star chamber

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From Star Chamber (perhaps named from gilt stars on its ceiling), an English court of law that sat at the royal Palace of Westminster from the late 15th century until 1641. The court was set up to ensure the fair enforcement of laws against prominent people, but over time it evolved into a political weapon, a symbol of the misuse and abuse of power by the English monarchy and courts.


star chamber (plural star chambers)

  1. (derogatory) a legal or administrative body with strict, arbitrary rulings and secretive proceedings
    • 2007 January 18, David M. Halbfinger, “Hollywood Rethinks Its Ratings Process”, in New York Times[1]:
      The changes come a year after a Sundance film, “This Film Is Not Yet Rated,” excoriated the rating system as a supersecret star chamber.

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