Chapter 12: The English Courts of Justice

In England and Europe after the feudal law was introduced, the kingdom was governed and justice was administered in the same way as a baron in his jurisdiction.

All civil suits were tried in the court of common pleas.

The court of exchequer judged in all affairs between the king and his subjects.

Edward I abolished the power of the grand justiciary.

During the improvement of the law of England, rivalships arose among the several courts.

The court of exchequer brought in civil causes to be tried immediately by them in the following way:

The king had many debts.

All the courts tried to encourage prosecutors to come before them through the speed of their decisions and accuracy of their proceedings.

It will be proper when we are treating of courts to inquire into the origin of juries.

The laws of England with regard to juries are only defective in one point, in which they differ from the laws of Scotland.

A case may appear to you more clear than it does to me.

In criminal causes, there is little danger.

But in civil cases, people are not so much troubled.

People of fashion are not fond of meddling in a jury attended with such inconveniences.

  • A great man would not choose to be so often called and returned, and perhaps treated in such a manner as no gentleman would choose to be.
  • In this case, the law providing for security has done too much.
  • In Scotland, unanimity is not required.
  • Even if a person differs from the majority, he may stand by his opinion.
  • In the actions which come before the court of chancery, no jury is required.
  • Besides the courts mentioned, there were others created by the king’s patent.

    We have considered:

    Next: Chapter 13