King's Bench, Court of


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King’s (Queen’s) Bench, Court of

 

one of the oldest judicial institutions in Great Britain. The Court of King’s Bench was separated from the Curia Regis and made a special curia in 1178. Initially, it traveled about the country in the royal entourage. Subsequently, it came to deal primarily with important criminal cases; it also supervised the activity of the lower courts. It played an important role in the emergence of the common law. In the 19th century the Court of King’s Bench was made a division of the High Court of Justice. Since the reform of 1971, its competence has been limited to civil-law disputes.