Common Pleas, Court of

Common Pleas, Court of

English court of law founded in 1178 to hear civil disputes. Under the Magna Carta (1215), it attained jurisdiction separate from the King's (Queen's) Court, though its decisions were subject to review by the latter. Beginning in the 15th century, it competed with the King's (Queen's) Court and the Court of Exchequer for common-law business. By the 19th century, the complexity of overlapping jurisdictional rules had become unbearable, and all three courts were replaced (under the Judicature Act of 1873) by the Supreme Court of Judicature, which remains the court of general jurisdiction in England and Wales.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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