Law and Order

The structure of the Irish legal system resembled that of England, with one theoretically important difference: from 1701 English judges held office during good behaviour (quam diu se bene gesserint) and could be dismissed only with the consent of parliament. Irish judges held office during the sovereign’s pleasure (durante bene placito regis), and during the reign of Queen Anne this power was liberally used. After the Hanoverian succession became established this appears to have made little difference to their security of tenure, but it was felt to be a constitutional grievance; as such it was remedied in 1782 in 21 & 22 Geo. III, c. 50.