Jurymen's Court

Jurymen’s Court


(1) In several Western European states (for example, Germany and Italy) of the period from the sixth-eighth to 16th centuries, a court consisting of “creators of order,” or “men of the court”—Schöffen, scabini, Rachinburgen—who, elected by custom and sitting together with a judicial official, conducted judicial investigation in the form of an inquisitorial procedure. Under Charlemagne (c. 770–780), permanent jurymen’s courts were established.

(2) In Germany after the revolution of 1848–1849, a court introduced by 1871 throughout the German Empire and consisting of an imperial judge and two jurymen (Schöffen). The court considered minor criminal cases. Complex criminal cases fell under the purview of jury courts, which in 1924 were replaced by enlarged jurymen’s courts, composed of three official judges and six Schöffen.

(3) Since 1950, in the Federal Republic of Germany, courts that consider cases involving serious criminal offenses not subject to the district judge but within the competence of the district court. The court consists of the district judge (presiding) and two jurymen (Schöffen) elected from among the citizens resident within the jurisdiction of the district court. The district judges and the Schöffen form a single collegium in the trial.

(4) A court established in France in 1941 by the Pétain government to replace the previously abolished jury court. It functioned as a single collegium, with three counselors of the court of appeals and seven jurymen selected by administration commissions on the basis of a property qualification.