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Old 03-16-2018, 08:40 AM
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Gavels (and maces)


https://www.straightdope.com/columns...an-courtrooms/

UK courtrooms may not use the gavel but don't they (at least sometimes) use the mace? i.e., that staff they bang three times on the floor and say "hear ye, hear ye", or something like that? Or am I thinking of sessions of Parliament?
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Old 03-16-2018, 05:18 PM
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There's a twitter account called Inappropriate Gavels that fulminates against UK media/film/TV illustrating British justice with gavels.

https://twitter.com/igavels?lang=en

There's a seemingly inexhaustible supply of material (mostly because of the lazy use of stock images, I suspect)
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Old 03-16-2018, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Lumpy View Post

UK courtrooms may not use the gavel but don't they (at least sometimes) use the mace? i.e., that staff they bang three times on the floor and say "hear ye, hear ye", or something like that? Or am I thinking of sessions of Parliament?
Maces are a Royalty/Parliament thing mostly

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceremo...United_Kingdom
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Old 03-16-2018, 09:02 PM
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“Useless tool.” Heh.
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Old 03-20-2018, 08:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lumpy View Post
https://www.straightdope.com/columns...an-courtrooms/

UK courtrooms may not use the gavel but don't they (at least sometimes) use the mace? i.e., that staff they bang three times on the floor and say "hear ye, hear ye", or something like that? Or am I thinking of sessions of Parliament?
If they did, it would be called a tipstaff, not a mace. I've never seen one.
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Old 03-21-2018, 12:32 PM
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Thumping a staff on the floor three times is a tradition at the Comédie Française in Paris, as that was what used to be done to announce the start of theatrical performances in the 17th (and 18th?) centuries. It was also the way orchestras were conducted (the composer Lully died as a result of an infection when he managed to thump his staff on his own foot).

But I've never heard of it in the UK: maces are carried in ceremonial processions as a symbol of authority, not just in Parliament or for the judiciary, but often for occasional ceremonials in local government (one of my great-uncles was Macer for Edinburgh City Council), universities and organisations like City livery companies, but AFAIK they're just shown - too expensive to be whacked on a floor - and court ushers and clerks just use a stentorian voice for any calling a court into session.

If there's any "Hear ye!" to be done, these days it's just the surviving Town Criers - and they use a handbell.
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Old 03-21-2018, 02:32 PM
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Old 03-21-2018, 03:01 PM
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If they did, it would be called a tipstaff, not a mace. I've never seen one.
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Old 03-21-2018, 10:33 PM
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Gilbert’s own illustration for Trial by Jury shows the Usher with a tipstaff. Note that Gilbert was a barrister, and noted that the set, costumes, etc., should be as realistic as possible.
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Old 03-22-2018, 08:46 AM
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the last bit of Cecil's column seems to line up with my experience. the two times I've been in a courtroom (voir dire) I didn't even see if the judge had a gavel on the bench. IIRC it's when the judge says "Court is now in session" that everything becomes on-the-record official proceedings.
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Old 03-22-2018, 10:29 AM
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Maces are a Royalty/Parliament thing mostly

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceremo...United_Kingdom
And see:

A British MP once got in trouble for picking up the House of Commons's mace and brandishing it during a debate: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/82544.stm
The U.S. House of Representatives has a mace: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mace_o...epresentatives
As does the Virginia House of Delegates: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mace_o...e_of_Delegates
The South Carolina Senate has a state sword, of all things! Scroll down here: https://www.scstatehouse.gov/student...uff/seal.shtml
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Old 03-22-2018, 11:31 AM
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And see:

The South Carolina Senate has a state sword, of all things! Scroll down here: https://www.scstatehouse.gov/student...uff/seal.shtml
South Carolina also has a mace for the House of Representatives. According to the link you provided regarding our sword, the mace is the only state ceremonial mace still in existence that was made prior to the Revolution.

Yeah, South Carolina can be all about the pomp at times. Indeed, we've been called pompous before.
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Old 03-26-2018, 06:54 PM
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While re-reading this, a thought sprang to mind about the Bailiffs mace. I have no idea where I got the idea that a Bailiff carries a "mace" but www confirms that it's true: traditionally they do. The web tells me that the Bailiffs mace is far removed from the idea of a weapon: it is explicitly a symbol of authority, like a police badge or warrant card.
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Old 03-26-2018, 11:21 PM
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all the Canadian legislatures have maces. If it's on the clerks' table, that means the House is in session. If it's in the hooks on the end of the table, that means the House is sitting in committee.

No gavels in any Canadian court I've ever been in.
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Old 04-03-2018, 10:20 AM
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There have never been gavels in Canadian courts.
It doesn't stop many news websites from using gavels in their generic court photo images.
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Old 04-03-2018, 10:38 AM
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If it's on the clerks' table, that means the House is in session. If it's in the hooks on the end of the table, that means the House is sitting in committee.
And if it's being carried by the sergeant-at-arms, it means he's about to use it to smash the head of an ISIS gunman.

(yes, yes, I know that he actually used a pistol in that incident, but it's still an amusing image)
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Old 04-03-2018, 08:35 PM
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I don’t know about Canada, but the ceremonial maces in the UK have evolved so far from their origins as weapons that they have tiny warheads and huge decorative pommels.
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Old 04-05-2018, 11:34 PM
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I wouldn't want the Sergeant-at-Arms to wallop me on the head with the current Canadian mace. Looks like it would hurt.
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Old 04-06-2018, 09:32 AM
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I wouldn't want the Sergeant-at-Arms to wallop me on the head with the current Canadian mace. Looks like it would hurt.
Technically, isn't the monarch of the Commonwealth the only person legally entitled to actually use it as a weapon? ( )
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Old 04-24-2018, 11:12 PM
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Some zany hijinks recently with the Nigerian Senate's mace: https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/19/afric...und/index.html
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Old 04-25-2018, 05:00 PM
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Some zany hijinks recently with the Nigerian Senate's mace: https://www.cnn.com/2018/04/19/afric...und/index.html
And then the mace was found again "under an overpass".

Not like the mace of the "senate" of Vic.Aus, which was stolen in 1851 and never recovered. A formal inquiry found that it was /not/ taken across the road to a brothel , (The parliament building is in what used to be in a rather grotty part of the CBD)


Technical notes: actually just made of wood (like any hammer), and can't be just melted down for money. And that big "warhead" is actually the counter-weight/pommel/ "other end". The hammer end shrunk to nothing when it became a symbol of office, then the pommel bulked up.
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Old 05-02-2018, 06:50 PM
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Thumping a staff on the floor three times is a tradition at the Comédie Française in Paris, as that was what used to be done to announce the start of theatrical performances in the 17th (and 18th?) centuries. It was also the way orchestras were conducted (the composer Lully died as a result of an infection when he managed to thump his staff on his own foot).
Served him right for what he did to the soprano who told him she was pregnant. I'd say his set of priorities was baroque, but I understand elucidator looks in on the forum from time to time, and I'm already on thin ice with him...

Last edited by kaylasdad99; 05-02-2018 at 06:52 PM.
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Old 08-24-2018, 01:10 PM
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During a recent visit to Norfolk, Va., I saw the municipal mace, said to be the only pre-American Revolution city mace still in use: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaura...ence_Ohio.html
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Old 08-24-2018, 07:15 PM
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During a recent visit to Norfolk, Va., I saw the municipal mace, said to be the only pre-American Revolution city mace still in use: https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaura...ence_Ohio.html
I think that’s a link to a moderately-priced restaurant in Ohio.
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Old 08-25-2018, 12:18 AM
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D'oh! Try this: https://www.norfolk.gov/index.aspx?NID=2409
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Old 08-26-2018, 06:55 AM
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nm

Last edited by Ludovic; 08-26-2018 at 06:55 AM.
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