Quarter sessions

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QUARTER SESSIONS. A court bearing this name, mostly invested with the trial of criminals. It takes its name from sitting quarterly or once in three months.
     2. The English courts of quarter sessions were erected during the reign of Edward III. Vide Stat. 36 Edward III. Crabb's Eng. L. 278.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
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In addition to their judicial duties, the Court of Quarter Sessions transacted a large amount of business.
Eighty-nine cases were identified before the Police Court, 133 cases before the Court of Weekly and Special Sessions, and 76 cases before justices of the Court of Quarter Sessions for the city of Montreal.
Reflecting the overwhelming primacy of circulating capital in the age of manufacture, eighteenth-century parliaments enacted fourteen statutes that were devoted to governing property rights in fifteen industries.(2) Part of the expansion of what one contemporary termed "cheap and expeditious justice,"(3) individuals suspected of purloining materials faced the summary jurisdiction of local justices of the peace rather than an indictment in an assize court or court of quarter sessions. Most embezzlement laws dictated significant liabilities for offenders, punishments that generally intensified over the course of the century, including mandatory spells of imprisonment and public corporal punishment.(4)