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A court is any person or institution, often as a government 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 people 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 interprets and applies the law is 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 barristers, and attorneys or counsel, as assistants, though, often, courts consist of additional barristers, 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 over the parties to the litigation and subject-matter jurisdiction over the claims asserted.

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  1. D

    Court Orders (debt recovery)

    Can a magistrate sign off on a court order for the recovery of a debt or does it have to be a judge?
  2. E

    Help, court order transalation on property settlement after divorce

    We had two investment properties to be sold, but at the time it would have not covered the mortgage as such so waited for market improvement. Property 1. Purchase inc fees $319,000 Sold inc fees are $283000 Loss = 34k Principal paid on loan $79,000, property was positive geared Property 2...
  3. E

    SA divorce property settlement, Court order Translation required.

    Court order was in place with this property. The investment property was sold with the option to buy under a lease to buy option in 2011, this was recognised on the court order and the court order had options if it did not proceed by the expiry date being 2013. Should have followed that up...
  4. B

    QLD resubmission of financials for court day

    hello , I have submitted my financial disclosure for property settlement for the upcoming mediation .my questions relate to the situation in the case if mediation doesn't come to an agreement and it goes to a trial . 1. Do i have to resubmit my financials for the court trial day? 2. Can and...
  5. B

    VIC Court Outcomes - IVO & Breeches

    Hello, I have an IVO placed on my ex partner. He has breeched this multiple times. 2 cases show up on EFAS, one I know about. The other, involves the same officer who supported my IVO application but I’ve not been aware of this new court matter & additional date. Hypothetically let’s say both...
  6. WHS

    VIC County Court Hearing

    I am entering a County Court Hearing in coming weeks. My question is what should I expect? I am the Plaintiff
  7. A

    WA Does anyone get charged with Perjury in Family court?

    If someone makes extreme and provably false accusations in family court are they likely to be punished criminally?
  8. A

    QLD OP Mislead the court

    Hi, Registra ordered a mediation when I mentioned the problems of the order. After mediation , OP holding mediation documents and did not respond and on court date OP told Registra that we reach agreement that has lead the Registra close the case. Regisra told me to submit a new application...
  9. A

    WA Insane case in Family Court

    Hello, here is my story, I am lost, hurting emotionally and financially whilst deeply concerned for the safety and well being of my son. I am a male, who impregnated my crazy stalker the night she uninvitedly entered my home and the bed I was in late one night.. (I gave up trying to keep this...
  10. Sarez

    NSW Court ordered drug test

    Hi there, Just curious to know what happens if the other party undertakes drug testing two weeks after cut off time? My son's father is a habitual user , and I have noticed he shaved his hair and even eyebrows! My solicitor informed me today that he had taken his test two weeks outside of...