Court of Exchequer Chamber

Court of Exchequer Chamber

Hist. 1.An informal assembly of common-law judges who (sometimes with the Lord Chancellor) gathered to discuss important cases that had adjourned pending an opinion from the Court.

? This body never became a court of law in a technical sense, but judges gave great weight to its decisions. The last reported decision of this body is from 1738. ¡°Earlier than these two statutory courts was the practice, which apparently originated about the time of Edward I, of informal meetings of the judges in the Exchequer Chamber to decide matters connected with litigation…. The purpose of the meeting was to bring before the judges a point of law which caused difficulty and which had arisen in a case being heard before one or other of the courts. Any resolution passed did not constitute a judgment; it was left to the court concerned to make the appropriate decree, and the official record made no reference to the informal decision…. Civil cases were debated in the Exchequer Chamber as late as the seventeenth century, and criminal cases continued to be ¡®reserved¡¯ for full discussion by all the common law judges until the nineteenth century.¡± A.K.R. Kiralfy, Potter’s Outlines of English Legal History 202¨C04 (5th ed. 1958).


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