Why Do Judges Use a Gavel?

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Judges have historically used gavels to make a sound of authority to bring a courtroom to order. Learn how some judges use their voice as a gavel with information from a certified family mediator in this free video on laws and the court.

Part of the Video Series: Law & Court
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Video Transcript

You may have watched television recently and seen a judge strike a gavel on the bench and call the court to order. Have you ever wondered why the judges used gavels? I'm Robert Todd and I'm here to answer the question, why do judges use gavels? Well, this is a question that has been debated for many, many years, but it appears that in medieval England, there were many, many disputes between landlords and renters. And judges in medieval England began using gavels to strike the bench to make a sound of authority to bring the courtroom to order and this has trickled down through the years to judges in all courtrooms, whereby they are issued gavels and they are viewed as symbols of authority. And, while judges generally would like to rely on their voice at calling the court to order, you can rest assured that when they strike the gavel in the courtroom, the courtroom does come to order. I'm Robert Todd and thank you for watching.

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