Quickie: in U.K. courts is it still "Regina v." when the monarch is a king?

Just curious. When Charles becomes King will it be “Regis v.”, “Rex v.”, “Crown v.”, or will it remain “Regina v.”?

It will be “Rex v.”, and it’s abbreviated as “R. v.” to obscure the difference.

If the monarch is a king, it becomes Rex v Doe, Rex v Smith.

For example, Rex v Sussex Justices, ex parte McCarthy

That also applies to every Commonwealth Realm (Australia, Belize, Canada, etc) And the Queen’s Bench Division of the High Court automatically becomes the King’s Bench. Ditto for superior courts in a bunch of Canadian provinces.


Related question:

Does anybody happen to know what the U.K. equivalent of “U.S. Reports” (Supreme Court cases) or Southern Reporter/Pacific Reporter/etc. (regional case records) is called? For those not familiar, the Reporter/Reports series gives synopses of cases and the verdicts, relevant precedents, etc…

I’m trying to find a couple of very old (19th century and early 20th century) cases for a professor. Through google I can find some limited info but not much, especially if it wasn’t a particularly famous case (like Regina v. Dudley), and from the HMCS website only seems to have recent (last 20 years or so) records, and our Westlaw and Lexis subscriptions are only good for U.S. records. If I can find the name of the books in which they’re reported I might be able to pull them up that way.

Thanks for any info.

The Law Reports, published by the ICLR.

I believe that the name given to any particular UK legal action is assigned when it is filed, and thus takes either Regina vs. or Rex vs., as is appropriate at that time.

From then on, the name remains the same as the case progresses through the courts, appeals, etc., even if the reigning monarch happens to change during that time.

Much the same is true in US courts: cases often are given the name of the currently serving District Attorney when filed, and the name stays the same after that.

For example, Roe vs. Wade retains that name, and even if Henry Wade, District Attorney of Dallas County had lost an election and been replaced by a new District Attorney during the 4 years that case proceeded from the local court to the US Supreme Court, it still would have kept that name.

It seems like this is just a common-sense decision, to reduce confusion and prevent expenses that would be caused by changing the names of cases.

Thanks again.

Now all that’s left is a group sing of Dim of the Yard’s “A Window Cleaner Me!”.:wink:

Which leads to the first joke of law school:

“Who are Regina and Rex, and why do they keep suing people?!?”

It is my understanding that the name order in US federal cases can reverse depending on who is appealing and who is responding. In California Courts the name remains the same.

This is not exactly the way it works. I remember at least one significant case that started as Eldred v. Reno but by the time it got to the Supreme Court, it was Eldred v. Ashcroft.

Silly (but related) question: About how much will the average legal office have to spend to change stuff from QC to KC?

Be aware that (unlike the US reports which are one sequential series for SCOTUS), the Law Reports come in different series which are unrelated to each other. House of Lords and Privy Council decisions are generally in a series called Appeal Cases. There are entirely separate series for cases from Queen’s Bench division, family, Chancery, etc. Thus, a House of Lords case might be cited at
[1989] 2 AC 321 (that it, it starts at p321 of the second volume of Appeal Cases for 1989) but the Court of Appeal decision from which the appeal to the House of Lords was brought might be in a completely different series, eg, [1987] 1 QB 54. (I just made those citations up for illustration purposes).

And some cases do not find their way into the Law Reports - they are published in such series as the All England Reports, the Weekly Law Reports, or the like. Older cases (depending on how far back into the 19th Century you are intending to go) are reported in quite exotic ways for historical reasons.

Are you looking for a report of a case (or cases), or just the most authoritative citation of a case for which you already have multiple citations?

I’m confused now, because you say that this is “unlike” U.S. Reports but then you describe something that sounds much like the way U.S. legal cases are reported.

U.S. Supreme Court cases are reported in United States Reports (U.S.) – and in its parallel reporters, Supreme Court Reports (S. Ct.) and U.S. Supreme Court Reports, Lawyers’ Edition (L. Ed.).

A case reported there would be reported in the Federal Reporter (F.3d) at the appeals court stage and in the Federal Supplement (F. Supp. 2d) at the trial court stage.

Not much at all, I would think. I have not kept up with the very latest details of the profession in the UK, but I gather it is still a divided profession so that solicitors and barristers have different commercial arrangements.

Solicitors are lawyers who do preparation and paperwork, but only a limited amount of court work. They can join together in firms (which can become quite huge) with other solicitors, but not barristers.

Barristers are self-employed and although they organise themselves into chambers for proximity and convenience, they are not commercially linked to each other in the way that solicitors in law firms are.

Only barristers can become QCs. Thus, a solicitor’s firm won’t have any QCs on its letterhead that need to change (although some might have printed an area of practice on their letterhead which references Queen’s Bench, etc).

Barristers who are QCs (“silks”, to use the jargon) will of course have to change their letterhead, cards, etc, but they will probably be given some leeway in any changeover to use up old stock. Bear in mind that pre-printed letterhead is only sent to other practitioners who are dealing with the same changeover issues, not documents filed in court.

Sampiro, I have free access to most of the English Law Reports for that period (from my perspective those aren’t “very old” English cases - you want old, let’s start talking 16th century - but that’s just an aspect of my practice :wink: ). If you have the citations for the cases you’re looking for, send them to me in an e-mail or pm. If our collection has the cases you’re looking for, I can scan them and send them to you by e-mail.

I think what Noel Prosequi is getting at is that the Law Reports are divided by the original trial court: Queen’s Bench, Chancery, Family and Probate, and so on. When the matter goes on appeal to the Court of Appeal, there’s no separate law report for Court of Appeal cases. The Court of Appeal decision is published in the same law report that the trial decision was published in, so you’ll find Court of Appeal decisions in the QB series, the Chancery series and the Family & Probate series. Then, if it goes on a further appeal to the House of Lords, it is published in the Appeal Cases.

It’s just a bit unusual that the Appeal Cases series doesn’t contain any decisions of the Court of Appeal, nor is there a Law Reports series that contains only the decisions of the Court of Appeal. There’s no equivalent to the F. series, nor to the F. (Supp.), since the trial decisions are published in a variety of series divided by subject matter.

Not a great deal, here in Canada, for a few reasons.

First, big firms have got so big that they don’t have room to put all their partners on the letterhead. The list of lawyers now is found on their websites, and when HM is no longer with us, they’ll just have to have their IT guys make a few changes.

Second, even if a firm is small enough to list the partners individually, a lot don’t buy pre-printed stationery any more. Computer printers are such good quality that a lot of firms just use templates to print their letterheads with each letter. Again, an IT guy would just have to make a few changes, and bob’s your uncle (or charlie’s your king, I suppose).

Third, I think there would be a grace period to use up old stationery. There are prohibitions on using the abbreviation if you’re not entitled to it, but that’s different from using the old abbreviation until you’ve got the new stationery printed. Same for business cards.

Kind of (and I agree with what you have said). I was just making the point that “the Law Reports” are not one uninterrupted series of decisions (unlike the “U.S.” series), and the cite by bonzer didn’t make that clear (no criticism of bonzer). It all makes sense once you’ve got used to the system. If you are used to a different system, not so much.