quarter sessions

quarter sessions

noun Law.
1.
an English court of general criminal jurisdiction for crimes less than homicide, held quarterly.
2.
(in the U.S.) a court with limited criminal jurisdiction, having local administrative powers in some states.

Origin:
1570–80

Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
quarter sessions
 
n
1.  See also crown court Compare assizes (in England and Wales, formerly) a criminal court held four times a year before justices of the peace or a recorder, empowered to try all but the most serious offences and to hear appeals from petty sessions. Replaced in 1972 by crown courts
2.  (in Scotland, formerly) a court held by justices of the peace four times a year, empowered to hear appeals from justice of the peace courts and to deal with some licensing matters: abolished in 1975

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

quarter sessions

formerly, in England and Wales, sessions of a court held four times a year by a justice of the peace to hear criminal charges as well as civil and criminal appeals. The term also applied to a court held before a recorder, or judge, in a borough having a quarter sessions separate from that of the county in which the borough was situated. Under the Courts Act of 1971, all of the quarter-sessions courts were abolished, and their work was assumed by a system of courts called the Crown Court.

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Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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