Duties, rights and obligations of officers of the Court

QC’s, Barristers Solicitors, Magistrates legal advisors (used to be called clerks)

 

Courts are not adversarial – a myth created by the legal profession…

Courts are fictions of law where justice is administered. They cannot act for they have no being. They acts through its agents, the officers of the court, which are the justices of the peace (Magistrates and judges) and any one authorised in the legal profession, namely solicitors, barristers and Queens Council (QC’s).

 

All Courts are Courts of Equity (conscience) - another myth busted…

Following the merger of equity and the common law in the Judicature Acts 1873 to 1875, all Courts were granted equitable jurisdiction. Section 49(2) of the Senior Courts Act 1981 [1] affirms in every case before the courts the rules of equity must be applied so as to avoid a multiplicity of suites and thereby make efficient use of the courts resources by not reinventing the wheel in every case. Being the higher authority, both the Magistrates Courts and the Crown Court must abide it in additition to being a common law precedence set in 1615!

Common Law obligations:

The lawful obligations of court officers is eloquently expressed in their negative, quoted in full, by The Lord Chief Justice in Brett v SRA [2014] EWHC 2974 (Admin) [2] at 111 expressing:

"…misleading the court is regarded by the court and must be regarded by any disciplinary tribunal as one of the most serious offences that an advocate or litigator can commit. It is not simply a breach of a rule of a game, but a fundamental affront to a rule designed to safeguard the fairness and justice of proceedings. Such conduct will normally attract an exemplary and deterrent sentence. That is in part because our system for the administration of justice relies so heavily upon the integrity of the profession and the full discharge of the profession's duties and in part because the privilege of conducting litigation or appearing in court is granted on terms that the rules are observed not merely in their letter but in their spirit. Indeed, the reputation of the system of the administration of justice in England and Wales and the standing of the profession depends particularly upon the discharge of the duties owed to the court."

 Legal obligations:

QC’s, Barristers Solicitors, Magistrates legal advisors (used to be called clerks) all have obligations under the Legal Services Act 2007; Part 1 [3], specifically Section (1) (a) (b) and (h), where, as an "authorised person" at (2), are obliged under (3) to adhere to their "professional principles", as detailed in the Solicitors Regulation Authority SRA Handbook [4] and / or the Bar Standards Board BSB Handbook [5], and / or CILEX Code of Conduct [6] specifically breached his following obligations;

  • overriding duty and obligation to uphold the rule of law, and the constitutional principal of the rule of law, and
  • their duty to the court which overrides their duty to their client, and
  • an obligation to provide the court with all relevant law, including dissenting opinions which may undermine their case (THIS MEANS EACH OFFICER AND THEREBY DISPELLING THE MYTH THAT THE UK SYSTEM IS ADVERSERIAL).
  • obligation not to attempt to deceive or knowingly or recklessly mislead the court, and
  • obligation to take special care when dealing with litigants in person to use plain language and not to take advantage by bullying and unjustifiable threats or misleading or deceitful behaviour, and
  • Not to claim what cannot rightfully be claimed, and
  • Not to create a dispute where none exists.

[1] https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/1981/54/section/49

[2] https://www.casemine.com/judgement/uk/5a8ff74460d03e7f57eaa98a

[3] https://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/2007/29/part/1

[4] https://www.sra.org.uk/solicitors/standards-regulations/

[5] https://www.barstandardsboard.org.uk/uploads/assets/de77ead9-9400-4c9d-bef91353ca9e5345/fdf622a6-ec2a-469f-9e0af0b7a55edcd3/second-edition-test31072019104713.pdf

[6] https://cilexregulation.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/2.-Code-of-Conduct-2019.pdf