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What does a High Sheriff do? General Responsibilities of a High Sheriff

In 1887, The Sheriffs Act formalized the responsibilities of the High Sheriff and continues to provide a framework for these important roles today.

High Sheriffs are custodians of the law, appointed by The Crown to uphold justice and maintain order in their counties. Their mandate is upheld through a Privy Council warrant granting them responsibility for attending courts, presenting awards on behalf of Her Majesty’s government, and providing support services to local agencies fighting crime.

  • Explore the majestic glory of Royal visits.
  • Ensuring success and safety on the road for esteemed High Court Judges requires attention to detail. I take pride in taking care of their needs while they travel so that each journey is as smooth and comfortable a process as possible.
  • Serving as the authority responsible for overseeing parliamentary elections, I ensure that all voting processes are handled according to protocol and with integrity.
  • With the dawn of a new Sovereign, allegiance to the Crown is solemnly declared and loyalty honoured.
  • By appointing a dedicated Under Sheriff, an important role is filled that not only carries out law enforcement tasks but also upholds ceremonial tradition with distinction.

The Courts Act 2003 revolutionized the enforcement of justice; transferring responsibility for High Court Writs of Execution from the ancient High Sheriff to newly appointed, specially trained Officers. These officers are then tasked with carrying out these decisions through Sheriffs’ Offices – guaranteeing a fairer and more just system across England and Wales.

Today’s High Sheriffs are focused on bringing law and order to society through supporting efforts from voluntary and government organizations, ranging from the Police Department to Probation Services. By monitoring their activity closely, these institutions can benefit immensely in creating a safe environment for all citizens.

By the standards of 1826, Judges have the authority to bestow awards upon individuals who help apprehend criminals. Rewarding good Samaritans for their part in bringing justice is a noble tradition that dates back almost two centuries. The Criminal Law Act 1826 requires Judges to award monetary compensation, in recognition of the heroic acts of citizens who assist in apprehending criminal offenders.

In 1971, the High Sheriffs’ Association of England and Wales was created to support these important public servants in their critical duties. This organization works tirelessly to preserve, promote and strengthen this historical role by helping develop its usefulness within local communities.

High Sheriffs have a unique and imposing presence, often displaying their personal coat of arms as an identifying ‘badge’ for the year. In addition to this, many counties also hold shrieval coats of arms or badges that can be used alternatively if so desired. High Sheriffs are traditionally dressed in impressive court attire while female sheriffs will usually don costumes inspired by court dress with more creative liberties taken into account.

For centuries, the High Sheriff has served an indispensable role in preserving England’s heritage. Over a span of one thousand years or more, this post had grown and adapted to changes that have taken place during the 20th century and beyond – with its devoted service to the Crown proving crucial against difficulties facing society then, as well now. Even in today’s modern age where challenges remain ever-present at home and abroad, members proudly continue their ancient responsibility: upholding peace within counties while encouraging all citizens towards greater unity for collective good across every shire they serve.

High Sheriffs had the onerous responsibility of observing executions to ensure that capital punishment was carried out in accordance with the law.

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Last updated | 19 July 2023

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