star chamber proceedings
Proceedings of any court or other government body that are held in secret and produce arbitrary results. This derogatory term takes its name from an English court, whose members were appointed by the crown, that met in the 15th to 17th centuries. That court, which met in a room that was apparently decorated with gilt stars, decided guilt and punishment of people accused of violating the monarch's orders. Its practices made "star chamber" synonymous with any unfair and secretive proceedings.
Category: Small Claims Court & Lawsuits

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

star chamber proceedings
n.
   any judicial or quasi-judicial action, trial or hearing which so grossly violates standards of "due process" that a party appearing in the proceedings (hearing or trial) is denied a fair hearing. The term comes from a large room with a ceiling decorated with stars in which secret hearings of the privy council and judges met to determine punishment for disobedience of the proclamations of King Henry VIII of Great Britain (1509-1547). The high-handed, unfair, predetermined judgments, which sent the accused to the Tower of London or to the chopping block, made "star chamber" synonymous with unfairness and illegality from the bench. In modern American history the best example of star chamber proceedings was the conduct of the House Un-American Activities Committee (1938-1975), which used its subpena power to intimidate citizens by asking them unconstitutional questions about their political beliefs and associations, and then charging them with contempt of Congress for refusing to answer. Another example was the conduct of criminal proceedings against black defendants in some southern states from 1876 until the late 1960s.
   See also: kangaroo court

Law dictionary. . 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Star Chamber — late 14c., apartment in the royal palace at Westminster in which members of the king s council sat to exercise jurisdiction 14 15c., it evolved 15c. into a court of criminal jurisdiction, proverbial under James I and Charles I for arbitrary and… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Star Chamber — This article is about the court. For other uses, see Star Chamber (disambiguation). 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 Counsellors …   Wikipedia

  • star-chamber — ˈ ̷ ̷| ̷ ̷ ̷ ̷ adjective Etymology: Star Chamber, a court existing in England from the 15th century until 1641 that exercised wide civil and criminal jurisdiction under rules of procedure well suited to the purposes of absolutist sovereigns 1. :… …   Useful english dictionary

  • star chamber — noun a legal or administrative body with strict, arbitrary rulings and secretive proceedings …   Wiktionary

  • The Star Chamber — Infobox Film name =The Star Chamber | > imdb id =0086356 writer =Roderick Taylor starring =Michael Douglas Hal Holbrook Yaphet Kotto Sharon Gless director =Peter Hyams producer = distributor = 20th Century Fox released =August 5, 1983 runtime =… …   Wikipedia

  • star-cham|ber — Star Chamber, a court that existed in England from 1487 until 1641, enabled to proceed and act without regard for the common law, in secret session, without a jury, and in which confessions were often obtained by torture. ╂[Middle English sterred …   Useful english dictionary

  • Star — For other uses, see Star (disambiguation) …   Wikipedia

  • Old Supreme Court Chamber — Chamber as viewed from southwest. The Old Supreme Court Chamber is the room on the ground floor of the North Wing of the United States Capitol. From 1800 to 1806, the room was the lower half of the first United States Senate chamber, and from… …   Wikipedia

  • Sir Walter Long, 1st Baronet — of Whaddon (c1603 15 November 1672) was an English politician.The second son of Henry Long (1564 1612) and Rebecca Bailey, Long was Educated at Lincoln s Inn. He had inherited no land at his father s death, but when his elder brother Henry died… …   Wikipedia

  • List of law topics (S-Z) — NOTOC Law [From Old English lagu something laid down or fixed ; legal comes from Latin legalis , from lex law , statute ( [http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?search=law searchmode=none Law] , Online Etymology Dictionary; [http://www.m… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”