Prestigious Oxford University college drops gavel-shaped clanger

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Auctioneer’s hammer makes unwelcome return


English courts do not use gavels.

But in spite of this simple fact, law schools, the media and, on the odd occasion, representative bodies who should know better continue to use them as a crude and inaccurate illustration of the law.

Step forward Oxford University’s Hertford College. Established in 1282 — originally as Hart Hall — the prestigious educational institution sits adjacent to the university’s historic Bodleian Library and is home to the iconic Bridge of Sighs.

And (pun completely intended) it was sighs all round at Legal Cheek HQ when 9-12 Bell Yard barrister Mike Newbold pointed out the good folk at Hertford had used a gavel in their latest alumni newsletter.

But even the fine minds at Legal Cheek can fall foul to the occasional gavel-shaped clanger. Keen-eyed viewers of our latest Facebook live broadcast may have spotted a small wooden hammer on our office desk. Our bad.






Tom forgot last week when he and Katie were in a video with a gavel. How’s that glass house doing?



Someone didn’t read the whole article. *sigh*



That was added after this comment *sighs louder*



The gavel is a recognised legal symbol; it doesn’t matter whether it is literally representative of the idea. Ferdinand de Saussure, father of semiotics, once remarked that: “everyone, left to his own devices, forms an idea about what goes on in language which is very far from the truth. ”

I learned that before my GDL, when I studied English literature. Which goes to prove that my English degree actually helped develop my lateral thinking, as opposed to the intellectual rigidity of law.

So there.



Snarky quote for 9000 pounds/pa?



Try telling that to @igavels…



Sentenced to death by Jojo.

*Bangs gavel*



“fine minds at Legal Cheek”? I can only hope that is said with a huge amount of sarcasm.


Chancery tenant

? Well people doing history don’t tend to write on parchment with feather quills… If any other University had produced this, LC wouldn’t publish this.



Legal Cheek illuminatio mea. Naaaaat.



Judging by that comment, I doubt anything would illuminate you oh supercilious gravity well made flesh….


Lord Justice [for] Harambe

And I’m just sitting here thinking; who are these people with so much time and f*cks to spare, to care about this? Goodness gracious me.



There is a circuit judge who uses a gavel whenever he makes an adoption order (where the child is present).



Really? That’s a bit Homes Under the Hammer isn’t it? Like the child’s been flogged to the highest bidder.


Not a Lord and not Trinity College educated

Why are you assuming they are referring to English courts? International alumni using gavels may have donated. You don’t have to had studied there to knew that they teach International Law at Oxford.


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