In the case of Prohibitions del roy 1607 12 coke reports 63 77 er 1342, the issues consist of where a case may be tried and by whom it may be tried by.

  • The main takeaway is that the judiciary of England ruled that cases must be tried in a court of law and not by the King no matter what type of case is before him.

Facts of the Case

  • There was a dispute relating to land which arouse between the Archbishop of Canterbury and another party.
  • The Archbishop subsequently approached King James 1 for judgment and resolution.
  • King James adjudicated the case and subsequently passed a sentence.

Issues in Prohibitions del roy 1607 12 coke reports 63 77 er 1342

  • The main issue  arising from this sentence was whether the King, who overlooked the King’s Court in the Upper House of Parliament, had the legal right to make formal judgments on cases and even if it was a legal right, whether it was right for the King to do so.
  • The Archbishop argued that the King had clear authority to decide cases of law by “the word of God in the Scripture.”

Held by High Court (Court of Common Pleas)

  • Held that the King cannot rule on any case before him.

Sir Richard Hutton Knight

The judgement clearly states that the King cannot rule for the court of override the courts. “The King in his own [64] person cannot adjudge any case, either criminal, as treason, felony, &c. or betwixt party and party, concerning his inheritance, chattels, or goods, &c. but this ought to be determined and adjudged in some Court of Justice.”

It was held that the king may sit in the King’s Bench but merely to consult the justices but not to rule on any case. The King is not trained and therefore cannot decide cases.

p.4 “His Majesty was not learned in the laws of bis realm of England, and causes which concern the life, or inheritance, or goods, or fortunes of his subjects, are not to be decided by natural reason but by the artificial reason and judgment of law, which law is an act which requires long study and experience, before that a man cau attain to the cognizance of it: that the law was the golden met-wand and measure to try the causes of the subjects; and which protected His Majesty in safety and peace: with which the King was greatly offended, andsaid, that then he should be under the law, which was treason to affirm, as he said;to which I said, that Bracton saith, quod Res noil debet exsesub homine, sed sub Deo et lege. “

This quote from the judiciary translates to “The king is under no man, yet he is under God and the Law.”

Editor’s Notes:

This case set a resounding precedent which is still followed to this day. Throughout England and Wales, the Crown is not to have authority to rule over cases, this is reserved for ministers and the judiciary.