Star chamber Star" cham`ber, Star-chamber Star"-cham`ber(st[aum]r"ch[=a]m`b[~e]r), n. [So called (as conjectured by Blackstone) from being held in a room at the Exchequer where the chests containing certain Jewish contracts and obligations called starrs (from the Heb. shetar, pron. shtar) were kept; or from the stars with which the ceiling is supposed to have been decorated.] 1. (Eng. Hist.) An ancient high court exercising jurisdiction in certain cases, mainly criminal, which sat without the intervention of a jury. It consisted of the king's council, or of the privy council only with the addition of certain judges. It could proceed on mere rumor or examine witnesses; it could apply torture. It was abolished by the Long Parliament in 1641. --Encyc. Brit. [1913 Webster]

2. Hence: (Metaphorical) Any court, committee, or other tribunal which exercises arbitrary and unaccountable power, or uses unfair or illegal methods, in investigation or judgment of persons. [PJC]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Star Chamber — n 1 cap S&C: an old English court abolished in 1641 that exercised wide civil and criminal jurisdiction under rules of procedure suited to the prerogatives of the king and that was marked by secrecy, the absence of juries, self incrimination, and …   Law dictionary

  • Star chamber — Star cham ber, Star chamber Star cham ber(st[aum]r ch[=a]m b[ e]r), n. [So called (as conjectured by Blackstone) from being held in a room at the Exchequer where the chests containing certain Jewish contracts and obligations called starrs (from… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • star-chamber — star cham·ber (stärʹchām bər) adj. Secret, harsh, or arbitrary, as in procedures.   [From Star Chamber.] * * * …   Universalium

  • Star Chamber —   [ stɑː tʃeɪmbə, englisch], die Sternkammer …   Universal-Lexikon

  • star chamber — n BrE a group of people that meets secretly and makes important decisions …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • star chamber — noun count MAINLY LITERARY a group of powerful people who make decisions without caring whether they are fair or harmful to other people …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Star Chamber — late 14c., apartment in the royal palace at Westminster in which members of the king s council sat to exercise jurisdiction 14 15c., it evolved 15c. into a court of criminal jurisdiction, proverbial under James I and Charles I for arbitrary and… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Star Chamber — n. [ME, earlier Sterred Chambre: said to be so called because the ceiling was ornamented with stars] 1. a royal English court or tribunal abolished in 1641, notorious for its secret sessions without jury, and for its harsh and arbitrary judgments …   English World dictionary

  • Star Chamber — This article is about the court. For other uses, see Star Chamber (disambiguation). The Star Chamber (Latin: Camera stellata) was an English court of law that sat at the royal Palace of Westminster until 1641. It was made up of Privy Counsellors …   Wikipedia

  • Star Chamber — Als Court of Star Chamber (lat. Camera stellata, dt. Sternkammer) bezeichnet man einen englischen Gerichtshof, der von König Eduard II. eingesetzt wurde (die erste Erwähnung findet sich 1398 als Sterred chambre[1]) und bis 1641 bestand.… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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