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a legal term designating a locus of judicial authority; a special court.
(1) In ancient Rome, the raised platform on which important officials, such as consuls and praetors, sat when performing their official duties.
(2) In France, the revolutionary emergency court established during the French Revolution and called the Revolutionary Tribunal.
(3) In the USSR, courts established by the Council of People’s Commissars’ Decree on the Court No. 1, issued on Nov. 22 (Dec. 5), 1917, to combat counterrevolution and the most serious crimes (seeREVOLUTIONARY TRIBUNALS). Military tribunals are courts that try cases involving military and other crimes referred to their jurisdiction by law (seeMILITARY TRIBUNALS).
(4) An international judicial body for the prosecution and sentencing of major war criminals of World War II (seeINTERNATIONAL WAR TRIBUNAL) .
(5) In the judicial systems of certain bourgeois countries, such as France and Italy, a court of first instance or appellate court for cases tried by justices of the peace.