district courts on some mid-size civil cases, have appellate jurisdiction from municipal and justice of the peace court cases. With the growth of the largest cities, many large urban centers have subsumed whole or most of c
Law Society of England and Wales
The Law Society of England and Wales is the professional association that represents and governs solicitors for the jurisdiction of England and Wales. It provides services and support to practising and training solicitors, as well as serving as a sounding board for law reform. Members of the Society are consulted when important issues are being debated in Parliament or by the executive; the Society was formed in 1825. The Hall of The Law Society is in Chancery Lane, but it has offices in Cardiff to deal with the Wales jurisdiction and Assembly, Brussels, to deal with European Union law. A president is elected annually to serve for one year; the current president is Christina Blacklaws. Barristers in England and Wales have a similar professional body, the General Council of the Bar known as the Bar Council; the London Law Institution, the predecessor to the Law Society, was founded in 1823 when many London Solicitors came together to raise the reputation of the profession by setting standards and ensuring good practice.'London' was dropped from the title in 1825 to reflect the fact that the Law Institution had national aspirations.
The Society was founded on 2 June 1825. The Society acquired its first Royal Charter in 1831 as The Society of Attorneys, Solicitors and others not being Barristers, practising in the Courts of Law and Equity of the United Kingdom. A new Charter in 1845 defined the Society as an independent, private body servicing the affairs of the profession like other professional and scientific bodies. By further Royal Charter in 1903 the name of the Society was changed to "The Law Society"; the Society first admitted women members in 1922. In July 2013, the Association of Women Solicitors, a national organisation working with and representing women solicitors in the United Kingdom, merged with the Law Society to form its Women Lawyers Division. Although merged, the AWS will operate separately from the Law Society. In 1834, the Society first initiated proceedings against dishonest practitioners. By 1907, the Society possessed a statutory disciplinary committee, was empowered to investigate solicitors' accounts and to issue annual practising certificates.
In 1983, the Society established the Office for the Supervision of Solicitors to deal with complaints about solicitors. Complaints regarding the conduct of solicitors are now dealt with by the Solicitors Regulation Authority; however complaints regarding poor service are the remit of the Legal Ombudsman. The Solicitors Act 1860 enabled the Society to create a three-tier examination system. In 1903, the Society established its own Law Society School of Law, which merged with tutorial firm Gibson and Weldon to become the independent College of Law. By 1922 The Law Society required a compulsory academic year for all clerks. Following the recommendations of the Clementi Review The Law Society split its representative and regulatory functions. Complaints from the public are handled by the Legal Ombudsman, a single portal for complaints by the public made against all providers of legal services including the Bar, licensed conveyancers etc. but excluding unqualified will-writers. The regulatory body for solicitors is the Solicitors Regulation Authority.
It is a Board of The Law Society although it regulates and enforces regulation independently of the Law Society. The Law Society remains the approved regulator, although following the Legal Services Act 2007 a new body, the Legal Services Board oversees all the approved regulators including the Bar Council, which has divested its regulatory functions into the Bar Standards Board. Law Society Gazette Solicitors Regulation Authority Legal Complaints Service Law Society of Scotland Law Society of Northern Ireland Lexcel Cambridge University Law Society Official website