A supreme court is the highest court within the hierarchy of many legal jurisdictions. Other descriptions for such courts include court of last resort, instance court, judgment court, apex court, and highest court of appeal. Broadly speaking, the decisions of a supreme court are not subject to further review by any other court.
In a few places, the court named the "Supreme Court" is not in fact the highest court; examples include the Supreme Court of the State of New York and the former Supreme Court of Judicature of England and Wales. The highest court in some jurisdictions is not named the "Supreme Court"; for example, the High Court of Australia.
Supreme courts typically function primarily as appellate courts, hearing appeals from decisions of lower trial courts, or from intermediate-level appellate courts.
Some countries have multiple "supreme courts" whose respective jurisdictions have different geographical extents, or which are restricted to particular areas of law. In particular, countries with a federal system of government typically have both a federal supreme court (such as the Supreme Court of the United States), and supreme courts for each member state (such as the Supreme Court of Nevada), with the former having jurisdiction over the latter only to the extent that the federal constitution extends federal law over state law; the US states of Texas and Oklahoma also split the functions of a supreme court between separate courts for criminal and civil cases. Jurisdictions with a civil law system often have a hierarchy of administrative courts separate from the ordinary courts, headed by a supreme administrative court. A number of jurisdictions also follow the "Austrian" model of a separate constitutional court (first developed in the Czechoslovak Constitution of 1920).
Within the British Empire, the highest court within a colony was often called the "Supreme Court", even though appeals could be made from that court to the United Kingdom's Privy Council (based in London). A number of Commonwealth jurisdictions retain this system, but many others have reconstituted their own highest court as a court of last resort, with the right of appeal to the Privy Council being abolished.
In jurisdictions using a common law system, the doctrine of stare decisis applies, whereby the principles applied by the local court in its decisions are binding upon all lower courts; this is intended to apply a uniform interpretation and implementation of the law. In civil law jurisdictions the doctrine of stare decisis is not generally considered to apply, so the decisions of the supreme court are not necessarily binding beyond the immediate case before it; however, in practice the decisions of the supreme court usually provide a very strong precedent, or jurisprudence constante, for both itself and all lower courts.
Other articles related to "court, supreme court, supreme":
... Same-sex marriage has been legalized through legislation, court ruling, and in three of these states, it has been upheld by popular vote in a statewide ... In 2003, the US Supreme Court struck down Texas' "Homosexual Conduct" law in Lawrence v ... couples by a United States jurisdiction on November 18, 2003, in a state Supreme Judicial Court ruling in Massachusetts ...
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... loyalist opposition from undermining her democratic reforms and reorganized the membership of the Supreme Court to restore its independence ... In May 1986, the reorganized Supreme Court declared the Aquino government as “not merely a de facto government but in fact and law a de jure government ... This Supreme Court decision affirmed the status of Aquino as the rightful leader of the Philippines ...
... President William Howard Taft, named him to a seat on the Supreme Court that had been vacated by the death of Justice Rufus Wheeler Peckham ... This was the first of Taft's six Supreme Court appointments, and surprised some observers because unlike Taft, Lurton was a Democrat ... Lurton sided most frequently on the court with Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr ...
... He served on the United States Supreme Court, in the U.S ... Senate, United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, and the Tennessee House of Representatives ... His secretary on the Supreme Court was James Clark McReynolds, who later also became a Supreme Court Justice ...
Famous quotes containing the words court and/or supreme:
“To take revenge halfheartedly is to court disaster: Either condemn or crown your hatred.”
—Pierre Corneille (16061684)
“Liberalismit is well to recall this todayis the supreme form of generosity; it is the right which the majority concedes to minorities and hence it is the noblest cry that has ever resounded in this planet. It announces the determination to share existence with the enemy; more than that, with an enemy which is weak.”
—José Ortega Y Gasset (18831955)