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In law, a session, or sitting, of a court. It originally referred to a judicial inquest in which a panel of men conducted an investigation. It was later applied to special sessions of high courts in England and France. Assize courts were abolished in most countries in the 20th century, but in France they are still the courts of first instance in the handling of serious crimes.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on assize, visit Britannica.com.