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Statement from Chief Justice the Hon. Sir Anthony Smellie, KCMG, KC

Government 13 Sep, 2022 Follow News

Sir Anthony Smellie

On behalf of the judiciary and the legal profession, I express condolences and profound sadness and regret at the passing of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. 

Her unwavering commitment and dedication to service as our Sovereign set the highest standards for us in the judiciary and the legal profession, as it must for all.

To mark her passing, the Court’s flag will continue to fly at half-mast until after 8 am on the day after the state funeral.

In addition, I invite our Judges and Magistrates to mark our sense of loss in Court on Monday (12th September) with two minutes of silence.

The end of the reign of our late sovereign marks the close of a remarkable era that will undoubtedly assume a unique and profound perspective for generations to come. 

Among the legal and judicial community, her passing comes with some comparatively small but nevertheless important changes that will take immediate effect in several aspects of legal and judicial tradition.

Notably among these, with the ascension of King Charles III, the title of the prestigious tribute informally known as “taking silk” has been automatically converted from Queen’s Counsel (QC) to King’s Counsel (KC). This will also apply retroactively.

In Court terminology, where a criminal case is heard between the Crown and an individual or organization, the matter will be referred to as “R v Name (of defendant)”, in which “R” stands for Latin “Rex” (the King).

Similarly, the formal Call to Order of Court sessions will be now made “in the name of the King.”

May I take this opportunity to encourage us all to remain steadfast in our commitment to the values the late Queen Elizabeth II so consistently demonstrated throughout her life: courage, compassion, integrity, kindness, humour, and, above all, duty.


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