According to the National Archives the "Star Chamber, [was] named after the star-spangled ceiling of the room where it met in the old palace of Westminster, was effectively the judicial arm of the King’s Council. It became a separate court of law after 1485, but was abolished in 1641. Its judges were normally privy councilors and the judges of the common law courts: they were responsible for administering justice directly and supervising other courts. Its business expanded significantly under the Tudors; in the 1530s Star Chamber dealt with about 150 cases a year but by 1600, over 700. Many Star Chamber cases, which frequently allege public disorder, riot, forcible entry and assault, were really private disputes about property rights. The court also investigated corruption in administration by officials and in the administration of justice, including corruption of juries, municipal and trade disputes, fraud, and disputes over the enclosure of land."
Taking a little more information from Encyclopedia Britannica we learn that:
"It was during the chancellorship of Thomas Wolsey (1515–29) that the judicial activity of the Star Chamber grew with greatest rapidity. In addition to prosecuting riot and such crimes, Wolsey used the court with increased vigour against perjury, slander, forgery, fraud, offenses against legislation and the king’s proclamations, and any action that could be considered a breach of the peace. The court used the procedures of the king’s council. Cases began upon petition or information. Depositions were taken from witnesses, but no jury was used."
"When, however, [the Star Chamber] was used by Charles I to enforce unpopular political and ecclesiastical policies, it became a symbol of oppression to the parliamentary and Puritan opponents of Charles and Archbishop William Laud. It was, therefore, abolished by the Long Parliament in 1641."
It seems it took an unhappy public to realise that the Star Chamber sessions were being used to oppress the population rather than to administer justice.
Today the British public is increasingly unhappy in a country clearly governed by an elite for the elite. We are heavily taxed, given poorly paid work, our children are stolen by the state, our public assets are sold to the highest bidder, our Queen has committed treason by accepting mediatisation and handing her powers to a foreign state - the EU, our young men and women die in unlawful overseas wars, our system of justice protects the guilty and victimises the victim, our politicians steal expenses and cover-up the abuse of children, our old people are betrayed and neglected whilst our youth are kept ignorant and suppressed.
Yet despite the visible and tangible oppression that we experience from our own government, the British public in 2015 seems unable to realise that Star Chambers are again being empowered - not to oppress us, but to enslave us in a society without truth and justice.
It took the Daily Mail to sound the alert...
"How 3,000 trials have already been held in 'secret' under new fast-track money-saving scheme which ends centuries of open justice"
The article states that "for the first time, details of cases are not being read out in an open court, and there is no bench made up of magistrates, no lawyers, no defendant and no access for the press or public."
It adds that "Under the Single Justice Procedure SJP [introduced in the Criminal Justice and Courts Act 2015], a single lay judge reads the background papers and passes sentence while sitting in private with a legal adviser.
The Ministry of Justice says not to worry, it will save money from the public purse, and it will only be used where an offender pleaded guilty to a minor offence. Not to worry? We should be very worried because under the common law of this land we should only be judged by a jury of our peers in a court where justice is seen to be done.
Secret Star Chamber courts are already being used by the Family Law Division to divide families and steal children. Short of murder what more heinous crime can there be than to take children from their parents in a closed court with no jury, public or press...and yes, for the people who ask what I know, I have been there and experienced the bullying, lies perjury and oppression for myself.
Modern man, the man of the present age, always thinks that he is more intelligent than his forebears. This is a highly dangerous illusion, because the wise actions and council of the past are often dismissed within this arrogant and misguided view.
We should be looking very closely the rise of Star Chambers in our present society and taking a deep interest in why the Long Parliament of 1641 did away with them. Of course the Star Chamber of old handed out cruel and barbaric punishments. Branding for example, although they stopped short of death.
No so today? British governments under both the Conservative and Labour administration have been actively involved in the torture of individuals via water boarding and other modern methods, all without any recourse to a court hearing. Child abuse survivors such as Melanie Shaw are locked in solitary confinement, bullied, physically assaulted, harassed and denied medical treatment. Oh, and without appearing in front of a jury of their peers, or the public, or the press of course.
Yes, we have made huge progress in 400 years...or perhaps not.
The trouble is that in the frenetic modern world of TV, videos, mind numbing musak, constant propaganda news reports, and widespread press and media dross, we have forgotten how to sit and contemplate. We can no longer think in the peaceful daily environment that was the norm in 1641.
Yet we must struggle to break free of these chains because the next step from Family Courts and SJP is already being promoted.
Enter the bad Baron of Nottingham Kenneth Clarke MP breeches and tassel.
According to Kenneth all 'right-thinking' citizens should support secret courts. Published on 28 February 2013 the article states that "Ken Clarke, the minister without portfolio, said the Government had “gone to extreme lengths to meet every practical legal objection” to the controversial measures proposed in the Justice and Security Bill."
No they hadn't. A month earlier the government made amendments allowing a judge rather than a minister to decide if a case should be held in private.
With clinical precision the legal charity Reprieve warned...
“These amendments make minor modifications to the road towards secret courts, but they do nothing to address the fundamental unfairness of the provisions at the heart of this Bill,” a spokesman said.
"It is simple common sense that a system of justice which puts the Government above the law is one that should be rejected - MPs must vote against these plans when they return to the Commons."
Without the wisdom of 1641, the British public have allowed their parliament to become infested with liars, criminals and perverts. These odious men and women could never be relied upon to vote against these plans, and indeed they did not.
We are now ruled by a Westminster run by MP's that hate Britain, the British people, their children, as well as morality, truth and justice.
If we do not learn the lesson of 1641, and take the necessary action now, we may end up with one choice - the 1642 choice - English Civil War. Common sense and some 160,000 deaths of our fellow countrymen should tell us which way we need to go.