[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 July 2006, 16:58 GMT 17:58 UK
Queen presents new mace to judge
Lord Hamilton
Lord Hamilton will use the mace in the Court of Criminal Appeal
The Queen has presented Scotland's top law official with a mace in a ceremony dating back more than 500 years.

Lord Hamilton, the Lord Justice General, received the specially commissioned mace as part of the Queen's 80th birthday engagements.

Maces are used in courts as a symbol of judges acting with the authority of the Crown, though they may have been used as weapons to protect them in the past.

It is 150 years since one was formally presented by a monarch.

In 1856, Queen Victoria presented the exchequer mace to the Court of Session and it remains in use.

The mace received in Wednesday's ceremony will be used by Lord Hamilton in the Court of Criminal Appeal.

It was designed and crafted by royal silversmiths Hamilton and Inches in Edinburgh.

A symbol of authority
01 Jul 99 |  Scottish Parliament opening

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific