Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Wikipedia.



(1) In medieval England this term had four meanings. First, it referred to sessions of the royal council and also general decrees and dispositions of the king. The best known of these royal assizes are those issued by Henry II (1133–89): the grand assize, which, with the help of jurors, investigated sworn statements in the right of seisin of land; the assize of Clarendon concerning the creation of the so-called grand jury (of indicting jurors) for trying cases involving capital crimes; and the assize on weapons. Second, it denoted special kinds of juridical investigations—for example, on novel disseisin (the recent, forceful usurpation of a freehold) and on the death of an ancestor (the assize of mort d’ancestor), which was held when hindrances arose in the inheritance of a fief—formulated in the specifically English system of court orders (writs), which were issued to the plaintiff by an official of the Crown. The term “assizes” could also be used for traveling (circuit) sessions of the courts or for the court of jurors.

(2) In medieval France the assizes were primarily dispositions of the great land-owning lords. Most notable were the assizes of Bretagne and Champagne on the inheritance of fiefs (12th-14th centuries).

(3) The term “assize” also existed in other countries. For example, the assizes of Jerusalem were a code of laws which served to guide the courts in the Kingdom of Jerusalem, established by the Crusaders in 1099. Also well-known were the assizes of Antioch in a 13th-century Armenian redaction; the Roman assize, which was in effect in the Latin empire (1204–61); and others.

(4) In present-day Britain the assizes are traveling sessions of the Court of the King’s Bench. In this same meaning of a traveling court which tries cases with the participation of jurors, the term “assize” is also used in present-day France.


References in periodicals archive ?
08A MAN brought a libel action to Liverpool Assizes after he alleged he had been falsely described as German to his clients.
The Paphos Assize Court comprises president Dora Socratous, Senior District Judge Lia Markou, and District Assize Court judge Michalis Droushiotis.
With Johnston firing on all cylinders, consider putting Assizes and Moon Trip in a double.
Highlights include a set of six Charles II chairs which were believed to have been used in the court room of Hanging Judge Jeffreys during the Bloody Assize held at Taunton Castle, Somerset, in 1685.
The one-month suspension of "EuzgE-r Ortam" was ordered by Istanbul assizes court No.
He was convicted at Bedford Assizes of the murder of Gregsten on February 17, 1962.
Convicted of manslaughter at the Liverpool assizes, he was sentenced to one day's imprisonment.
The month of special assizes, "Les Grands Jours de Poitiers," was set up because the wars of religion throughout Poitou had stalled the legal machinery of the capital city.
The victim's left leg was broken in two places and the judge at Liverpool Assizes found against the cab's owner and driver.
The trial relating to a suspicious land-zoning case, for which Aristo Developers founder Theodoros Aristodemou, his wife Roula, Aristo's designer Christos Solomonides, and former Paphos municipality engineer Savvakis Savva, are facing charges of -- among others -- forgery, conspiracy to defraud, abuse of power, and legalising moneys obtained from illicit actions, resumes on Tuesday at the Paphos Assizes.
1966: Moors murderers jailed for life Ian Brady and his lover Myra Hindley have been sentenced to life imprisonment for the so-called Moors murders, at Chester Assizes.
A source said: "This case is being pushed forward to the Assizes with exceptional speed.