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What Is the Queen’s Bench?

The United Kingdom, most notably Britain, adheres to a constitutional monarchy. This means that the reigning queen or king acts as a state representative. However, in the past, the king or queen held greater power as a statesman and legislator. This is the case for most countries or jurisdictions that are under a commonwealth realm. Thus, in reference to the superior position taken by the king or queen, a high court in a commonwealth realm is known as the Queen’s Bench.

The Queen’s Bench is taken from the fact that the English monarch is a queen. In the case of an English monarch as a king, the name changes to King’s Bench. However, not all jurisdictions under the commonwealth realm adhere to this naming of superior courts.

The derivation of the Queen’s Bench begins with the old, traditional concept of a monarch who traveled with a court in order to hand out judgments to cases heard. This was one of the most important duties of a monarch in the historic times. However, it became difficult for a monarch to hear all the cases due to the sheer number that existed. Thus, a court was created especially for a queen or king to hand out judgments. The King’s or Queen’s Bench was named solely due to the fact that a monarch was providing the judgment rather than a judge or some other type of arbitrator.

A Queen’s Bench is a superior court that acts as an appellate and civil court. Because of its designation as a superior court, it may overturn rulings or judgments provided for by lower courts.

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