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 "courts, court":
... The judicial stream of courts adjudicates civil and criminal cases ... The judicial court stream consists of inferior courts, intermediate appellate courts, and the French Supreme Court ... Trial by jury is available only for severe criminal cases,which are the jurisdiction of the Courts of Assizes ...
... The Courts of Chaos is the fifth book in the Chronicles of Amber series by Roger Zelazny ... the entire length of the multiverse, from Amber to the Courts of Chaos, while Oberon attempts to repair the Pattern ...
... assertion that TONA was validly ratified has never been upheld by any court in the United States ... In the few instances in which courts have been confronted with the assertion that TONA was indeed ratified, judges have brushed those claims aside ... The court replied that it would "correct any misunderstanding Plaintiff has concerning the text of the Thirteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution ...
... The Pampanga Courts Image Gallery Side view of the Courts of Justice Regional Trial Court building Façade (view from the rear of the Capitolio) Facade of the Halls of Justice ...
... Most modern legal systems allow the courts to review administrative acts (individual decisions of a public body, such as a decision to grant a subsidy or to withdraw a residence ... and Germany) have implemented a system of administrative courts which are charged with resolving disputes between members of the public and the administration ... judicial review is carried out by regular civil courts although it may be delegated to specialized panels within these courts (such as the Administrative Court within the High Court of England and Wales) ...
Famous quotes containing the word courts:
“The decisions of law courts should never be printed: in the long run, they form a counterauthority to the law.”
—Denis Diderot (17131784)
“A day in thy courts is better than a thousand.”
—Bible: Hebrew Psalms, 84:10.
“Society always consists, in greatest part, of young and foolish persons. The old, who have seen through the hypocrisy of the courts and statesmen, die, and leave no wisdom to their sons. They believe their own newspaper, as their fathers did at their age.”
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (18031882)