Court ceremony marks the start of the legal year for judges in West Yorkshire

A TRADITIONAL ceremony was held at the High Court in Leeds yesterday to mark the start of the legal year in the city.

High Court Judge Mr Justice Coulson was welcomed to the courthouse by the High Sheriff of West Yorkshire, Stephen Davidson, before a fanfare from the West Yorkshire Police Band.

The judge was then introduced to dignitaries including the Lord Mayor of Leeds, Councillor Ann Castle, the Recorder of Leeds, Judge Peter Collier QC, and West Yorkshire Police’s Chief Constable, Sir Norman Bettison.

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The procession then moved into the court building where the Letters Patent was read – an official document from the Crown marking the Queen’s authority to judges in the courts.

Grants of official positions made by the Crown as letters patent have been issued under the Great Seal since 1199 and the Patent Rolls, now in the National Archives, run in an almost unbroken series from 1201 to the present day, usually in Latin in the early days.

The High Sheriff is the Sovereign’s judicial representative in the county and it is an integral part of the role to support judges.

Others in attendance included the Lord Lieutenant of West Yorkshire, Ingrid Roscoe and the High Sheriff designate, Virginia Lloyd.