oyer and terminer

Also found in: Legal, Wikipedia.
Related to oyer and terminer: oyez, gelt

oy·er and ter·mi·ner

 (oi′ər; tûr′mə-nər)
n. Law
1. A court of general criminal jurisdiction in some states of the United States.
a. A commission empowering a judge in Great Britain to hear and rule on a criminal case at the assizes.
b. The court in Great Britain where such a hearing is held.

[Middle English, partial translation of Anglo-Norman oyer et terminer, to hear and determine : oyer, to hear + terminer, to determine.]

oyer and terminer

1. (Law) English law (formerly) a commission issued to judges to try cases on assize. It became obsolete with the abolition of assizes and the setting up of crown courts in 1972
2. (Historical Terms) the court in which such a hearing was held
3. (Law) (in the US) a court exercising higher criminal jurisdiction
[C15: from Anglo-Norman, from oyer to hear + terminer to judge]

o•yer and ter•mi•ner

(ˈoʊ yər ən ˈtɜr mə nər, ˈɔɪ ər)

1. (in some U.S. states) any of various higher criminal courts.
a. a British commission or writ directing the holding of a court to try offenses.
b. the court itself.
[1375–1425; late Middle English < Anglo-French: literally, to hear and determine]
References in periodicals archive ?
Supporting material includes essays on legal procedures used during the trials and a brief history of the published version of the records, and on the language of the time; an explanation of editorial principles and the chronological arrangement; a timeline of the Court of Oyer and Terminer and Superior Court of Judicature; and biographical notes.
Later that month, Governor Phips prohibited any further jailing and dissolved the Court of Oyer and Terminer. By then, 19 people had been executed, and 5 had died in jail.
'Commission of Oyer and Terminer upon the death of Arden',