Do Britons (and I assume Canadians, Australians, etc.) All Have To Get New Passports Now?

Their face value they may keep, but thanks to inflation not their purchasing power. And that is the real mark of stability, I’m afraid. This affects all currencies, some more than others. But in the end all coins and notes end up being worth more as collector items than at face value, sooner or later.

No doubt the exchange can be made by post.

I think it’s deliberate - not just to make life difficult, but they give a pretty long window to swap them, and if there is no incentive to do so people just won’t bother and they be circulating forever. This gives an incentive, but if grandma has a large stash hidden away, it’s not worthless.

I think the basic problem is that with modern technology it has gotten easier and easier for the average small “entrepreneur” to print paper money, particularly when you can pass it to those who are not so adroit at spotting it. (such as George Floyd). By limiting its acceptance to a few specific banks, they probably (a) end up knowing who you are, and (b) best able to tell whether the paper is fake or not.

Unlike India, where the purpose was to flush out the the underground economy and those who were hoarding big bills to avoid tax collectors. We visited there a few weeks after the exchange started, it was sad. Most bank machines ran out very quick, the government did not print enough money. When we found a machine not empty - take out as much as we could at once. It was impossible to get any cash from the foreign exchange places before arriving. To exchange old bills, you needed a bank account so there were accounts of the less affluent (“hippie”) tourists being stuck with worthless money and having to beg in the streets.

I recall when going to places like Egypt and Tanzania where they are willing (eager?) to accept American bills, the advice was to take money printed about 2007 or later, with the extra security features that make it easier to tell it is real. American politicians are the last ones wary of changing the money in case the other party calls them out for “debasing” the money, just same as the reason why they’ve never stopped producing the $1, unlike Canada, the Euro, or the Pound. (I still have a Bank of Scotland 1-pound note.)

At the pleasure of the bank, if it wishes to provide that service:

It is our understanding that some United Kingdom high-street banks are willing to accept demonetised coins from their customers. Please be aware, however, they are under no legal obligation to do so.

And the Bank of England only exchanges old notes.

This seems so delightfully sensible and, well, Canadian. It’s like the government is saying, “Yes, we’ve got a new king and if course we’re going to acknowledge that; but we’re not going to be stupid about it.”

Now I have to look up just what does the name “Court of King’s/Queen’s Bench” mean. I’m imagining a bunch of people on the grass under a tree, all watching a ceremony involving a couple of notables sitting on a wooden bench carved from half a log.

800 or so years ago, it wasn’t far off that:

Lizzy died at 3.30am my time and by 9.00 am my time I had received an email from counsel marked KC.

Doesn’t take too long to change one character in the footer of an email I guess.

In the Canadian context, it’s the superior court in a province, as opposed to the inferior court (i.e. Provincial Court, where preliminary inquiries take place, small claims matters are heard, first appearances and trials in some small criminal matters, among other purposes). King’s/Queen’s Bench is for the “big stuff”–serious criminal matters, large lawsuits, and so on. Note that this is very general information, as some provinces may hear certain matters in the superior court that I would expect to be heard in the provincial court of my province.

It’s up to a province as to what it calls its superior court. Ontario does not use the King’s/Queen’s Bench appellation, though it has the same thing that fulfills the same functions: in Ontario, the equivalent is called “the Superior Court of Justice.”

Thanks! I am more wondering about the etymology of the name. Did it literally refer to a “bench” as we would know it at one time? Has the meaning of the word “bench” shifted?

Not really. The bench was literally a seat for the judges in a court, but it has also become a metonym used to describe members of the judiciary collectively.

From that, comes more specific groups like “King’s Bench”

And the billing will round up to the full 6 hours.

Does that have anything to do with “the Bar”, “called to the Bar”, etc?

As I understand it, the term “bar” originally referenced a literal bar across the courtroom dividing the room, at which the lawyers appearing stood.

And it still exists. You can see “the bar” in any number of TV shows and movies. It’s the fence that separates the gallery from the lawyers, the judge, and the clerks. Sometimes, it has a gate in it, like on the “Judge Judy” show.

In my jurisdiction, only lawyers, judges, and court officials may sit before the bar. Litigants may appear before the bar, when their matter is being heard. But members of the public, or litigants whose matters are not being heard, may not.

I remember being called to the bar, and becoming a lawyer at last, and thinking, “Thank goodness, finally, I don’t have to sit in the gallery as a student-at-law, hoping I can be recognized as an almost-lawyer; I can sit before the bar and be recognized by the Court quickly and easily.”

ETA: “Passing the bar,” to a lawyer, means more than just passing the bar exams. In my jurisdiction, it means when they can actually pass beyond that fence in the courtroom freely, and sit before the bar.

It was specifically the King’s seat at the southern end of Westminster Hall. The judges used it because they were dispensing justice in his name and Magna Carta specified that they had to do so there so that the court had a fixed location. The Court of King’s Bench continued to meet there until the nineteenth century. That’s still the upper, more prestigious end of the Hall. The King and the Queen Consort sat at that end the other day when the Lords and Commons presented their loyal addresses.

What the ‘bench’ looked liked has been much debated. Fragments of the table have been discovered. Some have conjectured that the seat may have been a large stone block, whereas others think it was a more conventional chair. But no one really knows.

One would assume Their Lordships’ backsides were entitled to a cushion or two.

The English courts have been considerably modified in the last century or so, and things like the Barons of The Exchequer and the Chief Justice of The Common Pleas have shuffled off into history. Crown Courts have replaced both the Assizes and the Quarter Sessions.

The Assize and Quarter Sessions were replaced by the Crown Court by the Courts Act 1971. I was about to say “relatively recently” but it’s been 50 years now!

The Courts of Westminster Hall were all combined into the High Court through a series of Acts of Parliament in the 1870’s.
They now sit along with the Court of Appeal in the Royal Courts of Justice on the Strand in London.