The Magistrate Court And The Politics Of the 14th Century
The first magistrate court in England and Wales evolved in the late 13th century. The proliferation of courts resulted in a lot of political interference, resulting in an upheaval in the year 1387, when six judges were sentenced to death, with one execution.
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The very first judges after courts became independent were in the 12th century, selected from King’s court judges and those who had administrative and judicial jurisdiction.
Henry II established the first first jury of 12 local knights in order to settle land disputes. The Court of Common Pleas was initiated in the year 1178, in order to hear the complaints of citizens.
The 15th and 16th century saw a lot of exclusions, removals and clashes between the Kings and the law makers. The judiciary became more and more independent, with an increase in salaries in the 17th century.
The tension between the preferences of the King and the judgements of the judiciary were still present, until 1701 when new laws were set up to prevent judges being removed from office.
The Judicial system is over a thousand years old, taking over from the royal Kings courts prevalent in the era.
Early courts in medieval times used the dangerous ‘Trial By Ordeal’ method,where the accused would be forced to get their hands burnt, and if the person healed in three days, he was considered not guilty.
The _Water ordeal w_as equally brutal and baffling, where the accused would be tied up and put in water. If they sank, they were innocent, and if they were guilty, they would float.
Early courts had a trial by combat where a fighting championship was organized with candidates from both the parties, with the prize being the disputed money/property.
This unconventional and controversial method was banned in the early 19th century.
Martin de Pateshull was one of the finest lawyers of England and became the Justice of the bench in 1217.
Advocates who practised at the Court of Common Pleas and eventually graduated to the post of professional judges, the first one being Lawrence de Brok in 1268.
Bribes and under the table payments were quite common in the 13th century, though they were under oath not to accept gifts or rewards. The salaries of judges were increased to curb bribery.
Crown courts, that is the modern court, were established in 1956 in Liverpool and Manchester. The role of the Lord Chancellor changed significantly as late as 2006 due to the Constitutional Reform Act of 2005.
In the present times, the judiciary in the United Kingdom is recognized as an independent entity, not influenced by the government, at least officially.
The Magna Carta has become a world-class brand representing human rights, democracy, and free speech.
But the original document does not mention any of these principles, not even in translation. Regardless of what the Magna Carta says, it is immediately recognised as the most important legal document in the common law world.
The 1804 Napoleonic Code influenced civil law codes across the globe. It was very influential in developing countries outside Europe, especially in the Middle East.
Movies about law, having heroic or ferocious lawyers often strike gold in Hollywood, giving good competition to big-ticket movies.
To Kill A Mockingbird, a 1962 adaptation of a book by Harper Lee, had the character Atticus Finch, a fictional lawyer who became the greatest hero of all American cinema in a list ‘100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains’ by the American Film Institute.
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