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In law, a writ issued by a superior court for the reexamination of an action of a lower court. The writ of certiorari was originally a writ from England's Court of Queen's (King's) Bench to the judges of an inferior court; it was later expanded to include writs from the equity (chancery) courts. In the U.S., certiorari is the most common means by which cases from the United States Courts of Appeals are reviewed by the Supreme Court of the United States. For the Supreme Court to issue a writ of certiorari, at least four justices must agree to hear the case.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on certiorari, visit Britannica.com.