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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.
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.
open courta court or trial to which members of the public are freely admitted.
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
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