High court

High court is a name for a variety of courts, often with jurisdiction over the most serious issues.

While the Tokyo High Court is a second instance appellate court, which is lower than the Supreme Court of Japan, the High Court of Australia is the national supreme court. Yet both of courts are named high court.

For countries with a civil law system, the term 'high court' usually refers to appellate court dealing with first stage of appeal from a trial court, serving as an intermediate body before appeal to the constitutional court, court of cassation, supreme court, or other highest judicial body. The Tokyo High Court of Japan is an example of such a body, hearing appeals from district courts (the general trial courts)

In common law countries, mainly those in the former British Empire, the high court is often the superior trial court, and has plenary original jurisdiction, with lower courts (such as district courts or magistrates' courts) having limited jurisdiction; often, the high court tries the most serious offences such as murder, rape, and terrorism. Additionally, a high court may serve as an intermediate appellate body before appeal to a supreme or constitutional court. Some jurisdictions, especially federations, may have multiple high courts each with jurisdiction over a particular region. One notable exception is the High Court of Australia, which has both original and appellate jurisdiction in addition to performing constitutional court-like functions. The tasks of a typical Commonwealth high court are handled by the state supreme courts and the Federal Court.

List of high courts

Alphabetically by name of associated country:

See also


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