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Encyclopedia > Judge
An American judge talks to a lawyer.
An American judge talks to a lawyer.

A judge or justice is an official who presides over a court. The powers, functions, method of appointment, discipline, and training of judges vary widely across different jurisdictions. Judge can refer to: a legal career. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2592x1944, 1234 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Judge Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or scanner used to create... Image File history File linksMetadata Download high-resolution version (2592x1944, 1234 KB) File links The following pages on the English Wikipedia link to this file (pages on other projects are not listed): Judge Metadata This file contains additional information, probably added from the digital camera or scanner used to create... A lawyer, according to Blacks Law Dictionary, is a person learned in the law; as an attorney, counsel or solicitor; a person licensed to practice law. ... An official (from the Latin Officialis, person – or object – related to an officium, v. ... A trial at the Old Bailey in London as drawn by Thomas Rowlandson and Augustus Pugin for Ackermanns Microcosm of London (1808-11). ... In law, jurisdiction (from the Latin ius, iuris meaning law and dicere meaning to speak) is the practical authority granted to a formally constituted legal body or to a political leader to deal with and make pronouncements on legal matters and, by implication, to administer justice within a defined area...

Contents

Judges in the Legal System

There are significant differences between the role of a judge in the common law system descended from British practice, and civil law systems descendant from continental European judicial practice. The descriptions below are necessarily archetypical. Details vary from judicial system to judicial system. In many cases, the judicial systems have experienced convergent evolution, expressly or unconsciously adopting similar practices or operating in a manner that minimizes the impact of formal differences between the archetypical role of each system's judges. This article concerns the common-law legal system, as contrasted with the civil law legal system; for other meanings of the term, within the field of law, see common law (disambiguation). ... Civil law or continental law is the predominant system of law in the world. ...


For example, while common law judicial procedure generally contemplates a single evidentiary trial, many cases are actually resolved through testimony taken from witnesses in isolated depositions prior to trial that support written presentations to a judge. Similarly, while civil law judges must have some statutory point of departure for their legal rulings, there are accepted methods of legal reasoning that often afford them greater latitude to fit the law to the circumstances of an unusual case then a stark statement of the underlying principles of the system would suggest. This can serve a purpose similar to the common law method of legal reasoning known as stare decisis. The law of evidence governs the use of testimony (e. ... Stare decisis (Latin: , Anglicisation: , to stand by things decided) is a Latin legal term, used in common law to express the notion that prior court decisions must be recognized as precedents, according to case law. ...


Judges in common law legal systems

In common law countries, judges usually operate within the adversarial system of justice, and the trial level, usually preside over court proceedings as the sole judge present, with only narrow exceptions (e.g. in the United States, certain election law cases).


Professional Background

Common law judges are generally appointed or elected from among practicing attorneys after prior careers as practicing attorneys, although many receive brief educational programs specific to judging once taking the bench. Judges are frequently drawn from the ranks of barristers, as opposed to solicitors where a distinction is made between the two as separate legal professions. // Artists impression of an English barrister A barrister is a lawyer found in many common law jurisdictions which employ a split profession (as opposed to a fused profession) in relation to legal representation. ... A solicitor is a type of lawyer in many common law jurisdictions, such as the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Republic of Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, but not the United States (in the United States the word has a quite different meaning—see below). ...


Many U.S. states permit non-lawyers to serve as justices of the peace or as inferior jurisdiction judges in rural areas, but this practice is generally limited to less serious criminal offenses and small claims. Federal judges are not required by law to be attorneys, but the practice of appointing attorneys to the federal bench is almost universal.


Judges and Juries

In the common law system, when there is a jury trial in the trial courts, the jury generally decides questions of fact (guilty or not guilty, whether a party was negligent, etc.) while a single judge decides questions of law (under common-law systems, one of the judge's most important powers is to craft jury instructions).


In a trial before a judge, sometimes called a "bench trial", a single judge decides issues of both law and fact. Outside the United States, only a very narrow category of civil cases are tried before juries and usually criminal cases are tried before juries only in more serious cases. In the United States, cases where a jury is not available are the exception, rather than the norm, even in relatively minor civil and criminal matters. In United States practice, the right to a jury usually hinges on historical distinctions made between law and equity in Britain prior to the adoption of the United States Constitution. Lady Justice or Justitia is a personification of the moral force that underlies the legal system (particularly in Western art). ... The Court of Chancery, London, early 19th century This article is about the concept of equity in the jurisprudence of common law countries. ... The United States Constitution is the supreme law of the United States of America. ...


Because both civil and criminal procedure in common law systems developed in the context of a system where the ultimate decisions were usually deferred to a jury (even though this is often not the case outside the United States in civil cases), common law judges are limited in their power to resolve matters prior to a full trial, even if they have all information that they feel they need to resolve a case involving disputed facts.


Historically, in Europe in the Middle Ages, juries often stated the law by consensus or majority and the judge applied it to the facts as he saw them. This practice no longer exists. The power of juries to determine the law in a manner contrary to that dictated by the trial judge, or even ignore the law (which is often called jury nullification), has been controversial in American jurisprudence from very early on in American history. Generally speaking, current practice in U.S. law is to formally deny that such a power exists. But, U.S. law also maintains procedural protections such as a prohibiting testimony regarding jury deliberations, and disallowing government appeals of acquittals by juries in criminal cases, that have the practical effect of making it possible for juries to make their own determinations of law. Jury nullification occurs where a jury, apparently ignoring the letter of the law and the instructions by the court, and taking into account all of the evidence presented, renders a verdict in contradiction to the law. ...


U.S. legal practice also has an institution called a grand jury which is presided over on a day to day basis by a prosecutor, rather than a judge, although it is ultimately under the supervision of a judge. This institution investigates crimes via the subpoena power and screens serious criminal charges to determine if a prosecution is justified.


Appellate Judging

In common law practice, appeals are usually decided by a panel of judges, generally three appellate judges chosen at random in an intermediate appellate court and the entire composition of the court in the relevant highest appellate court in the jurisdiction, although decisions made by a subordinate or inferior jurisdiction judge are sometimes reviewed by a single judge.


Judges in civil law systems

In most civil law jurisdictions with inquisitorial systems, judges go to special schools to be trained after graduating with a law degree from a university; after such training they often become investigating magistrates. However, the inquisitorial system is not used in all civil law jurisdictions; it is primarily in use in countries of Southern Europe that were influenced by Napoleon's Code Napoleon, such as France, Italy, Spain, Portugal etc. In Northern Europe, the adversarial system is predominant in criminal matters. Nevertheless, judges in both Northern and Southern Continental Europe generally do not have backgrounds as practicing attorneys (or advocates), even though they are legally trained. Civil law or continental law is the predominant system of law in the world. ... An inquisitorial system is a legal system where the court or a part of the court is actively involved in determining the facts of the case, as opposed to an adversarial system where the role of the court is solely that of an impartial referee between parties. ... A Law degree is the degree conferred on someone who successfully completes studies in law. ... Southern Europe is a region of the European continent. ... For other uses, see Napoleon (disambiguation). ... The original Napoleonic Code, or Code Napoléon (originally called the Code civil des francais, or civil code of the French), was the French civil code, established at the behest of Napoléon. ... Northern Europe is marked in dark blue Northern Europe is a name of the northern part of the European continent. ... The adversarial system (or adversary system) of law is the system of law, generally adopted in common law countries, that relies on the skill of the different advocates representing their partys positions and not on some neutral party, usually the judge, trying to ascertain the truth of the case. ... An attorney is someone who represents someone else in the transaction of business: For attorney-at-law, see lawyer, solicitor, barrister or civil law notary. ... An advocate is one who speaks on behalf of another, especially in a legal context, and particularly in reference to the system of Scots law. ...


In the civil law system, serious matters are almost always decided at the trial level by at least three judges, and sometimes more, often in combination with lay persons in serious criminal manners, although one of those judges may take the lead in gathering evidence in a case. In civil law systems typically only the equivalent of U.S. small claims and misdemeanors are handled by a single trial judge. Small claims courts are courts of limited jurisdiction that hear civil cases between private litigants. ... A misdemeanor, or misdemeanour, in many common law legal systems, is a lesser criminal act. ...


For example, in Finland and Sweden, there are two kinds of judges in district courts: a legally-trained judge functions as the president of the court, while judges elected for a four-year term from the population, without any special legal training, serve as lay members of the court. Judges in special courts and appellate courts are always legally trained. Lay judges do not function like a common-law jury. In the usual case, three lay judges in district courts hear criminal cases in cooperation with a legally trained judge, each judge – legally trained or not – having an individual vote. However, in some jurisdictions, such as Denmark, criminal cases in severe matters, such as homicide, require a trial by jury, where the jury decides upon the issue of mens rea. Issues of law – and also the assessment of what has factually been proven to have taken place – is the responsility of the judge, who guides the jury by means of a jury instruction. Civil cases, however, are heard exclusively by legally trained judges. Homicide (Latin homicidium, homo human being + caedere to cut, kill) refers to the act of killing another human being. ... Trial by Jury is a comic Gilbert and Sullivan operetta in one act (the only single-act Savoy Opera). ... The mens rea is the Latin term for guilty mind used in the criminal law. ... Jury instructions are the set of legal rules that jurors must follow when the jury is deciding a case. ...


In civil law practice, appeals are usually decided by a panel of multiple judges. State courts can be called district courts. The highest appellate court in a civil law jurisdiction, often translated "supreme court" in English, is typically organized more like an intermediate appellate court in common law practice, in that decisions are usually made by a panel of judges that does not include all judges who are a member of that court. Also unlike common law practice, judges are typically assigned to appeals in the highest appellate court based on specialties in a particular type of law, rather than at random. Typically the only appellate court in a civil law system in which all members of the court will typically decide a case that will operate in a civil law country is the constitutional court, if any.


Non-judges with judicial power

Certain non-judges are vested with judicial power by virtue of their political or religious office, or their position as a responsible government employee.


In Japan, police officers can order punishments for minor offenses without approval from a judge. In U.S. military law, military officers can dispense justice for minor military law infractions without holding a court-martial, and also preside over courts-martial involving more serious offenses. A number of jurisdictions give mayors of municipalities judicial authority similar to a justice of the peace or magistrate. Many courts with probate jurisdiction give court clerks quasi-judicial authority as "registrars" of the court. Members of county commissions and city councils in the United States often have quasi-judicial authority in zoning matters. And, legislators sometimes sit in a judicial capacity, such as when they rule on impeachment charges of governmental officials, and in the United Kingdom, when law lords, who are officially members of the House of Lords, a primarily legislative body, hear appeals in legal cases. Military law is a distinct legal system to which members of armed forces are subject. ... A court-martial (plural courts-martial) is a military court that determines punishments for members of the military subject to military law. ... A mayor (from the Latin māior, meaning larger, greater) is the modern title of the highest ranking municipal officer. ... A municipality is an administrative entity composed of a clearly defined territory and its population and commonly referring to a city, town, or village, or a small grouping of them. ... A typical zoning map; this one identifies the zones, or development districts, in the city of Ontario, California Zoning is a North American term for a system of land-use regulation. ... Depiction of the impeachment trial of Andrew Johnson, then President of the United States, in 1868. ... The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom and is also commonly referred to as the Lords. The Sovereign, the House of Commons (which is the lower house of Parliament and referred to as the Commons), and the Lords together comprise the Parliament. ...


Historically, in the United Kingdom, certain matters, such as annulments of marriages and division of personal property of deceased persons, were the responsibility of ecclesiastical courts, in which clergy presided. Many countries, such as Israel and Pakistan and Iran, continue to have religious courts, particularly in matters of family law, that operate in addition to their ordinary courts with full authority to enter legally binding decisions. Other countries, such as Afghanistan under its newly adopted constitution, have a unitary court system in which some judges have primarily secular training, while others judges have primarily religious training. An ecclesiastical court (also called Court Christian) is any of certain courts having jurisdiction mainly in spiritual or religious matters. ... Family Law was a television drama starring Kathleen Quinlan as a divorced lawyer who attempted to start her own law firm after her lawyer husband took all their old clients. ...


Often parties in contractual relationships with each other enter into "arbitration agreements" which vests quasi-judicial authority to resolve disputed between the parties in a non-judge chosen by mutually agreed means. Sometimes these persons are legally trained, and sometimes they are not, but have some relevant subject matter expertise. Civil justice in the Roman Empire, which provided some of the foundational doctrines for Western systems often handled civil disputes through an arbitration-like mechanism. Courts can typically be called upon to enforce a final decision rendered by an arbitrator pursuant to an arbitration agreement if necessary. A contract is a legally binding exchange of promises or agreement between parties that the law will enforce. ... Arbitration is a legal technique for the resolution of disputes outside the courts, wherein the parties to a dispute refer it to one or more persons (the arbitrators or arbitral tribunal), by whose decision (the award) they agree to be bound. ... Motto Senatus Populusque Romanus (SPQR) The Roman Empire at its greatest extent. ...


Power of judges

In common law countries, such as the United States, and those with roots in the Commonwealth of Nations, judges have a number of powers which are not known to exist, or are not acknowledged to exist, in civil law legal systems, which collectively make the judiciary a more powerful political force than in civil law countries. This article concerns the common-law legal system, as contrasted with the civil law legal system; for other meanings of the term, within the field of law, see common law (disambiguation). ... This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Civil law or continental law is the predominant system of law in the world. ...


One of these powers is the "contempt of court" power. In a common law system, a judge typically has the power to summarily punish with a fine or imprisonment any misconduct which takes place in the courtroom, and to similarly punish violations of the court's orders, after a hearing, when they take place outside the courtroom. This power, in turn, may be used by common law judges to enforce orders for injunctive relief, which is a court order to take or refrain from taking some particular act, directed at the individual who must do so. This power is a vestige of authority that members of the nobility had when they personally presided over disputes between their subjects. It has the effect of giving common law country judges great power to fashion remedies, such as school desegregation orders and restraining orders directed at individuals. Civil law judges, in contrast, outside of specialized courts with narrowly delineated powers, generally lack contempt power or the power to impose injunctive relief. Contempt of court is a court ruling which, in the context of a court trial or hearing, deems an individual as holding contempt for the court, its process, and its invested powers. ... FINE was created in 1998 and is an informal association of the four main Fair Trade networks: F Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO) I International Fair Trade Association (IFAT) N Network of European Worldshops (NEWS!) and E European Fair Trade Association (EFTA) // The aim of FINE is to enable these... A prison is a place in which people are confined and deprived of a range of liberties. ... A courtroom is the actual enclosed space in which a judge regularly holds court. ... A court order is an official proclamation by a judge (or panel of judges) that defines the legal relationships between the parties before the court and requires or authorizes the carrying out of certain steps by one or more parties to a case. ... An injunction is an equitable remedy in the form of a court order that either prohibits or compels (enjoins or restrains) a party from continuing a particular activity. ... Nobility is a traditional hereditary status (see hereditary titles) that exists today in many countries (mainly present or former monarchies). ... Desegregation is the process of ending racial segregation, most commonly used in reference to the United States. ...


Another power of every judge in the United States, generally right down to the level of the magistrate, is the power to declare a law unconstitutional and invalid, at least as applied in a particular case. In contrast, most civil law countries limit this power to a special constitutional court, and all other judges are required to follow the enacted laws, even if the judge personally believes those laws to be unconstitutional, in the absence of an order from the constitutional court. However, if a person believes that a law applied against them in court is unconstitutional, they can apply for consideration in the constitutional court and, if the law is indeed declared unconstitutional, file an appeal against the ruling based on the now-invalidated law.


Similarly, in the common law system, cases in which the government administration is at issue, known as public law cases, for example, suits claiming violations of civil rights by government officials, are often heard by the same judges who handle criminal cases and disputes between private individuals. In contrast, in civil law countries, only designated judges or quasi-judges (such as the Conseil d'État in France) can hear public law cases, and ordinary judges can hear only criminal cases and cases involving private parties. This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... In France, the Conseil dÉtat (English: Council of State and sometimes Counsel of State) is an organ of the French national government. ...


Judges in a common law system are also empowered to make law guided by past precedent, or to choose to ignore past precedent as no longer applicable, based on a concept known as "stare decisis" ("to stand by what has been decided"), in cases where no statute or prior case clearly mandates a particular result, and in cases where past precedents, for some reason, no longer appear to provide firm guidance as to the current state of the law. For example, in a case of "first impression" which has never arisen in a publicly reported case in a state, a judge must choose which rule will apply, usually informed by decisions which have been made in similar cases in other jurisdictions and based on the public policies involved. Judges in civil law systems, in contrast, are strictly forbidden from "making law" and, as a general rule, are not bound by or even encouraged to refer to precedents established in prior similar cases. Stare decisis (Latin: , Anglicisation: , to stand by things decided) is a Latin legal term, used in common law to express the notion that prior court decisions must be recognized as precedents, according to case law. ...


Civil law judges, likewise, have some powers not usually held by common law judges. Most importantly, a common law judge is usually required to base a decision almost exclusively on the evidence provided by the parties to a case during the course of a trial, or a hearing, or in documents filed with the court. In contrast, a civil law judge frequently has the authority to investigate the facts of a case independently of evidence provided by the parties to that case, in what is known as an "inquisitorial" role. An inquisitorial system is a legal system where the court or a part of the court is actively involved in determining the facts of the case, as opposed to an adversarial system where the role of the court is solely that of an impartial referee between parties. ...


Oversight of judges

Federal judges in the United States (except those who have recess appointments) serve life terms for their period of "good behavior." Once appointed, state judges in the United States usually serve terms for a fixed period of years, after which they must be re-elected, face a retention election, or face reappointment by an appropriate authority. The law governing judicial elections in the United States is in flux with the general tendency being to discard historical limitations on the ability of a judge to campaign based upon judicial philosophy.


Most judicial systems in the United States have procedures for investigating breaches of judicial ethics and disability. Lapses of judicial ethics include matters such as taking bribes, open defiance of a binding court order, ruling upon a case in which the judge has a personal interest, failure to account for court funds, failure to conduct court proceedings with a suitably judicial demeanor, harassment of judicial employees or a judge's conviction of a serious offense unrelated to judicial service. Disability complaints often involve allegations that a judge is beginning to show symptoms of alcoholism, dementia or an inability to stay awake.


Complaints about a judge's judicial ethics or disability may ordinarily not contest the merits of the determination made by the judge, which can only be contested in the appellate process. Judges in the United States generally have absolute immunity for personal liability in the form of money damages for their discretionary judicial acts.


Almost every state and the federal government provides the legislature with the authority to remove a judge for cause in a quasi-judicial impeachment proceeding in which the legislative body hears evidence and renders a super-majority verdict limited to removal from office. Often the standard is "high crimes and misdemeanors" or failure to engage in "good behavior" while in office.


Many state judicial systems also have either a special commission or board charged with investigating alleged lapses of judicial ethics or disability, or vest that power in their highest court, usually a state supreme court. Such determinations may be appealed to the Supreme Court of the United States only to the extent that they involve the final decision of a state court system and pose a federal law question.


Some violations of judicial ethics, such as taking bribes or converting public funds, are also federal or state crimes investigated and prosecuted by the appropriate prosecutor.


In the federal system, there is no outside grievance body with the authority to discipline a U.S. Supreme Court justice. The U.S. Supreme Court has supervisory authority over the entire federal judiciary, in addition to its appellate responsibilities, and it has used this authority to establish certain procedures for investigating and addressing lapses of judicial ethics by federal judges.


In Canada, Justices (Justices of Peace) are appointed provincially to preside over minor cases, while Judges are appointed federally. Neither can be removed from office until they reached the retirement age of 65, 70 or 75 (depending on the type of appointment) unless they are found to have been in serious misconduct, in which case, the House of Commons and Senate (federally appointed) or the Judicial Council (provincially appointed) can pass a motion to remove a judge/justice from office. [1] A Justice of the Peace (JP) is a magistrate appointed by a commission to keep the peace, dispense summary justice and deal with local administrative applications in common law jurisdictions. ... The House of Commons (French: Chambre des communes) is a component of the Parliament of Canada, along with the Sovereign (represented by the Governor General) and the Senate. ... The Senate of Canada (French: Le Sénat du Canada) is a component of the Parliament of Canada, along with the Sovereign (represented by the Governor General) and the House of Commons. ...


Symbols of office

Being a judge is usually a prestigious and solemn position in society. A variety of traditions have become associated with the occupation.

In France, during ordinary hearings, judges wear a black gown.

In many parts of the world, judges wear long robes (usually in black or red) and sit on an elevated platform during trials (known as the bench). Black gown of the first president of a French court of appeal for ordinary hearings. ... Black gown of the first president of a French court of appeal for ordinary hearings. ... Wedding - Bridesmaid in long gown A gown or evening gown is a womans evening wear, corresponding to mens formal wear for white tie and black tie events. ... A dragon robe from Qing Dynasty of China A robe is a loose-fitting outer garment. ... Black cat, thought by some to cause bad luck (see superstition) Black is the shade of objects that do not reflect light in any part of the visible spectrum. ... Red is any of a number of similar colors evoked by light consisting predominantly of the longest wavelengths of light discernible by the human eye, in the wavelength range of roughly 625–750 nm. ...


In some countries, especially in the Commonwealth of Nations, judges sometimes wear wigs. The long wig often associated with judges is now reserved for ceremonial occasions, although it was part of the standard attire in previous centuries. A short wig resembling but not identical to a barrister's wig would be worn in court. This tradition, however, is being phased out in Britain in non-criminal courts.[1] A wig is a head of hair—human, horse-hair or synthetic—worn on the head for fashion or various other aesthetic and stylistic reasons, including cultural and religious observance. ... // Artists impression of an English barrister A barrister is a lawyer found in many common law jurisdictions which employ a split profession (as opposed to a fused profession) in relation to legal representation. ...


American judges frequently wear black robes. American judges have ceremonial gavels, although American judges have court deputies or bailiffs and "contempt of court" power as their main devices to maintain decorum in the courtroom. However, in some Western states, like California, judges did not always wear robes and instead wore everyday clothing. Today, some members of state supreme courts, such as the Maryland Court of Appeals wear distinct dress. A gavel is a hammer-like instrument used by judges and presiding officers. ... Contempt of court is a court ruling which, in the context of a court trial or hearing, deems an individual as holding contempt for the court, its process, and its invested powers. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Official language(s) English Capital Sacramento Largest city Los Angeles Area  Ranked 3rd  - Total 158,302 sq mi (410,000 km²)  - Width 250 miles (400 km)  - Length 770 miles (1,240 km)  - % water 4. ... In the United States, the state supreme court (known by various names in various states) is the highest state court in the state court system. ... The seven judges of the Maryland Court of Appeals in their crimson robes. ...


In the People's Republic of China, judges wore regular street clothes until 1984, when they began to wear military-style uniforms, which were intended to demonstrate authority. These uniforms were replaced in 2000 by black robes similar to those worn in the rest of the world. US Marine Corps MARPAT uniform Military uniforms comprises standardised dress worn by members of the armed forces of various nations. ...


In Oman, the judge wears a long stripe (Red, Green and White), while the attorneys wear the black gown.


Titles

In the United States, a judge is addressed as "Your Honor" or "Judge" when presiding over the court. The judges of the Supreme Court of the United States, and the judges of the supreme courts of several U.S. states and other countries are called "justices". Federal courts Supreme Court Chief Justice Associate Justices Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Counties, Cities, and Towns Other countries Politics Portal      The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) is the highest judicial body in the... In the United States, the state supreme court (known by various names in various states) is the highest state court in the state court system. ... Federal courts Supreme Court Circuit Courts of Appeal District Courts Elections Presidential elections Midterm elections Political Parties Democratic Republican Third parties State & Local government Governors Legislatures (List) State Courts Local Government Other countries Atlas  Politics Portal      A U.S. state is any one of the fifty subnational entities of the... J.L. Urban, statue of Lady Justice at court building in Olomouc, Czech Republic Justice concerns the proper ordering of things and persons within a society. ...


The justices of the supreme courts usually hold higher offices than the justice of the peace, a judge who holds police court in some jurisdictions and who typically tries small claims and misdemeanors. However, the state of New York inverts the usual order, with the Supreme Court of the State of New York being the most important trial court, and the Court of Appeals being the highest court; thus, New York trial judges are called "justices", while the judges on the Court of Appeals are "judges". New York judges who deal with guardianships, trusts and estates are known as "surrogates". A Justice of the Peace (JP) is a puisne judicial officer appointed by means of a commission to keep the peace. ... A trial at the Old Bailey in London as drawn by Thomas Rowlandson and Augustus Pugin for Ackermanns Microcosm of London (1808-11). ... In law, jurisdiction (from the Latin ius, iuris meaning law and dicere meaning to speak) is the practical authority granted to a formally constituted legal body or to a political leader to deal with and make pronouncements on legal matters and, by implication, to administer justice within a defined area... Small claims courts are courts of limited jurisdiction that hear civil cases between private litigants. ... A misdemeanor, or misdemeanour, in many common law legal systems, is a lesser criminal act. ... NY redirects here. ... Surrogate (from Lat. ...


A "senior judge" in U.S. practice, is a retired judge who handles selected cases for a governmental entity while in retirement on a part-time basis.


Subordinate or inferior jurisdiction judges in U.S. legal practice are sometimes called magistrates, although in the federal court of the United States, they are called "magistrate judges". Subordinate judges in U.S. legal practice appointed on a case-by-case basis, particularly in cases where a great deal of detailed and tedious evidence must be reviewed, are often called "masters" or "special masters" and have authority in a particular case often determined on a case by case basis. A magistrate is a civil or criminal (or both) judicial officer with limited authority to administer and enforce the law. ...


Judges of courts of specialized jurisdiction (such as bankruptcy courts or juvenile courts) were sometimes known officially as "referees," but the use of this title is in decline. Judges sitting in courts of equity in common law systems (such as judges in the equity courts of the U.S. State of Delaware) are called "Chancellors". Notice of closure stuck on the door of a computer store the day after its parent company, Granville Technology Group Ltd, declared bankruptcy (strictly, put into administration - see text) in the UK. Bankruptcy is a legally declared inability or impairment of ability of an individual or organizations to pay their... Young Men Organization Teenager and Teen also redirect here. ... A referee is a person who has authority to make decisions about play in many sports. ... This article concerns the common-law legal system, as contrasted with the civil law legal system; for other meanings of the term, within the field of law, see common law (disambiguation). ... Official language(s) None Capital Dover Largest city Wilmington Area  Ranked 49th  - Total 2,491 sq mi (6,452 km²)  - Width 30 miles (48 km)  - Length 100 miles (161 km)  - % water 21. ... For other uses, see Chancellor (disambiguation). ...


Individuals with judicial responsibilities who report to an executive branch official, rather than being a part of the judiciary, are often called "administrative law judges" in U.S. practice and commonly make initial determinations regarding matters such as eligibility for government benefits, regulatory matters, and immigration determinations. An administrative law judge (ALJ) in the United States is an official who presides at an administrative trial-type hearing. ...


Judges who derive their authority from a contractual agreement of the parties to a dispute, rather than a governmental body are called arbitrators, and typically do not receive the honorific forms of address, and do not have the symbolic trappings, of a publicly appointed judge. Arbitration, in the law, is a form of alternative dispute resolution — specifically, a legal alternative to litigation whereby the parties to a dispute agree to submit their respective positions (through agreement or hearing) to a neutral third party (the arbitrator(s) or arbiter(s)) for resolution. ...


In England and Wales (and much of the Commonwealth) judges of the higher courts are addressed as "My Lord" or "My Lady" and referred to as "Your Lordship" or "Your Ladyship". Circuit Judges are addressed as "Your Honour" and all lower judges, magistrates, and chairs of tribunals are addressed as "Sir" or "Madam". Magistrates are still addressed as "Your Worship" in South Africa and Canada, mainly by solicitors, but this practice in other Commonwealth countries is nearly obsolete. Masters of the High Court are addressed as "Master". When a judge of the High Court who is not present is being referred to they are described as "Mr./Mrs. Justice N" (written N J). In the House of Lords, judges are called Law Lords and sit as peers. This article needs additional references or sources for verification. ... Cicuit Judges are senior judges in England Wales who sit in the Crown Courts, County Courts and certain specialised sub-divisions of the High Court, such as the Technology and Construction Court. ... In the United Kingdom and countries having a similar legal system the legal profession is divided into two kinds of lawyers: the solicitors who contact and advise clients, and barristers who argue cases in court. ... The House of Lords is the upper house of the Parliament of the United Kingdom and is also commonly referred to as the Lords. The Sovereign, the House of Commons (which is the lower house of Parliament and referred to as the Commons), and the Lords together comprise the Parliament. ... The House of Lords, in addition to having a legislative function, has a judicial function as a court of last resort within the United Kingdom. ... For other uses, see Peerage (disambiguation). ...


In France, the presiding judge of a court is addressed to as "Mr./Mrs. President" (Monsieur le président/Madame le président), in Germany as "Mr./Mrs. Chairman (Herr Vorsitzender/Frau Vorsitzende). This article includes a list of works cited or a list of external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... A Chairman is the presiding officer of a meeting, organization, committee, or other deliberative body. ...


See also

An attorney is someone who represents someone else in the transaction of business: For attorney-at-law, see lawyer, solicitor, barrister or civil law notary. ... // Artists impression of an English barrister A barrister is a lawyer found in many common law jurisdictions which employ a split profession (as opposed to a fused profession) in relation to legal representation. ... Court dress comprises two forms of dress: dress prescribed for Royal courts; and dress prescribed for courts of law. ... An election judge (or poll worker in some states) is an official responsible for the proper and orderly voting in local precincts. ... The Politics series Politics Portal This box:      In law, the judiciary or judicial is the system of courts which administer justice in the name of the sovereign or state, a mechanism for the resolution of disputes. ... A magistrate is a judicial officer. ... The following lists are of prominent jurists, including judges, listed in alphabetical order by jurisdiction. ... A solicitor is a type of lawyer in many common law jurisdictions, such as the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Republic of Ireland, Australia, New Zealand and Canada, but not the United States (in the United States the word has a quite different meaning—see below). ... The prosecutor is the chief legal representative of the prosecution in countries adopting the common law adversarial system or the civil law inquisitorial system. ... In the United States, a public defender is a lawyer whose duty is to provide legal counsel and representation to indigent defendants in criminal cases who are unable to pay for legal assistance. ...

External links


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