COMMISSION OF OYER AND TERMINER

COMMISSION OF OYER AND TERMINER

Commission of Oyer and Terminer (oy-[schwa]r an[d] t[schwa]r-m[schwa]-n[ schwa]r). [Law French oyer et terminer ¡°to hear and determine¡±] Hist. A royal appointment authorizing a judge (often a ser-jeant-at-law) to go on the assize circuit and hear felony and treason cases. Cf. DE AUDIENDO ET TERMI-NANDO ; COMMISSION OF GAOL DELIVERY; COURT OF OYER AND TERMINER.

¡°[U]nder the commission of Oyer and Terminer, as the judges are directed to inquire as well as to hear and de-termine the same, they can only proceed upon an indictment found at the same assize, and before themselves; for they must first inquire by means of the grand jury or inquest, before they are empowered to hear and determine by the intervention of the petit jury.¡± 1 Joseph Chitty, A Practical Treatise on the Criminal Law 142 (2d ed. 1826).


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