Ecclesiastical Courts

Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.

Ecclesiastical Courts

In England, the collective classification of particular courts that exercised jurisdiction primarily over spiritual matters. A system of courts, held by authority granted by the sovereign, that assumed jurisdiction over matters concerning the ritual and religion of the established church, and over the rights, obligations, and discipline of the clergy.

West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

ECCLESIASTICAL COURTS. English law. Courts held by the king's authority as supreme governor of the church, for matters which chiefly concern religion.
     2. There are ten courts which may be ranged under this class. 1. The Archdeacon's Court. 2. The Consistory Court. 3. The Court of Arches. 4. The Court of Peculiars. 5. The Prerogative Court. 6. The Court of Delegates, which is the great court of appeals in all ecclesiastical causes. 7. The Court of Convocation. 8. The Court of Audience. 9. The Court of Faculties. 10. The Court of Commissioners of Review.

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in periodicals archive ?
Section 10 of the Christian Divorce Act, 1869 has inherited the tradition of the ecclesiastical courts of the Church of England.
(27) We begin by considering and rejecting one of the most frequently invoked theories of the exception, the claim that it derives from the inability of the federal courts to entertain matters that were grist for the ecclesiastical courts in England.
In keeping with the tradition of continental civil law, English ecclesiastical courts possessed an advanced vertical appellate system long before one appeared in English common law.
Even if Justice Daniel were correct that in England, cases involving marriage, divorce, and alimony belonged exclusively to the ecclesiastical courts, (207) the early American colonies did not have ecclesiastical courts, so the ordinary colonial law and equity courts absorbed that jurisdiction.
At times the church accommodated in order to disadvantage the alternative, as by accepting the testimony of ("God fearing") Muslim witnesses in ecclesiastical courts in order to insure their use.
But where ecclesiastical courts feared to tread, Whig politicians rushed in to drag marriage out of the mystical realm and into the secular.
The embeddedness of these groups is underscored as their negotiated relationships with other overlapping and nearby communities, feudal lords, ecclesiastical courts, and state institutions are considered.
Tradition and memory of the past must help us to have the courage to open up new areas to God." If having the courage to open up ' new areas' to God includes, as Vatican Insider reports, new ecclesiastical courts that would handle sex abuse cases -- finally acknowledging and attacking the scandals -- even the most obdurate non- believer would have to say that Pope Francis' arrival might end up doing some good for humanity.
"The state courts of Florida are not ecclesiastical courts, and the entanglement of religious doctrine in a criminal trial is the kind of breach of church-state separation that not only prejudices the defendant but also injures the interests of the diverse religious communities that thrive in our society in part by virtue of their independence from the operations of the state."
It will not intervene in cases awaiting decisions from civil or ecclesiastical courts," the notice said.