Definition of quarter sessions in US English:

quarter sessions

plural noun

  • (in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland) a court of limited criminal and civil jurisdiction and of appeal, usually held quarterly in counties or boroughs, and replaced in 1972 by crown courts.

    • ‘The justices of the peace at quarter sessions made any necessary corrections, then the sheriff copied the names into a jurors' book, and selected petit jury panels consisting of between thirty-six and sixty names.’
    • ‘At the completion of that process, Section 30 provided for the preparation of a provisional map; and Section 31 entitled any person aggrieved to appeal to quarter sessions.’
    • ‘Yet no sheriff or escheator of Northumberland accounted at the exchequer between 1461 and 1515, and by 1526 quarter sessions had not been kept there for a long time.’
    • ‘That did not stop Wellingborough's levellers being tried at the next quarter sessions; nor did it prevent the restoration of the monarchy.’
    • ‘Part of the reason for this rule was that the accused had to be physically present at assizes or quarter sessions.’
    • ‘In the same year his legal jurisdiction was extended to the whole county of Middlesex, and he was made chairman of the quarter sessions of Westminster.’
    • ‘In these circumstances the case would be heard in the common law courts of assizes, quarter sessions, or petty sessions.’
    • ‘Hundreds of maimed soldiers and destitute widows submitted petitions to the county quarter sessions in the hope of gaining some relief.’
    • ‘Now, is this kind of appeal from a justice a hearing de novo, like a quarter sessions appeal from a magistrate?’
    • ‘The counties were supervised by the lord-lieutenants, who were invariably peers, and until the 1880s by the magistrates of the quarter sessions.’
    • ‘In the case of the 1949 Act there can be no doubt that the procedure under section 31 at quarter sessions would be subject to the civil burden of proof.’
    • ‘In 1914 quarter sessions were given appellate jurisdiction over petty sessions in certain circumstances.’
    • ‘In most corporate towns, senior urban officers had the powers of justices ex officio, and could hold their own quarter sessions for the trial at least of petty, sometimes also of more serious offences.’
    • ‘Women were statistically more likely than men to be convicted of property crimes in Newcastle and Berwick's quarter sessions, whereas in Durham and Northumberland's rural communities they were in the substantial minority.’
    • ‘The assizes and quarter sessions courts, conceptualized as the top layer of the judicial system, had jurisdiction over only the small free minority of the population.’
    • ‘The office dates back at least three centuries and was historically the Judge who presided over the quarter sessions as well as having close links with the council.’
    • ‘In his speech to the first quarter sessions after the plague, the Recorder of Salisbury - Henry Sherfield - demanded ‘a reformation, a true and real reformation of this city.’’
    • ‘P. King's analysis of prosecutions at Essex quarter sessions in the late eighteenth century extended these points.’
    • ‘Another scene is the 1839 quarter sessions and Mr Sherratt has been seeking young people to play the victims of the heavy-handed justice meted out in those days.’


quarter sessions

/ˈkwôrdər ˌseSHənz//ˈkwɔrdər ˌsɛʃənz/