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Q. How are the English counties arranged for this purpose ?
A. They are arranged in six circuits, to each of which two judges are sent; and Wales is divided into two circuits, to each of which one judge is usually sent.
Q. Are the Assizes ever held less than twice a year ?
A. Yes; in the cities of Durham and Carlisle, and in the towns of Newcastle and Appleby, the Assizes are held only once a year, in autumn.
Q. Are any of the counties excluded from these circuits ?
A. Yes, Middlesex is excluded, because it is the seat of the Supreme Court of Justice.
Q. What is the Supreme Court of Equity called ?
A. The Lord High Chancellor of England, assisted by the Master of the Rolls and three Vice-Chancellors, all of whom sit separately from the Lord Chancellor.
Q. What is the Court of Appeal in Chancery?
A. The Court to which suitors may appeal who are dissatisfied with the decrees of the Vice-Chancellors or the Master of the Rolls. It consists of the Lord Chancellor, together with two judges called Lord Justices of the Court of Appeal in Chancery.
Q. Is there a further appeal from this Court?
A. The Ecclesiastical Courts, the Maritime Courts, the Court of Bankruptcy, the Court of Probate, and the Court of Divorce and Matrimonial Causes.
Q. What are the Ecclesiastical Courts?
A. Various Courts the proceedings in which are regulated according to the Civil Law. All ecclesiastical causes, and all matters in any way relating to the church or clergy, are heard and decided here.
Q. What are the Maritime or Admiralty Courts?
A. These Courts, as before stated, are also regulated according to the Civil Law; they have jurisdiction to try and determine all maritime causes or injuries on the high seas.
Q. Is there an appeal from the Ecclesiastical and Maritime Courts?
A. Yes, there is an appeal from each of these Courts to the Privy Council.
Q. What is the Court of Bankruptcy ?
A. A Court presided over by Commissioners, in which the affairs of bankrupts and insolvent persons are managed, according to Acts of Parliament passed for
Q. What is the Court of Probate ?
A. A Court which has jurisdiction in all matters relating to the proving of Wills. It is presided over by a single judge, with an appeal to the House of Lords.
Q. What is the Court for Divorce and Matrimonial Causes ?
A. As its name implies, it takes cognizance of all matters regarding marriage and divorce. It is held before the Lord Chancellor, and the judges of the Superior Courts of Common Law, and the judge of the Court of Probate. This last judge, however, is the ordinary judge of the Court, and may exercise all its powers when sitting alone.
Judicial, belonging to a judge (Lat., judex, judicis, a judge). Plaintiff, one who commences a suit against another (Lat.,
plango, to beat the breast in mourning). Defendant, one who resists the plaintiff's suit (Lat., defendo, to
ward off-de, aside, and fendo, to strike). Attorney, one who acts in the turn of another (Low Lat.,
attornatus—ad, to, and torno, to turn). Advocate, one called on to aid in a suit (Lat., advocatus—ad, to,
and voco, to call). Barrister, one who pleads at the bar of an English Law Court. Solicitor, one who asks earnestly, a lawyer (Lat., sollicito, to
ask earnestly). Jury, a body of men sworn in to judge fairly of evidence
brought before them (Lat., juro, to swear).
THE CRIMINAL DEPARTMENT.
Woe to the guilty one who dares defy
Q. What is meant by the Criminal Department?
A. That portion of the laws of England which relates to the punishment and prevention of crimes.
Q. What is the usual mode of trial for criminal offences ?
A. The trial by Jury.
Q. Why is the trial by jury so justly popular in criminal cases ?
A. Because it gives every man a right to be judged by his equals.
“ It is to trial by jury," writes Lord John Russell, “that the people owe the share they have in the Government of the country; it is to trial by jury also that the Government mainly owes the attachment of the people to the laws."
“Nothing,” says Lord Brougham, “can be better than the decision of these twelve men, instructed as they are by the counsel and the judge.”
“ The method of trials by juries is generally looked upon as one of the most excellent branches of our Constitution.”ORRERY.
Q. Is a Special Jury used in criminal cases ?
A. No, it is not allowed except on very rare occasions.
Q. Is there no other kind of jury besides the Petty or Common Jury, in criminal cases ?
A. Yes, there is the Grand Jury.
A. A body of gentlemen, not less than twelve, nor more than twenty-three in number, whose duty it is to look over all bills of indictment or accusation before the Court sits, and after hearing the evidence to decide whether or not any of the accusations are groundless.
Q. Give a general outline of the various kinds of offences.
A. Offences against the person, as murder; offences against the Government, as treason; offences against property, as burglary; offences against religion, as heresy; offences against national law, as piracy; offences against public justice, as bribery; offences against the public peace, as riots ; offences against the public trade, as smuggling; and offences against the public health, as nuisances.
Q. What are the principal Courts for the trial of criminal offences ?
A. The High Court of Parliament, the Court of the Lord High Steward, the Court of Queen's Bench, the Assizes, and the Central Criminal Court.
Q. What is the jurisdiction of the High Court of Parliament?