modern LatinShow more Abbreviation of modern Latin Senior Consultus (but mistakenly interpreted as the initial letters of Senior Counsel).
The designation Senior Consultus, granted to senior advocates of the Supreme Court.See also advocate, Senior Counsel.
Equivalent to the British designation ‘Queen’s (or King’s) Counsel’, ‘SC’ replaced ‘QC’, after a brief use of the term ‘Senior Advocate’ (see S.A.noun2), when South Africa became a republic in 1961; however, anyone granted the title of ‘QC’ before 1961 had the choice of retaining this title (see quotation 1979).
‘SC’ is used in both English and Afrikaans contexts.
1972Std Encycl. of Sn Afr.VI. 567When an advocate considers that he has achieved sufficient status in his profession he may apply to the Minister of Justice for senior status...The senior is entitled to place the distinctive letters S.C. (for Senior Consultus) behind his name.
1979E. Prov. Herald 17 Mar. 1The hearing of the application brought by Mr G. F. S— SC, and Mr A. J. L—, SC, lasted four days. One of the documents..handed in by Mr H. S—, QC, was a copy of the judgement in a similar application.
1981J.R. Du PlessisElementary Intro. to Study of S. Afr. Law 34A senior advocate in this sense means an advocate who has ‘taken silk’, ie an advocate who has been officially designated a senior advocate; the letters SC (senior counsel) appear behind his name and he wears a silken gown in court.
1986Frontline Mar. 20Traditionally, it has not been a particularly easy task to get the best senior counsel to accept appointments to the judiciary — largely because a judge’s income is but a fraction of the enormous earnings a leading SC commands.
1986Reader’s Digest Family Guide to Law 824SC (Senior Counsel — strictly, Consultus, the Latin being acceptable to both official languages.) An advocate may be granted the status of senior counsel, or ‘takes silk’, because of the silk gown he will wear in court. Thereafter he or she takes only more serious or difficult cases, usually assisted by a junior counsel.
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