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Bailie in United Kingdom

In Scotland the word bailiff has taken the form of “bailie,” signifying a superior officer or magistrate of a municipal corporation. Bailies, by virtue of their office, are invested with certain judicial and administrative powers within the burgh for which they are appointed. They sit as police-court magistrates, being assisted usually by a paid legal adviser, called an “assessor,” and, in the larger burghs, act as a licensing court. It is usually said that a bailie is analogous to the English alderman, but this is only in so far as he is a person of superior dignity in the council, for, unlike an alderman, he continues to sit for the ward for which he has been elected after selection as a bailie.

He is always appointed from within the council, and his term of office is only that of an ordinary councillor, that is, for not more than three years. Bailie to give sasine was the person who appeared for the superior at the ceremony of giving sasine. This ceremony was abolished in 1845. The Bailie of Holyrood, or Bailie of the Abbey, was the official who had jurisdiction in all civil debts contracted within the precincts of the sanctuary (q.v.).

Source: Encyclopedia Britannica (1911)

Concept of Bailie

Traditional meaning of bailie [1] in scots law: In Scotch law, a magistrate, alderman, or bailiff ; see the entry on types of courts, 92.


Notes and References

  1. Based on A concise law dictionary of words, phrases and maxims, “Bailie”, Boston: Little, Brown, and Company, 1911, United States. This term and/or definition may be absolete. It is also called the Stimson’s Law dictionary, based on a glossary of terms, included Bailie.

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Schema Summary

  • Article Name: Bailie
  • Author: Owen Stone
  • Description: In Scotland the word bailiff has taken the form of bailie, signifying a superior officer or magistrate of a municipal [...]

This entry was last updated: October 15, 2020



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