open court

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Open Court

Common law requires a trial in open court; "open court" means a court to which the public has a right to be admitted. This term may mean either a court that has been formally convened and declared open for the transaction of its proper judicial business or a court that is freely open to spectators.

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

open court

n. the conduct of judicial proceedings (trials, hearings and routine matters such as trial settings) in which the public may be present. Some hearings and discussions are held in the judge's chambers ("in camera") or with the courtroom cleared of non-participants and/or the jury such as adoptions, sanity hearings, juvenile criminal charges, and arguments over evidence and motions which might prejudice the jury. The Sixth Amendment to the Constitution, later applied to the states under the 14th Amendment, guarantees criminal defendants a "public trial," so all criminal proceedings are held in "open court." This does not apply to pre-trial negotiations and procedural and motion discussions with the judge which are usually held in chambers.

Copyright © 1981-2005 by Gerald N. Hill and Kathleen T. Hill. All Right reserved.

open court

a court or trial to which members of the public are freely admitted.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006

OPEN COURT. The term sufficiently explains its meaning. By the constitution of some states, and by the laws and practice of all the others, the courts are required to be kept open; that is, free access is admitted in courts to all persons who have a desire to enter there, while it can be done without creating disorder.
     2. In England, formerly, the parties and probably their witnesses were admitted freely in the courts, but all other persons were required to pay in order to obtain admittance. Stat. 13 Edw. I. C. 42, and 44; Barr. on the Stat, 126, 7. See Prin. of Pen. Law. 165

A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.
References in classic literature ?
"No, Evgenie Pavlovitch, if, as you said yourself just now, a lawyer said in open court that he found it quite natural that a man should murder six people because he was in misery, the world must be coming to an end.
For both of them he professes a respect in the open court, which contrasts with his manner of speaking about them in other places.
He hath refus'd it in the open court; He shall have merely justice, and his bond.
Micawber informed me that even the revengeful boot-maker had declared in open court that he bore him no malice, but that when money was owing to him he liked to be paid.
With the open courts and everything done in style, nowadays there's no question of stealing.
A spokesman told reporter that Superintending Engineer (SE) First Circle Chaudhry Elyas Ghumman held his open court in City Subdivision while Technical Officer Second Circle Waqas Baig held the court at Bakkar Mandi Subdivision.
QUETTA -- Director General National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Balochistan Farmanullah will hold an open court at the regional office in Quetta on Thursday.
ABBOTTABAD -- The local administration of Abbottabad would organize an open court here on August 1 for hearing the problems of masses.
RPO expressed these views during open court conducted at Jamia mosque Islamia high school after Juma prayers.
He was speaking at Khuli Kutchery or open court at the gate of his office.
Addressing an open court at Adda Lar on Friday, the DC claimed that open courts would help maintain good governance.
OPEN COURT: IGP retired Captain Arif Nawaz Khan directed the field police officers to hold open courts in their areas to address public complaints.