With the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, the legal profession in Canada is going to see some key name changes.
With King Charles III on the throne, questions have been asked about the effect on the terminology used in the courts and in the legal profession which refer to the monarch.
The Saskatchewan government has provided some guidance on the changes in that province, in accordance with The Queen’s Bench Act, 1998 and the Legislation Act.
- The name of the Court of Queen’s Bench changes automatically upon the succession of the King. It is now the Court of King’s Bench, and should be referred to by that name henceforth.
- Pleadings and legal documents which have been filed with the Court under the name of “Queen’s Bench” continue to be valid. There is no need to amend or re-file the documents. Henceforth, the term “King’s Bench” should be used in all pleadings and legal documents.
- The term “Queen’s Counsel” changes automatically to “King’s Counsel,” and the abbreviation “K.C” replaces “Q.C.” The succession does not affect existing appointments as Queen’s Counsel or seniority at the bar. There is no need for existing patents of appointment to be re-issued. There is no change to the French abbreviation – the title “conseiller du roi” remains correct, as does the abbreviation “c.r.”