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The Star Chamber and the Regulation of the Legal Profession 1570-1640: Re-Evaluating Revisionism

American Journal of Legal History, Vol. 51, 2011

88 Pages Posted: 14 Dec 2010 Last revised: 17 Feb 2012

Ryan Patrick Alford

Lakehead University - Bora Laskin Faculty of Law

Date Written: December 14, 2010

Abstract

This article is a study of the regulation of the legal profession by the Star Chamber in the late Elizabethan and early Stuart periods. It addresses whether the Court developed a new regulatory regime during the early Stuart era that was used to punish lawyers within the constitutionalist opposition. The article demonstrates that the royalist view of the Star Chamber’s powers that developed during the early Stuart period drew heavily on jurisdictional theory first elaborated by William Lambarde.

The article will argue that the Court’s attempts to assert its extraordinary jurisdiction over the legal profession as a whole for the first time during this era were a response to crises that had escalated tensions over the royal prerogative. The article concludes that further studies of the use of the extraordinary jurisdiction of the Star Chamber over the legal profession as a means of repression during the early Stuart era and whether this contributed to the Court’s abolition remain pertinent.

Keywords: Star Chamber, William Lambarde, Francis Bacon, Legal Profession, Early Stuart Era, Elizabethan, English Revolution

JEL Classification: K4, K40, K41, K42

Suggested Citation

Alford, Ryan Patrick, The Star Chamber and the Regulation of the Legal Profession 1570-1640: Re-Evaluating Revisionism (December 14, 2010). American Journal of Legal History, Vol. 51, 2011. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1725432

Ryan Patrick Alford (Contact Author)

Lakehead University - Bora Laskin Faculty of Law ( email )

955 Oliver Road
Thunder Bay, ON P7B 5E1
Canada

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