appointment of eleven lawyers as Queen's Counsel. But what
is a 'Queen's Counsel' and what is its history?
advising the monarch began with the Norman Conquest of
England. In the beginning the designation was only held in
addition to the more senior offices of Attorney General,
Solicitor-General, and King's Serjeants. The first Queen's
Counsel appointment made in its own right was to Sir Francis
Bacon in 1597. It would gradually replace the office of the
King's Serjeants (although the last such person appointed
would not die until the early 1900s). Originally the office
came with a number of privileges and restrictions meant to
uphold the high honour of the office. However, these were
abolished one by one until it became solely an honorary
designation, although still one recognized by the courts.
The office of Queen's Counsel would play a minor role in the
delineation of federal power in Canada with a ruling in 1897
by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council upholding the
rights of the provinces to make such appointments.
Today appointments of Queen's Counsels continue in every
province except Ontario and Quebec. The federal government
stopped making appointments in 1993 but resumed in 2013.
However, since 2015 only the Attorney Generals has been
appointed Queen's Counsel.
The postnominals QC are granted to all Queen's Counsel (or
KC in the case of King's Counsel).
While there are slight differences in the requirements to be
appointed Queen's Counsel in general one must be a lawyer
who has demonstrated outstanding practice, shown integrity
and leadership and made contributions to excellence in the
law profession. They also must have at least 15 years'
experience in the practice of law.
A Kisaragi Colour