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File:Old Bailey Microcosm
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 huge buildings in large 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 court comes from the French cour, 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 (from hortus = garden). 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.[4][5]

Jurisdiction

Jurisdiction, meaning "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. ^ Centre National De Ressources Textuelles et Lexicales
  5. ^ Online Etymologyl Dictionary

External links


Wiktionary

Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Contents

English

Most common English words: wished « school « language « #751: court » British » meant » tears

Pronunciation

Etymology

From Old French curt, from Latin cortem (accusative of cors).

Noun

Singular
court

Plural
courts

court (plural courts)

  1. An enclosed space; a courtyard; an uncovered area shut in by the walls of a building, or by different building; also, a space opening from a street and nearly surrounded by houses; a blind alley.
  2. The residence of a sovereign, prince, nobleman, or ether dignitary; a palace.
  3. The collective body of persons composing the retinue of a sovereign or person high in authority; all the surroundings of a sovereign in his regal state.
  4. Any formal assembling of the retinue of a sovereign; as, to hold a court.
  5. Attention directed to a person in power; conduct or address designed to gain favor; courtliness of manners; civility; compliment; flattery.
  6. The hall, chamber, or place, where justice is administered.
  7. The persons officially assembled under authority of law, at the appropriate time and place, for the administration of justice; an official assembly, legally met together for the transaction of judicial business; a judge or judges sitting for the hearing or trial of causes.
  8. A tribunal established for the administration of justice.
  9. The judge or judges; as distinguished from the counsel or jury, or both.
  10. The session of a judicial assembly.
  11. Any jurisdiction, civil, military, or ecclesiastical.
  12. (sport) A place arranged for playing the game of tennis, basketball and some other games; also, one of the divisions of a tennis court.

Translations

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Verb

Infinitive
to court

Third person singular
courts

Simple past
courted

Past participle
courted

Present participle
courting

to court (third-person singular simple present courts, present participle courting, simple past and past participle courted)

  1. To woo; to attempt to win over with social activities and displays of tact and affection.

Translations

Derived terms

External links

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French

Pronunciation

Adjective

court m. (f. courte, m. plural courts, f. plural courtes)

  1. short

Verb

court

  1. Third-person singular indicative present form of courir.

Simple English

File:Supreme Court of
Supreme Court of Canada
Simple English Wiktionary has the word meaning for:
For the court as the seat of a royal person see royal court.
For the court as a space inside a building, see courtyard.

A court, in law, is a part of the government that decides what laws mean when people disagree. Some disagreements a court may decide are whether a person is guilty of a crime, who is the legal owner of property, or who the children of two divorced parents should live with. A court is usually in a special building called a courthouse.

Most countries have many courts that deal with different issues. Some courts are higher and can change a decision made by a lower court.









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