It was not until 1830 that there was any change to the nearly 300-year-old assize courts. The same Act established the High Court and the Court of Appeal and provided a right of appeal in civil cases to the Court of Appeal. Chief Justice Lord Mansfield was in the Cabinet between 1757 and 1765, for example and more recently Lord Cave was Home Secretary for a couple of months at the end of the First World War when he was also a serving Lord of Appeal in Ordinary, or Law Lord. The judiciary’s links with other countries and organisations. These courts also took over the quarter sessions work in their cities. Find out more about History of the judiciary The judiciary, the government and the constitution These were advocates who practised in the Court of Common Pleas. When you see a judge or magistrate sitting in court, you are actually looking at the result of 1,000 years of legal evolution. Trial by combat gradually fell into disuse for civil cases, although it wasn’t until someone involved in a dispute in 1818 tried to insist on it that it was realised this was still, technically, an option. For the first time an express statutory duty is placed on the Lord Chancellor and other Ministers of the Crown to protect the independence of the judiciary. These grievances eventually appeared in much the same form in the Act of Settlement (1701) and have remained in place ever since. Even today, we know them as the ‘common law’. In an era when the church was rich and the King poor, joining the clergy was often just seen as a sensible means of support. By the Law Terms Act of that year, the Court of Great Sessions was abolished and the Welsh counties and Chester were brought into the general circuit system. By the time he died in 1229 he was known as one of the finest lawyers in England; even 60 years after his death, his judgments were being searched for precedents. The Lord Chancellor’s role changed drastically on April 3 2006 as a result of the Constitutional Reform Act 2005. Mirroring developments in the role and independence of judges were changes to the avenues of redress open to aggrieved parties. On the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, all judges – and there were just 12 at this point, four in each of the common law courts – remained in office. Meanwhile, a new type of court began to evolve – that which we now recognise as the magistrates’ court. It’s contradictory in places, and rather confusing. This brief history can perhaps begin to educate us on what went wrong in the past and what we can learn from our mistakes. Conflicts brought before the judiciary are embodied in cases involving litigants, who may be individuals, groups, legal entities (e.g., corporations), Gradually, these cases were delegated to the King’s council, and eventually to one individual – the Lord Chancellor. 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