The Star Chamber (Latin: Camera stellata) was an English court of law that sat at the royal Palace of Westminster until 1641. It was made up of Privy Councillors, as well as common-law judges and supplemented the activities of the common-law and equity courts in both civil and criminal matters. The court was set up to ensure the fair enforcement of laws against prominent people, those so powerful that ordinary courts could never convict them of their crimes. Court sessions were held in secret, with no indictments, and no witnesses. Evidence was presented in writing. Over time it evolved into a political weapon, a symbol of the misuse and abuse of power by the English monarchy and courts.
In modern usage, legal or administrative bodies with strict, arbitrary rulings and secretive proceedings are sometimes called, metaphorically or poetically, star chambers. This is a pejorative term and intended to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the proceedings. The inherent lack of objectivity of any politically motivated charges has led to substantial reforms in English law in most jurisdictions since that time.
Other articles related to "star chamber, chamber":
... was added on the subsequent provincial tour, and the final three, including Star Chamber, were added during the London run ... The story in Star Chamber draws on Coward's own experiences as President of the Actors' Orphanage, a post he held from 1934 to 1956 ... The Broadway production in 1936 omitted Star Chamber as did the Canadian productions in 1938, the Broadway revivals in 1948 and 1967 and the 1981 Lyric Theatre production in ...
... Star Chamber is a one act play by Noël Coward, one of ten that make up Tonight at 830, a cycle written to be performed in alternating groups of three plays, across three evenings ... one of my more sentimental ambitions." Star Chamber concerns a charity committee meeting among various actors around a table ...
... The Court of Castle Chamber, the Irish counterpart of Star Chamber, was transformed into a regular and efficient part of the Irish administration ... "lest it should be a means to prejudice that staple commodity of England." Castle Chamber, like its model Star Chamber, was accused of brutal and arbitrary proceedings ... fined the sheriff £1,000 for summoning such a jury, and cited the jurymen to the castle chamber to answer for their offence ...
... ones who arranged the death sentence were actually the Star Chamber, the highest court in the government ... more detective work, Bruce finally finds out the Star Chamber's location, and in the process finds a government testing facility filled with human guinea pigs ... Bruce, at long last, finds the Star Chamber, and confronts one of its members about his parents ...
... figures, Puritan Daniel Waterhouse, appears before an illegally reconstituted Star Chamber tribunal ... In the 1983 movie The Star Chamber, Michael Douglas, playing an idealistic Los Angeles Superior Court judge frustrated about having to free obviously ... Terry Pratchett, the Patrician's Palace contains the Rats Chamber, an anagrammatical equivalent to the actual Star Chamber ...
Famous quotes containing the words chamber and/or star:
“But it is the same thing we are all seeing,
Our world. Go after it,
Go get it boy, says the man holding the stick.
Eat, says the hunger, and we plunge blindly in again,
Into the chamber behind the thought.”
—John Ashbery (b. 1927)
“...indeed, star differs from star in glory.”
—Bible: New Testament, 1 Corinthians 15:41.