What Are Chancery Courts

The Lord Chancellor was the official head of the Court of Chancery. For much of its existence, it was closely associated with the curia regis; Even after the independence of the court around 1345, petitions were addressed to the “king and others.” In the time of Edward IV, however, petitions were issued on behalf of the Lord Chancellor and the Court of Chancery. In the early years, the Lord Chancellor himself made most of the decisions; It invited the parties, set a date for the hearing, answered questions from the parties to the proceedings and delivered the judgment. [104] He regularly appealed to common law judges for help, who complained that this prevented them from doing the work of the common law courts, and early records often indicate that the decision was made “with the advice and consent of the judges and servants of our Lord the King in the registry.” [105] The idea of a trust originated during the Crusades of the 12th century. In the nineteenth century, nobles traveled abroad to fight in the Holy Land. [73] Since they had been gone for years, it was important that someone with the authority of the original owner be able to take care of their land. This is how the idea of co-ownership of land was born. The common law courts did not recognize such trusts, and it was therefore incumbent upon the equity and the Court of Chancery to deal with them,[74] in accordance with the common principle that the Registry had jurisdiction over matters in which the common law courts could neither enforce nor administer a right. [75] The use of trusts and uses became common in the 16th century, although the status of usages “dealt a severe blow to these forms of transfer” and made the law in this area much more complex.

The court`s exclusive jurisdiction over trusts lasted until its dissolution. [76] When the farm was part of the curia regis, the officials were fluid; These could include civil law doctors, members of the Curia and “those who should be summoned.” [110] However, when members of the Curia ceased to sit as officers, the composition of the court became firmer. From the beginning, the Lord Chancellor was assisted by twelve clerks in the Chancellery, known as Masters in Chancery. It has been said that these positions existed before the Norman conquest, as part of the Witenagemot. After the conquest, they gradually lost their authority and became advisers and assistants to the Lord Chancellor. It was these gentlemen who sued and made the first orders, without which the parties would not be able to commence cases in the common law courts. In addition, they testified and acted as secretaries to the Lord Chancellor, leading the advocacy. In the early years, they were almost always members of the clergy, called “clericos de prima forma”; it was not until Edward III that they were called masters of chancery. [110] The Court of Chancery, like other high courts before 1875, was created in the Norman curia regis or King`s Council, which was maintained by most of England`s early rulers after 1066.

[1] Under the feudal system, the council consisted of the monarch, the great officers of the crown and all the others the monarch was allowed to attend. Its competence is practically unlimited, with executive, judicial and legislative functions. [2] This large group consisted of lawyers, peers, and Church members, many of whom lived far from London. It soon became clear that it was too cumbersome to deal with the day-to-day operations of the nation. As a result, a smaller curia was formed to deal with the day-to-day affairs of the country, and this quickly split into different courts: first the State Treasury for finance, and then the Court of Common Pleas to deal with “common” cases. [3] The chancellery and its growing powers were soon rejected by parliament and the nobility; Carne says it is possible to trace a “general pattern of opposition” during the Plantagenet period, particularly on the part of the clergy who were more accustomed to Roman law than to justice. [16] Since the reign of Richard II, the House of Commons has regularly complained about the work of the Court, and in 1390 asked the King to declare that the Court could neither act against the common law nor overturn a judgment without due process. At the same time, she requested that no statement be issued that would compel a man to appear in court; If this were the case, the employee who issued it would lose his job and the Lord Chancellor would be fined £100.

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