Bench (metonymy)
Bench can be used as a metonym
Metonymy is a figure of speech used in rhetoric in which a thing or concept is not called by its own name, but by the name of something intimately associated with that thing or concept...

 for a group of people associated with sitting on particular bench
Bench (furniture)
A bench is a piece of furniture, on which several people may sit at the same time. Benches are typically made of wood, but may also be made of metal, stone, or synthetic materials. Many benches have arm and back rests; some have no back rest and can be sat on from either side. In public areas,...

es. The words chair, seat and desk can be used in similar ways.
  • In legal
    Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus...

     contexts, the bench
    Bench (law)
    Bench in legal contexts means simply the location in a courtroom where a judge sits. The historical roots of that meaning come from the fact that judges formerly sat on long seats or benches when presiding over a court...

     is the location where judge
    A judge is a person who presides over court proceedings, either alone or as part of a panel of judges. The powers, functions, method of appointment, discipline, and training of judges vary widely across different jurisdictions. The judge is supposed to conduct the trial impartially and in an open...

    s sit while in court
    A court is a form of tribunal, often a governmental institution, with the authority to adjudicate legal disputes between parties and carry out the administration of justice in civil, criminal, and administrative matters in accordance with the rule of law...

    , often specified after the type of court, e.g. county bench (in both UK and US), or one of several bodies of magistrates (elsewhere known by other terms, e.g. a chamber, division or senate) assigned to certain types of litigation, e.g. Kings Bench Division
  • The location where members of Parliament
    Member of Parliament
    A Member of Parliament is a representative of the voters to a :parliament. In many countries with bicameral parliaments, the term applies specifically to members of the lower house, as upper houses often have a different title, such as senate, and thus also have different titles for its members,...

     sit while in session. More specific types of benches are also metonymic:
  • The front bench comprises senior Government ministers and opposition spokespeople, while junior Members sit on the back benches
    Back Benches
    Back Benches is a New Zealand political interview show, presented by Wallace Chapman and Damian Christie. It is filmed at the 'Backbencher' pub across the road from Parliament Buildings in Wellington, at 9.10 pm Wednesday nights , and reshown on Thursday mornings, Friday nights, and Saturday mornings...

  • Members from the political party or parties which make up the Government sit on the government benches, to the Speaker
    Speaker (politics)
    The term speaker is a title often given to the presiding officer of a deliberative assembly, especially a legislative body. The speaker's official role is to moderate debate, make rulings on procedure, announce the results of votes, and the like. The speaker decides who may speak and has the...

    's right.
  • The government benches occupied by ministers are called the ministerial or treasury benches. These are faced by the opposition benches.
  • Minority parties and independents, who sit on the side, not on the government or opposition benches, are referred to as crossbenchers.
  • The location where athletes sit when not in a game.

See also

  • Backbencher
    In Westminster parliamentary systems, a backbencher is a Member of Parliament or a legislator who does not hold governmental office and is not a Front Bench spokesperson in the Opposition...

  • Bench (law)
    Bench (law)
    Bench in legal contexts means simply the location in a courtroom where a judge sits. The historical roots of that meaning come from the fact that judges formerly sat on long seats or benches when presiding over a court...

  • Bench trial
    Bench trial
    A bench trial is a trial held before a judge sitting without a jury. The term is chiefly used in common law jurisdictions to describe exceptions from jury trial, as most other legal systems do not use juries to any great extent....

  • Bench warrant
  • Frontbencher
    In many parliaments and other similar assemblies, seating is typically arranged in banks or rows, with each political party or caucus grouped together. The spokespeople for each group will often sit at the front of their group, and are then known as being on the frontbench and are described as...

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