Definition of certiorari in English:



  • [mass noun] A writ or order by which a higher court reviews a case tried in a lower court:

    ‘an order of certiorari’
    • ‘Well, your Honour, the orders that are sought are writs of mandamus and certiorari in this matter.’
    • ‘The applicant commenced proceedings in this Court for writs of mandamus, certiorari and injunctions.’
    • ‘The old judicial review remedies of certiorari, mandamus and prohibition were never applied to charitable trusts as such.’
    • ‘Certainly, insofar as the order nisi seeks writs of mandamus and certiorari, it is outside of the time limit.’
    • ‘If a lower court commits a factual or legal error, the Supreme Court will not grant a writ of certiorari simply to review that error.’


Late Middle English: from Law Latin, to be informed, a phrase originally occurring at the start of the writ, from certiorare inform, from certior, comparative of certus certain.