Court


Court
A trial at the Old Bailey in London as drawn by Thomas Rowlandson and Augustus Pugin for Ackermann's Microcosm of London (1808-11).

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.[1] In both common law and civil law legal systems, courts are the central means for dispute resolution, and it is generally understood that all persons have an ability to bring their claims before a court. Similarly, the rights of those accused of a crime include the right to present a defense before a court.

The system of courts that interpret and apply the law are collectively known as the judiciary. The place where a court sits is known as a venue. The room where court proceedings occur is known as a courtroom, and the building as a courthouse; court facilities range from simple and very small facilities in rural communities to large buildings in cities.

The practical authority given to the court is known as its jurisdiction (Latin jus dicere) -- the court's power to decide certain kinds of questions or petitions put to it. According to William Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England, a court is constituted by a minimum of three parties: the actor or plaintiff, who complains of an injury done; the reus or defendant, who is called upon to make satisfaction for it, and the judex or judicial power, which is to examine the truth of the fact, to determine the law arising upon that fact, and, if any injury appears to have been done, to ascertain and by its officers to apply a legal remedy. It is also usual in the superior courts to have attorneys, and advocates or counsel, as assistants,[2] though, often, courts consist of additional attorneys, bailiffs, reporters, and perhaps a jury.

The term "the court" is also used to refer to the presiding officer or officials, usually one or more judges. The judge or panel of judges may also be collectively referred to as "the bench" (in contrast to attorneys and barristers, collectively referred to as "the bar"). In the United States, and other common law jurisdictions, the term "court" (in the case of U.S. federal courts) by law is used to describe the judge himself or herself.[3]

In the United States, the legal authority of a court to take action is based on personal jurisdiction, subject-matter jurisdiction, and venue over the parties to the litigation.

Contents

Etymology

The word cour comes from the French court, an enclosed yard, which derives from the Latin form cortem, the accusative case of cohors, which again means an enclosed yard or the occupants of such a yard. The words yard, court, and Latin hortus (meaning "garden," hence horticulture and orchard), are cognates—all referring to an enclosed space.[4]

The meaning of a judicial assembly is first attested in the 12th century, and derives from the earlier usage to designate a sovereign and his entourage, which met to adjudicate disputes in such an enclosed yard. The verb "to court", meaning to win favor, derives from the same source since people traveled to the sovereign's court to win his favor.[5][6]

Jurisdiction

Jurisdiction, means "to speak the law," is the power of a court over a person or a claim. In the United States, a court must have both personal jurisdiction and subject matter jurisdiction. Each state establishes a court system for the territory under its control. This system allocates work to courts or authorized individuals by granting both civil and criminal jurisdiction (in the United States, this is termed subject-matter jurisdiction). The grant of power to each category of court or individual may stem from a provision of a written constitution or from an enabling statute. In English law, jurisdiction may be inherent, deriving from the common law origin of the particular court.

Trial and appellate courts

Trial courts are courts that hold trials. Sometimes termed "courts of first instance," trial courts have original jurisdiction over most cases. Trial courts may conduct trials with juries are the finders of fact (these are known as jury trials) or trials in which judges act as both finders of fact and finders of law (these are known as bench trials). Juries are less common in court systems outside the Anglo-American common law tradition.

Appellate courts are courts that hear appeals of lower courts and trial courts.

Civil law courts and common law courts

The two major models for courts are the civil law courts and the common law courts. Civil law courts are based upon the judicial system in France, while the common law courts are based on the judicial system in England. In most civil law jurisdictions, courts function under an inquisitorial system. In the common law system, most courts follow the adversarial system. Procedural law governs the rules by which courts operate: civil procedure for private disputes (for example); and criminal procedure for violation of the criminal law.

See also

General

Types and organization of courts

Notes

  1. ^ Walker, David (1980). The Oxford companion to law. Oxford: Oxford University Press. p. 301. ISBN 019866110X. http://books.google.com/?id=4GgYAAAAIAAJ. 
  2. ^ Blackstone's Commentaries, Book III., Ch. 3., p. 25, Yale Law School, Avalon Project
  3. ^ See generally 28 U.S.C. § 1: "The Supreme Court of the United States shall consist of a Chief Justice of the United States and eight associate justices [ . . . ]" (italics added); 28 U.S.C. § 43(b): "Each court of appeals shall consist of the circuit judges of the circuit in regular active service." (italics added); 28 U.S.C. § 132(b) (in part): "Each district court shall consist of the district judge or judges for the district in regular active service." (italics added); 28 U.S.C. § 151 (in part): "In each judicial district, the bankruptcy judges in regular active service shall constitute a unit of the district court to be known as the bankruptcy court for that district [ . . . ]" (italics added).
  4. ^ "Etymology of words referring to enclosures, probably from a Sanskrit stem. In German, for example, Stuttgart. The word is generic for compounds and walled cities, as in Stalingrad, and the Russian word for city, gorod. Gird and girdle are also related". Yourdictionary.com. http://www.yourdictionary.com/library/garden.html. 
  5. ^ Centre National De Ressources Textuelles et Lexicales
  6. ^ Online Etymologyl Dictionary

External links


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • court — / kōrt/ n [Old French, enclosed space, royal entourage, court of justice, from Latin cohort cohors farmyard, armed force, retinue] 1 a: an official assembly for the administration of justice: a unit of the judicial branch of government the… …   Law dictionary

  • Court — (k[=o]rt), n. [OF. court, curt, cort, F. cour, LL. cortis, fr. L. cohors, cors, chors, gen. cohortis, cortis, chortis, an inclosure, court, thing inclosed, crowd, throng; co + a root akin to Gr. chorto s inclosure, feeding place, and to E. garden …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Court — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Court Escudo …   Wikipedia Español

  • Court — bezeichnet als englischer Begriff den „Hof“ allgemein sowie den „Gerichtshof“ im Besonderen, siehe Gericht den Spielplatz für Ballsportarten wie Tennis und Squash, siehe Court (Sport) den Namen einer Gemeinde im Amtsbezirk Moutier, Kanton Bern,… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Court — Court, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Courted}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Courting}.] 1. To endeavor to gain the favor of by attention or flattery; to try to ingratiate one s self with. [1913 Webster] By one person, hovever, Portland was still assiduously courted.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Court — Court, v. i. 1. To play the lover; to woo; as, to go courting. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Court — † Court, 1) Antoine, er war 1696 geboren, wurde später Lehrer am Seminar in Lausanne, leitete aber auch von hier aus noch die protestantische Bewegung in Frankreich u. st. 1760. Er schr.: Le patriote françois et impartial, Genf 1751 u. 53; Lettre …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Court [1] — Court (engl., spr. Kohrt), Gerichtshof. Die einzelnen Gerichtshöfe, s. u. Großbritannien (Geogr.) …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Court [2] — Court (spr. Kuhr), 1) Antoine, rief zur Constituirung des reformirten Gottesdienstes in Frankreich den 21. Aug. 1715 die erste Synode reformirter Geistlicher aus den Cevennen u. dem untern Languedoc zusammen. 2) Joseph Desiré, geb. 1797 in Rouen …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Court [1] — Court (engl., spr. kōrt), Hof, besonders Gerichtshof …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Court [2] — Court (spr. kūr), Antoine, geb. 27. März 1695 in Villeneuve de Berg (Vivarais), gest. 13. Juni 1760 in Lausanne, ist bekannt durch seine unermüdliche, Todesgefahr nicht scheuende Tätigkeit für die Wiederherstellung des reformierten… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon


Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.