It turned equity's traditionally broad discretion into a complete disregard for the law. After the Reformation, the Star Chamber was used -- and misused -- to inflict punishment on religious dissenters. The Globe and Mail1 3 July 1983: P.13. The term "Star Chamber" has come to symbolize the misuse of authority and corrupt legal proceedings. Alternatively, William Blackstone, a notable English jurist writing in 1769, speculated that the name may have derived from the legal word "starr" meaning the contract or obligation to a Jew (from the Hebrew שטר (shtar) meaning 'document'). "THE FINAL YEARS OF THE COURT OF STAR CHAMBER 1558–1641",, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 26 October 2020, at 23:41. The abuses of the Star Chamber were cited by members of Parliament as one of the many reasons that the British monarchy should be abolished during the English Civil War, which did actually briefly succeed in creating a republic after executing Charles I of England in 1549. It is used on any occasion when it is considered the person(s) being spoken to is under suspicion of potential criminal proceedings. An example of a legal fiction outside common law is that it is legally possible to have consumed an illegal substance without having owned it. The origin of the name has usually been explained as first recorded by John Stow, writing in his Survey of London (1598), who noted "this place is called the Star Chamber, at the first all the roofe thereof was decked with images of starres gilted". Understanding Organized Crime and the RICO Act, What Was the Regulator Movement? [4] However, the Oxford English Dictionary gives this etymology "no claim to consideration". History and Significance. The agony and the ecstasy Hyams tries for brass ring with new film Star Chamber definition: the Privy Council sitting as a court of equity , esp powerful under the Tudor monarchs ;... | Meaning, pronunciation, translations and examples Disgusted with criminals escaping the judicial system via technicalities, an idealistic young judge investigates an alternative method for punishing the guilty. Star Chamber, in full the Court of Star Chamber, in English law, the court made up of judges and privy councillors that grew out of the medieval king’s council as a supplement to the regular justice of the common-law courts. The Star Chamber, which opens today at Loews Tower East and other theaters, begins so excitingly that Mr. Hyams appears to have outdone himself. With Michael Douglas, Hal Holbrook, Yaphet Kotto, Sharon Gless. The court was set up to ensure the fair enforcement of laws against the English upper class, those so powerful that ordinary courts could never convict them of their crimes.

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