Inter-Governmental Organization "IGO"

Higher Level Barristers at Common Law

 

The Inter-Governmental Bar Council (IGBC), an official agency of the Sovereign Court of International Justice (SCIJ), embodies the traditional Bar of the independent Judiciary Profession at Common Law, supporting and governing the independent Legal Profession internationally.

 

International law, comprised of historical customary law and modern conventional law, embodies the “Common Law”, which is essentially the timeless principles of natural law, of the fundamental legal values common to humanity, as the “Higher Law” above and beyond the limited statutory jurisdiction of the State, as the true “Law above the Law”. [1]

 

International law establishes the supreme authority of an “independent” and “international” Judiciary (1948 Declaration of Human Rights, Articles 10, 28), exercising supra-governmental “universal jurisdiction” (2005 Right to Remedy for Human Rights, Articles 4, 5, 12, 14), as an “inter-governmental organization” of “independent judicial authority… at the international level” (1998 Right to Protect Human Rights, Articles 1, 5, 9.2, 9.3(c), 9.4).

 

This independent Judiciary of “professional Judges” at Common Law, together with its international Court and Bar Council, has “exclusive authority” of “judicial decisions” without State interference (1985 Principles on Independence of the Judiciary, Preamble §1, §10, Articles 3, 4), for providing “customary Justice” of the Common Law (1985 Declaration of Justice for Abuse of Power, Article 7), which is binding upon all States regardless of recognition (1969 Convention on Law of Treaties, Article 38).

 

As a result of these codified legal authorities at the supra-governmental level of conventional international law, the Inter-Governmental Bar Council (IGBC), of the Sovereign Court of International Justice (SCIJ), supported by Templar Inn of Court, can officially establish Barristers to the highest levels of the Legal Profession at Common Law.  The Bar Council can thus legitimately elevate Barristers to the traditional and proper status of titled International Judge, Crown Counsel, and Privy Councillor.

 

The Independence of an “International Judge”

 

Historically the Crown, as the Sovereign embodying the State, “is considered… the fountain of Justice” as the Fons Honourum source of Judiciary authority.  However, legal scholarship proves that the ultimate true source of this capacity is the people of the nations:  “The original power of Judicature, by the fundamental principles of society, is lodged in the society at large… in their collective capacity”.  It is thus an established doctrine of law that “the public, which is an invisible body, has delegated… execution of the laws to one visible” institution of the State, “so delegated by the public.” [2]

 

Early 19th century legal scholars emphasize that even the State, in turn, must further delegate the power of Justice to the independent Judiciary Profession:  “By the long and uniform usage of many ages, the King has delegated his whole Judicial power to the Judges” who represent “the fundamental laws… regulated by certain and established rules”. [3]

 

Based upon this legal doctrine, in Common Law as customary international law, the “distinct and separate existence of the Judicial power” is vested in a professional “body of men, nominated indeed, but not removeable at pleasure by the Crown”, independently empowered as the “main preservative of the public liberty.”  By this ancient principle of the Judiciary, “the administration of Common Justice [must] be… separated both from the legislative and also from the executive power.” [4]

 

Accordingly, the State cannot create Judges, but can only appoint Judges to preside over State Courts, by selecting from among those who are already career Judges as established by the independent Judiciary Profession:  One does not need to ever work for a State Court of any particular country to be an official Judge with full Judiciary authority in international law; One can only be properly created a Judge by being a Barrister called to the Bar and elevated to the rank of Judge at Common law by the independent Judiciary.

 

Therefore, the Inter-Governmental Bar Council (IGBC), representing universal jurisdiction of international law, can officially and legitimately elevate a Barrister to the higher rank and title of “International Judge”.

 

As a Judge is a higher rank of Barrister, one can continue to practice law, customarily using the title of Barrister when representing a client at Bar, and the title Judge when exercising authority of the Judiciary.  For some countries where a Judge is not understood as a rank of Barrister, such as where State Judges are not permitted to practice law as lawyers, the Bar Council may issue International Practising Certificates for Judges using the title “International Judge Advocate” to indicate authorized law practice.

 

The Rare Prestige of “Crown Counsel”

 

Throughout the rich history of the Legal Profession, one of the most prestigious types of Barrister, at the highest level of the Bar with High Court Judges, is the status of King’s Counsel or Queen’s Counsel, indicated by the famous post-nominal letters “K.C.” or “Q.C.”  As this honour is granted by a Crown Sovereign, the appropriate gender-neutral term is “Crown Counsel” (indicated as “C.C.”).

 

Since the 16th century Elizabethan period:  “A King’s Counsel is appointed by Letters Patent to be ‘one of His Majesty’s counsel learned in the law.’  The appointment rests with the Lord Chancellor… [and] it is generally understood that a Barrister must be of at least ten years’ standing before he is appointed a King’s Counsel.” [5]

 

“The first King’s Counsel was Sir Francis Bacon [in 1596], who was appointed by Queen Elizabeth…  There was not another appointment of a King’s Counsel until 1668, when Lord Chancellor Francis North was so honoured.  From 1775 King’s Counsel may be said to have become a regular order.” [6]

 

Originally, Crown Counsel was a royal title of office for a Barrister in active service, who was directly advising, representing, and even litigating in Court, as legal counsel on behalf of the King or Queen as the Crown Sovereign.  That more active role later became the separate and higher title of “Privy Councillor”.

 

Traditionally, Crown Counsels were appointed “honoris causa” (“h.c.”), meaning for earned merit, on the basis of having “made a major contribution to the law”, which has been awarded “to law professors, sometimes historians, and parliamentary counsel” [7].  In the modern era, Crown Counsel is sometimes “an honourary appointment given to select lawyers in recognition of their contributions to the legal profession and public life”, as an “honourary title” (“hon.”) [8].

 

Legal historians note that:  “The higher rank among Barristers is that of King’s or Queen’s Counsel.  They lead in Court, and give opinions on cases submitted to them, but they do not accept” regular legal work, “nor do they admit pupils to their Chambers” for Pupillage training to become Barristers.  As Crown Counsel was the highest rank above the “old order of serjeants at law… now extinct”, which required holding Doctorate qualifications, traditionally Crown Counsels are expected to hold a Doctorate degree. [9] Generally to become Crown Counsel, one must first achieve the higher Barrister ranking of Judge of the Bar at Common Law.

 

In the British Commonwealth countries, Crown Counsels hold the customary privilege of “Precedence at Bar”, meaning they are permitted to sit within the inner Bar of the Court together with the Judges, instead of with the Barristers at Bar.  This privilege of precedence also extends to the traditional Inns of Court:  “Usually a member of an Inn, on attaining the rank of King’s Counsel, is invited to the Bench” of governance of that Inn [10].

 

Traditionally Crown Counsel appointments are very limited and exclusive:  “Their number was very small… [from] 20 in 1789… but at the beginning of the 20th century there were over 250.” [11] Despite the numbers increasing, the proportion of appointments remained basically the same, and was maintained even through 2010, such that only about 8.0% of Barristers traditionally become Crown Counsels [12].

 

As of the year 2010, there are approximately 1,200 Queen’s Counsels in the British Commonwealth system, still comprising about 8.0% of the 15,400 Barristers at that time [13].  Of an estimated 2.0 million licensed lawyers worldwide [14], Crown Counsels thus comprise only 0.06% (or “6% of 1.0%”) of lawyers internationally.

 

Outside of England and Wales, the higher Bar ranking of King’s Counsel (K.C.) or Queen’s Counsel (Q.C.) is granted only in New Zealand, some parts of Australia and Canada, and Barbados.  In some of the Commonwealth Countries, this rank at Bar has been continued as Senior Counsel (S.C.).

 

Fortunately, the few countries of the British system do not have a monopoly on creating traditional Crown Counsels (C.C.):

 

Quite simply, the United Kingdom is not the only kingdom in the world, and does not have the only King or Queen in the world, who can give Sovereign Assent to officially elevate a Barrister to the rank of Crown Counsel.

 

In customary international law, Crown Counsel is appointed on the basis of applications for a selection process, resulting in an official recommendation to the Crown, which is then ratified by Sovereign Assent, thereby authorizing a Crown Chancellor to issue the Letters Patent of appointment.

 

Accordingly, appointment of Crown Counsel can be initiated and arranged by a Bar Council, Ministry of Justice or other institution holding Crown Patronage to make the official recommendation to a Sovereign.  Alternately, appointment can be directly and fully granted by an official body of a sovereign subject of international law, if holding Crown Patronage granting “prerogative right of the Crown” with “power of appointing”. [15]

 

Therefore, the Inter-Governmental Bar Council (IGBC), an agency of the Sovereign Court of International Justice (SCIJ), an Official Body of the IGO Ignita Veritas United (IVU) as a sovereign subject of international law, has the official standing to arrange and register awards of Crown Counsel status.  The Bar Council can thus initiate such arrangements in connection with various IGO Member States and affiliated historical institutions which possess Fons Honourum of royal or magistral Crown sovereignty in customary international law.

 

The Exclusive Status of “Privy Councillor”

 

The highest form of Crown Counsel is the traditional status of “Privy Councillor”, indicated by the most renowned post-nominal letters “P.C.”  The word “Privy” means “private”, emphasizing the confidentiality of State secrets required of the closest advisors to the Sovereign as Head of State.

 

Traditionally, Privy Councillor (P.C.) is a title of office for a Barrister in active service, directly advising, representing, and even litigating in Court, as legal counsel for a Crown Sovereign or Head of State.  This position may also be granted to an expert advisor in another field other than law.  From the early 20th century, this status can be granted to “eminent people whose membership and position are titular only… made Privy Councillors as a special distinction.” [16]

 

In customary practice, although a Privy Councillor is not necessarily a Barrister, this role tends to have inherent elements of a Judiciary nature, such that Judges of the Bar at Common Law are greatly preferred to this position.

 

Historically, “Privy Counsellors are made by the King’s nomination, without either patent or grant… taking the proper oaths for security of the government.”  The primary and central duty of the oath of office is “To advise for the King’s honour and good of the public, without partiality”.  “The Privy Council… is likewise a Court of Justice of great antiquity: the primitive and ordinary way of government… frequently used by all our Kings for determining controversies of great importance; the ordinary Judges have sometimes declined giving judgment, till they had consulted [with] Privy Council… as being, by long experience, better able to judge of… some State affairs”. [17]

 

The royal Privy Council always included “the Chief Justiciary”, and its “duties were to advise the King in matters of legislation and administration, [and] to see Justice done” through “judicial power” while observing “a separation of powers” [18].  The “Lord Chief Justice… and the Lords Justices… are always members of the Privy Council, and have rank and place as Privy Councillors” [19].

 

The title of Privy Councillor is not limited to a monarchial government, and equally applies to a Barrister for the Head of State of the government of any sovereign subject of international law possessing statehood.  This most exclusive and prestigious status can thus be granted to a Barrister who is actively in direct service as legal counsel for one or more Sovereigns or Heads of State, advising the government and representing the State in an international Court of Law.

 

In the British system, the higher Bar ranking of Privy Councillor (P.C.) is granted to Barristers only in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.  (Although there is an advisory body called “Privy Council” in a few Commonwealth countries, Denmark, Netherlands and Norway, “State Council” in France, Germany and Greece, and “Crown Council” in Belgium and Ethiopia, these are councils of Ministers, which do not grant any related title for lawyers.)

 

The Inter-Governmental Bar Council (IGBC), an agency of the Sovereign Court of International Justice (SCIJ), an Official Body of the IGO Ignita Veritas United (IVU), is in a position to recommend its Barristers and facilitate any resulting appointments as Privy Councillor (P.C.), in connection with various IGO Member States and affiliated States in diplomatic relations.  It also has the official standing to recognize and register such appointments of Privy Councillor status as a higher ranking of Barrister within the international Bar of the independent Judiciary Profession.

 

 


 

[1] Edward Samuel Corwin, The ‘Higher Law’ Background of American Constitutional Law. Liberty Fund (1928), Great Seal Books (1955); Compiled from Harvard Law Review articles by Edward S. Corwin (1878-1963), a Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University (1908-1946).

[2] London Encyclopaedia, 1st Edition, Thomas Tegg, London (1829), Volume 12, “Justices of the Peace Within Liberties”, at pp.283-284.

[3] London Encyclopaedia, 1st Edition, Thomas Tegg, London (1829), Volume 12, “Justices of the Peace Within Liberties”, at p.284.

[4] London Encyclopaedia, 1st Edition, Thomas Tegg, London (1829), Volume 12, “Justices of the Peace Within Liberties”, at p.284.

[5] Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, New York (1911), Volume 3, “Barrister”, at p.438.

[6] Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, New York (1911), Volume 3, “Barrister”, at p.438.

[7] Mike Souper, Barristers and Solicitors – Queen’s Counsel, Sixth Form Law (2008).

[8] Alberta Cabinet, Justice Initiatives: Queen’s Counsel Appointments, Alberta Ministry of Justice and Solicitor General, Canada (2016).

[9] Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, New York (1911), Volume 3, “Barrister”, at p.438.

[10] Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, New York (1911), Volume 14, “Inns of Court”, at p.584.

[11] Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, New York (1911), Volume 3, “Barrister”, at p.438.

[12] Bar Standards Board, Bar Barometer Trends in the Profile of the Bar (2011), The General Council of the Bar of England and Wales, Research Department (December 2011), “Queen’s Counsel”, Article 9.2, at p.28.

[13] Bar Standards Board, Bar Barometer Trends in the Profile of the Bar (2011), The General Council of the Bar of England and Wales, Research Department (December 2011), “Summary: Key Facts”, at p.6.

[14] ABA Lawyer Demographics: Year 2016, American Bar Association; indicating 1.3 million American lawyers, considered to comprise 70% of lawyers in all countries, resulting in an estimated 2.0 million lawyers worldwide.

[15] Dominion of Canada v. Provinces of Ontario, Judicial Committee of the Privy Council Decisions, Ontario (8 December 1897), [1897] UKPC 49, [1898] AC 247.

[16] Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, New York (1911), Volume 22, “Privy Council”, at p.372.

[17] London Encyclopaedia, 1st Edition, Thomas Tegg, London (1829), Volume 18, “Pricy Council”, at p.124.

[18] Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, New York (1911), Volume 22, “Privy Council”, at p.371.

[19] Encyclopaedia Britannica, 11th Edition, New York (1911), Volume 22, “Precedence”, at pp.269-270, footnote 9.

 

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