Chancery Procedure

  • Created by: maredjz
  • Created on: 23-04-20 14:33

Course of the Common law, came to be thought an Englishman's birthright be subect to this system as the stream of medieval statutes from the Magna Carta onwards guaranteed that no one should be deprived of life, liberty or property save by 'due process of law'

These statutes intended as restraints on the power of the Crown to erect new jurisdictions, restrains on the power which had earlier introduced the common law, the 'extra-ordinary alternative' to normal local justice.

Expansion of prerogative conciliar jurisdiction under Henr VII led to actions for compensation.
Elizabeth I and James I, the due-process statutes were widely relied upon by the judges in seeking to curb interferences with the common law by the prerogative courts.

Notion that the king had exhausted his judicative powers by creating the common law courts was pressed to its limits by CJ Coke in 1608- told James I that he had no authority to participate in the judicial decisions of the court

Coke also held that no new court of equity could be establishd under the royal prerogative-objection wasn't to equity but the erection of new tribunals without parliamentary sanction.

1641, same principle invoked by Parliament, the abolishment of the Star Chamber

Understood in the medieval times that the king retained an overriding residuary power to administer due-procedure legislation- could only be invoked when the common law was deficient and never in matters of life, limb or property

End of 13th century many petitions (Billd) were being presented to the king, asking him for his grace to be shown in respect of some complaint. Usual answer was 'let him sue at common law', achieved simply by fowarding the bill to justices in eyre. Sometimes a petitioner complained for misconduct by litigants who were frustrating the common law. Time of Edward III, bills passed to the judges in the courts concerned, with a covering letter commanding them to do right. Exceptional cases where the kings or council took direct action, beginning to see newer jurisdictions in which suits were not onlu commenced by bill but did not follow the due process of the common law.

Private suits were more often dealt with by the Council, ot delegated to individual councillors such as the chancellor...once this became a matter of routine petitioners took to addressing the appropriate individual or body directly. Out of this rose 'several distinct jurisdictions, the foremost being that of the chancellor'

The Chancery began as the royal secretariat. Originated from being a department of state, descended from the Anglo-Saxon scriptorium where the royal writs and charters were sealed.

The Chancellor had the custory of the great seal of England, used to authenticate documents. Royal Grants, all writs and commissions in the King's name all had to 'pass the seal', everyday normal writs of the common law were no execptions.  Chancellor associated with the ordinary administration of justice.

Chancellor always been primarily the officer of state and minister of the crown. Most medieval chancellors were also bishops or archbishops…


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