COURT OF OYER AND  TERMINER - Black's Law Dictionary

What is COURT OF OYER AND  TERMINER? Definition of COURT OF OYER AND  TERMINER in Black's Law Dictionary - Legal dictionary - Glossary of legal terms.

In English law. A court for  the trial of cases of treason and felony. The  commissioners of assise and nisi prius  are judges selected  by the king and appointed and authorized under  the great  seal, including  usually  two of the judges at Westminster, and sent out twice  a year into most  of the counties  of England, for the  trial  (with a jury  of the county) of causes then depending at Westminster,

both civil and criminal. They sit  by  virtue of several commissions, each  of which, in reality, constitutes them  a separate and distinct court. The commission of oyer and terminer gives them authority for the trial  of treasons and felonies; that  of general gaol delivery empowers them  to try every  prisoner then  in gaol  for ,whatever offense; so that, altogether, they possess  full criminal jurisdiction.

In American law.  This  name  is generally used (sometimes, with  additions) as the title,  or part of the title,  of a state  court of criminal jurisdiction, or of the criminal branch of a court  of general jurisdiction, being commonly applied  to such courts as may  try felonies, or the higher grades of crime. Such courts exist in Delaware and Pennsylvania. They  were  abolished in New York and New Jersey in 1895.


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