A court is a 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. 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, 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.
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.
Other articles related to "court, courts":
... He was later appointed to the court of King Athelstan ... of the king and was the envy of other members of the court ... The king ordered him to leave the court and as Dunstan was leaving the palace his enemies physically attacked him, beat him severely, bound him, and threw him ...
... – April 22, 1967, Moscow, Russian SFSR) was a judge of the Supreme Court of the Soviet Union ... His court experience started in May 1920 when he was appointed as the chairman-deputy of the Military Court of Semirechye Army Group during the Civil War ... In 1924 was appointed as the member of the Military Court Collegiate of the Moscow Military District ...
... had more influence on the powerful Marshall Court than any other advocate had ... Of the 223 cases he argued before the Supreme Court, he won about half of them ... the most celebrated constitutional cases decided by the Court between 1801 and 1824 ...
... Wyoming's highest court is the Supreme Court of Wyoming, with five justices presiding over appeals from the state's lower courts ... is unusual in that it does not have an intermediate appellate court, like most states ... Appeals from the state district courts go directly to the Wyoming Supreme Court ...
... Nanboku-chō southern court Eras as reckoned by legitimate Court (as determined by Meiji rescript) Kōwa (1381–1384) Genchū (1384–1393) Nanboku-chō northern court ...
Famous quotes containing the word court:
“I know one husband and wife who, whatever the official reasons given to the court for the break up of their marriage, were really divorced because the husband believed that nobody ought to read while he was talking and the wife that nobody ought to talk while she was reading.”
—Vera Brittain (18931970)
“GOETHE, raised oer joy and strife,
Drew the firm lines of Fate and Life,
And brought Olympian wisdom down
To court and mar, to gown and town,
Stooping, his finger wrote in clay
The open secret of to-day.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)
“World history is a court of judgment.”
—Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel (17701831)