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Judge in United Kingdom

Judge Meaning

Judge in Scottish Law

The expert in law who is in charge of all court proceedings and ensures legal rules are followed.

Judge in North Ireland

An officer of the crown who sits to administer justice according to the law.

Meaning of Judge

The following is an old definition of Judge [1]: A public officer whose function is to declare the law, to administer justice in a court of law, to conduct the trial of causes between litigants according to legal forms and methods. As sometimes used, includes any officer appointed or commissioned to decide a litigated question or questions: as, a justice of the peace, a referee, master, arbitrator. It is in this sense that jurors are said to be ” judges of the fact.” Frequently interchanged with “justice.” See Justice, 3. Originally, the king determined causes; but in time he delegated the power to judges of his courts, which power is merely an emanation of the royal prerogative. A judge is the law’s vicegerent; he is the law speaking. Associate judge or justice. A fellow member of a court, learned (or unlearned) in the law, and of equal (or unequal) authority in the decision of causes. Chief or president judge or justice. The member of a court who presides at its sessions and in its deliberations, directing the business before it, assigning causes to his associates for written opinions of the court, signing orders, and the like. See Learned. The supreme court is composed of a chief justice and eight associate justices; any six of whom constitute a quorum. Various courts of appeal are composed of a chief justice and associate judges or justices. ” Associate ” does not here import inferiority in any sense. But it is otherwise where the associates are laymen: then, while the laymen are judges, and consult with the president judge, their authority is inferior, and they do not have an equal vote. Law judge. A judge learned in the law; as opposed to a judge, perhaps an ” associate ” justice, who has not had legal training. See J. Senior judge. In the Ohio act of April 7, 1882, the judge who has served the longest under his present commission. In Nevada, the senior justice in commission is chief justice, and when the commissions of any two bear the same date, they determine by lot who shall be chief justice. In Kentucky, the judge having the shortest time to serve is styled the chief justice. Similar provisions are found in California, Georgia, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Oregon, and West Virginia, while in nineteen States there is no provision for the selection of a chief justice, no such offtcer seeming to be known, and in the remaining States the matter is either determined by the governor, or by the legislature, or the choice is made by the court itself. In the newer States of the west and south, the policy of short determinate terms is favored, while in many of the older Atlantic States the policy of priority by reason of service is recognized. The policy of Ohio accords with the former class. The duties of a judge, in forming his judgment, are: to gather the materials (facts, law, authorities) on which to form his opinion; to estimate authorities at their proper value as guides; to solve the difficultiea presented; and, aided by his own knowledge and reason, and the arguments of counsel, with an unprejudiced mind to make a decision; and, in so doing, to regard the nature of the case, as new, as within some rule, or as governed by precedent. Maxims: a judge is to expound, not to make, the law; must hear both sides; cannot punish an injury done to himself; cannot be a witness or a judge in his own cause; is not to act upon his personal judgment or from a dictate of private will, but to pronounce according to law and justice; ought ever to regard equity; should have two salts: the salt of wisdom and the salt of conscience. See Discretion, 5. The power and jurisdiction of a judge constitute the office of a judge. The constitutional grant of this power is incapable of any limitation but that attached to the grant; and the object is to secure independence in the judiciary. But the aggregate of the duties of a judge maybe diminished by the division of his district or by the election of an assistant. Upon a judge as such no functions can be imposed except those of a judicial nature. Judicial authority, conferred upon a court, is to be exercised by the judges organized as a court. All judicial officers are exempt from liability tor their judicial acts done within their jurisdiction; and judges of subordinate and general authority are exempt even where the judicial act is in excess of their jurisdiction, unless, perhaps, when done maliciously or corruptly. Judges of linlited and inferior authority are protected when they act within their jurisdiction. It is a general principle of the highest importance to the proper administration of justice that a judicial officer, in exercising the authority vested in him, should be free to act upon his own convictions, without apprehension of personal consequences to himself. This rule exists for the benefit of the public, and was established to secure the independence of the judge. Should he act witli partiality, maliciously, corruptly, arbitrarily, or oppressively, he may be removed from office by impeachment, and vote of the legislature. No man can be a good judge who does not feel free to follow the dictates of his own mind. In a country where the people rule, and where popular clamor is apt to sway the multitude, nothing is more important than that the judges should be kept independent. The settled law of the Supreme Court is that where any judicial officer, a justice of the peace included, acts within his jurisdiction, he is not amenable to a civil action for damages. His motives cannot be inquired into. An act may be so entirely in excess of jurisdiction as to make it the arbitrary or unlawful act of a private person. See Bribery; Certificate; Charge, 2 (2, c); Coubt; Decision; Gown; Jodgment; Judicial; Jurisdiction; Jury; Jus, Dicere; Legislation, Judicial; Notes; Opinion, 3; Prejudice: Preside.


Notes and References

  1. Concept of Judge provided by the Anderson Dictionary of Law (1889) (Dictionary of Law consisting of Judicial Definitions and Explanations of Words, Phrases and Maxims and an Exposition of the Principles of Law: Comprising a Dictionary and Compendium of American and English Jurisprudence; William C. Anderson; T. H. Flood and Company, Law Publishers, Chicago, United States)

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Schema Summary

  • Article Name: Judge
  • Author: MacCallum
  • Description: Judge Meaning Judge in Scottish Law The expert in law who is in charge of all court proceedings and ensures legal rules are [...]

This entry was last updated: January 3, 2017



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