Which of the Following Courts is Authorized to Initially Determine the Facts of the Cases? - Legal Reasoning

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An appellate court, commonly called an appeals court, court of appeals, appeal court, court of second instance or second instance court, is any court of law that is empowered to hear an appeal of a trial court or other lower tribunal. In most jurisdictions, the court system is divided into at least three levels: the trial court, which initially hears cases and reviews evidence and testimony to determine the facts of the case; at least one intermediate appellate court; and a supreme court (or court of last resort), which primarily reviews the decisions of the intermediate courts. A jurisdiction's supreme court is that jurisdiction's highest appellate court. Appellate courts may follow varying rules from country to country. The authority of appellate courts to review decisions of lower courts varies widely from one jurisdiction to another. In some places, the appellate court has limited powers of review. Generally speaking, an appellate court's judgment provides the final directive of the appeals courts with regard to the matter appealed, setting out with specificity the court's decision on whether the action that has been appealed should be affirmed, reversed, remanded or modified. In the United States, both state and federal appellate courts are usually restricted to examining whether the lower court made the correct legal determinations, rather than hearing direct evidence and determining what the facts of the case were. Furthermore, US appellate courts are usually restricted to hearing appeals based on matters that were originally brought up before the trial court. Hence, such an appellate court will not consider an appellant's argument if it is based on a theory that is raised for the first time in the appeal. In most US states, and in US federal courts, parties before the court are allowed one appeal as a right. This means that a party who is unsatisfied with the outcome of a trial may bring an appeal to contest that outcome. However, appeals may be costly, and the appellate court must find an error on the part of the court below that justifies upsetting the verdict. Therefore, only a small proportion of trial court decisions result in appeals. Some appellate courts, particularly supreme courts, have the power of discretionary review, meaning that they can decide whether they will hear an appeal brought in a particular case.

Which of the following courts is authorized to initially determine the facts of the cases?

Options

  • Appellate Court

  • Supreme Court

  • Trial Court

  • Intermediate Court

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Solution

Trial Court

Explanation:

Refer to the first paragraph. The clue is 'initially'. It's the duty of the trial court.

Concept: Important Court Decisions (Entrance Exams)
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An appellate court, commonly called an appeals court, court of appeals, appeal court, court of second instance or second instance court, is any court of law that is empowered to hear an appeal of a trial court or other lower tribunal. In most jurisdictions, the court system is divided into at least three levels: the trial court, which initially hears cases and reviews evidence and testimony to determine the facts of the case; at least one intermediate appellate court; and a supreme court (or court of last resort), which primarily reviews the decisions of the intermediate courts. A jurisdiction's supreme court is that jurisdiction's highest appellate court. Appellate courts may follow varying rules from country to country. The authority of appellate courts to review decisions of lower courts varies widely from one jurisdiction to another. In some places, the appellate court has limited powers of review. Generally speaking, an appellate court's judgment provides the final directive of the appeals courts with regard to the matter appealed, setting out with specificity the court's decision on whether the action that has been appealed should be affirmed, reversed, remanded or modified. In the United States, both state and federal appellate courts are usually restricted to examining whether the lower court made the correct legal determinations, rather than hearing direct evidence and determining what the facts of the case were. Furthermore, US appellate courts are usually restricted to hearing appeals based on matters that were originally brought up before the trial court. Hence, such an appellate court will not consider an appellant's argument if it is based on a theory that is raised for the first time in the appeal. In most US states, and in US federal courts, parties before the court are allowed one appeal as a right. This means that a party who is unsatisfied with the outcome of a trial may bring an appeal to contest that outcome. However, appeals may be costly, and the appellate court must find an error on the part of the court below that justifies upsetting the verdict. Therefore, only a small proportion of trial court decisions result in appeals. Some appellate courts, particularly supreme courts, have the power of discretionary review, meaning that they can decide whether they will hear an appeal brought in a particular case.

Which of these is not an action usually performed by the US state and federal appellate courts?


An appellate court, commonly called an appeals court, court of appeals, appeal court, court of second instance or second instance court, is any court of law that is empowered to hear an appeal of a trial court or other lower tribunal. In most jurisdictions, the court system is divided into at least three levels: the trial court, which initially hears cases and reviews evidence and testimony to determine the facts of the case; at least one intermediate appellate court; and a supreme court (or court of last resort), which primarily reviews the decisions of the intermediate courts. A jurisdiction's supreme court is that jurisdiction's highest appellate court. Appellate courts may follow varying rules from country to country. The authority of appellate courts to review decisions of lower courts varies widely from one jurisdiction to another. In some places, the appellate court has limited powers of review. Generally speaking, an appellate court's judgment provides the final directive of the appeals courts with regard to the matter appealed, setting out with specificity the court's decision on whether the action that has been appealed should be affirmed, reversed, remanded or modified. In the United States, both state and federal appellate courts are usually restricted to examining whether the lower court made the correct legal determinations, rather than hearing direct evidence and determining what the facts of the case were. Furthermore, US appellate courts are usually restricted to hearing appeals based on matters that were originally brought up before the trial court. Hence, such an appellate court will not consider an appellant's argument if it is based on a theory that is raised for the first time in the appeal. In most US states, and in US federal courts, parties before the court are allowed one appeal as a right. This means that a party who is unsatisfied with the outcome of a trial may bring an appeal to contest that outcome. However, appeals may be costly, and the appellate court must find an error on the part of the court below that justifies upsetting the verdict. Therefore, only a small proportion of trial court decisions result in appeals. Some appellate courts, particularly supreme courts, have the power of discretionary review, meaning that they can decide whether they will hear an appeal brought in a particular case.

What does the word "discretionary" mean in the context of this passage?


Direction : The passage given below is followed by a set of question. Choose the most appropriate answer to each question.

It is very difficult to trace the origin of judicial activism in India. Since the judiciary has come to be recognized as an independent and separate organ of the Government under the Constitution of India, it would be prudent to scan the period subsequent to 1950 for tracing the origin. However, there are a few instances even prior to that period, where certain selected judges of High Courts established under the Indian High Courts Act, 1861 exhibited certain flashes of judicial activism. Way back in 1893, Justice Mahmood of the Allahabad High Court delivered a dissenting judgment that sowed the seed for judicial activism in India. In that case which dealt with an under trial who could not afford to engage a lawyer, Justice Mahmood held that the pre-condition of the case being heard would be fulfilled only when somebody speaks.

At the outset, it has to be stated that there is no precise definition of judicial activism accepted by one and all. However, there is a widely accepted notion that it is related to problems and processes of political development of a country. In other words, judicial activism deals with the political role played by the judiciary, like the other two branches of the State, the legislature and the executive. An eminent Indian jurist defines judicial activism in the following words: Judicial Activism is that way of exercising judicial power which seeks fundamental recodification of power relations among the dominant institutions of State, manned by members of the ruling classes.

The same authority goes on to add that judicial activism is the use of judicial power to articulate and enforce counter-ideologies which when effective initiates significant re-codifications of power relations within the institutions of governance. An analysis of the above attempt by Upendra Baxi to define judicial activism shows that activism of the judiciary pertains to the political role played by it, like the other two political branches. The justification for judicial activism comes from the near collapse of responsible government and the pressures on the judiciary to step in aid which forced the judiciary to respond and to make political or policy-making judgments.

Judicial Activism and judicial restraint are the terms used to describe the assertiveness of judicial power. The user of these terms presumes to locate the relative assertiveness of particular courts or individual judges between two theoretical extremes. The extreme model of judicial activism is of a court so intrusive and ubiquitous that it virtually dominates the institutions of government. The Encyclopedia of the American Constitution states that the uses of judicial restraint are not entirely uniform. Often the terms are employed non-committally i.e., merely as descriptive short hand to identify some court or judges as more activist or more restrained than others. In this sense, the usage is neither commendatory nor condemnatory.

These expressions viz., judicial activism and judicial restraint are used from the angle of the personal or professional view of the right role of the Court. Accordingly, the courts may be condemned or commended for straying from or for conforming to that right role. In U.S.A., in more than two centuries of judicial review, superintended by more than one hundred justices who have served on the Supreme Court and who have interpreted a constitution highly ambiguous, in much of its text, consistency has not been institutional but personal. Individual judges have maintained strongly diverse notions of the proper or right judicial role.

How did Justice Mahmood lay the foundation of judicial activism?


Direction: The passage given below is followed by a set of question. Choose the most appropriate answer to each question.

It is very difficult to trace the origin of judicial activism in India. Since the judiciary has come to be recognized as an independent and separate organ of the Government under the Constitution of India, it would be prudent to scan the period subsequent to 1950 for tracing the origin. However, there are a few instances even prior to that period, where certain selected judges of High Courts established under the Indian High Courts Act, 1861 exhibited certain flashes of judicial activism. Way back in 1893, Justice Mahmood of the Allahabad High Court delivered a dissenting judgment that sowed the seed for judicial activism in India. In that case which dealt with an under trial who could not afford to engage a lawyer, Justice Mahmood held that the pre-condition of the case being heard would be fulfilled only when somebody speaks.

At the outset, it has to be stated that there is no precise definition of judicial activism accepted by one and all. However, there is a widely accepted notion that it is related to problems and processes of political development of a country. In other words, judicial activism deals with the political role played by the judiciary, like the other two branches of the State, the legislature and the executive. An eminent Indian jurist defines judicial activism in the following words: Judicial Activism is that way of exercising judicial power which seeks fundamental recodification of power relations among the dominant institutions of State, manned by members of the ruling classes.

The same authority goes on to add that judicial activism is the use of judicial power to articulate and enforce counter-ideologies which when effective initiates significant re-codifications of power relations within the institutions of governance. An analysis of the above attempt by Upendra Baxi to define judicial activism shows that activism of the judiciary pertains to the political role played by it, like the other two political branches. The justification for judicial activism comes from the near collapse of responsible government and the pressures on the judiciary to step in aid which forced the judiciary to respond and to make political or policy-making judgments.

Judicial Activism and judicial restraint are the terms used to describe the assertiveness of judicial power. The user of these terms presumes to locate the relative assertiveness of particular courts or individual judges between two theoretical extremes. The extreme model of judicial activism is of a court so intrusive and ubiquitous that it virtually dominates the institutions of government. The Encyclopedia of the American Constitution states that the uses of judicial restraint are not entirely uniform. Often the terms are employed non-committally i.e., merely as descriptive short hand to identify some court or judges as more activist or more restrained than others. In this sense, the usage is neither commendatory nor condemnatory.

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