En banc

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In law, an en banc session (French for "in bench") is a session in which a case is heard before all the judges of a court (before the entire bench) rather than by a panel of judges selected from them. [1] [2] The equivalent terms in banc, in banco or in bank are also sometimes seen. En banc review is often used for unusually complex cases or cases considered to be of greater importance. [2]

French language Romance language

French is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descended from the Vulgar Latin of the Roman Empire, as did all Romance languages. French evolved from Gallo-Romance, the spoken Latin in Gaul, and more specifically in Northern Gaul. Its closest relatives are the other langues d'oïl—languages historically spoken in northern France and in southern Belgium, which French (Francien) has largely supplanted. French was also influenced by native Celtic languages of Northern Roman Gaul like Gallia Belgica and by the (Germanic) Frankish language of the post-Roman Frankish invaders. Today, owing to France's past overseas expansion, there are numerous French-based creole languages, most notably Haitian Creole. A French-speaking person or nation may be referred to as Francophone in both English and French.

A legal case is a dispute between opposing parties resolved by a court, or by some equivalent legal process. A legal case may be either civil or criminal law. In each legal case there is an accuser and one or more defendants.

Judge official who presides over court proceedings

A judge is a person who presides over court proceedings, either alone or as a part of a panel of judges. The powers, functions, method of appointment, discipline, and training of judges vary widely across different jurisdictions. The judge is supposed to conduct the trial impartially and, typically, in an open court. The judge hears all the witnesses and any other evidence presented by the barristers of the case, assesses the credibility and arguments of the parties, and then issues a ruling on the matter at hand based on his or her interpretation of the law and his or her own personal judgment. In some jurisdictions, the judge's powers may be shared with a jury. In inquisitorial systems of criminal investigation, a judge might also be an examining magistrate.


United States

Appellate courts in the United States sometimes grant rehearing en banc to reconsider a decision of a panel of the court (typically consisting of only three judges) in which the case concerns a matter of exceptional public importance or the panel's decision appears to conflict with a prior decision of the court. [3] In rarer instances, an appellate court will order hearing en banc as an initial matter instead of the panel hearing it first.

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 which primarily reviews the decisions of the intermediate courts. A jurisdiction's supreme court is that jurisdiction's highest appellate court. Appellate courts nationwide can operate under varying rules.

United States Federal republic in North America

The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States or America, is a country composed of 50 states, a federal district, five major self-governing territories, and various possessions. At 3.8 million square miles, the United States is the world's third or fourth largest country by total area and is slightly smaller than the entire continent of Europe's 3.9 million square miles. With a population of over 327 million people, the U.S. is the third most populous country. The capital is Washington, D.C., and the largest city by population is New York City. Forty-eight states and the capital's federal district are contiguous in North America between Canada and Mexico. The State of Alaska is in the northwest corner of North America, bordered by Canada to the east and across the Bering Strait from Russia to the west. The State of Hawaii is an archipelago in the mid-Pacific Ocean. The U.S. territories are scattered about the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, stretching across nine official time zones. The extremely diverse geography, climate, and wildlife of the United States make it one of the world's 17 megadiverse countries.

The Supreme Court of the United States, and the highest courts of most states, do not sit in panels but hear all of their cases en banc (with the exception of cases where a judge is ill or recused).

Supreme Court of the United States Highest court in the United States

The Supreme Court of the United States is the highest court in the federal judiciary of the United States. Established pursuant to Article III of the U.S. Constitution in 1789, it has original jurisdiction over a narrow range of cases, including suits between two or more states and those involving ambassadors. It also has ultimate appellate jurisdiction over all federal court and state court cases that involve a point of federal constitutional or statutory law. The Court has the power of judicial review, the ability to invalidate a statute for violating a provision of the Constitution or an executive act for being unlawful. However, it may act only within the context of a case in an area of law over which it has jurisdiction. The court may decide cases having political overtones, but it has ruled that it does not have power to decide nonjusticiable political questions. Each year it agrees to hear about one hundred to one hundred fifty of the more than seven thousand cases that it is asked to review.

In the United States, a state supreme court is the ultimate judicial tribunal in the court system of a particular state. On matters of state law, the decisions of a state supreme court are considered final and binding on state and even United States federal courts.

U.S. state constituent political entity of the United States

In the United States, a state is a constituent political entity, of which there are currently 50. Bound together in a political union, each state holds governmental jurisdiction over a separate and defined geographic territory and shares its sovereignty with the federal government. Due to this shared sovereignty, Americans are citizens both of the federal republic and of the state in which they reside. State citizenship and residency are flexible, and no government approval is required to move between states, except for persons restricted by certain types of court orders. Four states use the term commonwealth rather than state in their full official names.

Cases in United States courts of appeals are heard by a three-judge panel. A majority of the active circuit judges may decide to hear or rehear a case en banc. Parties may suggest an en banc hearing to the judges but have no right to it. The Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure state that en banc proceedings are disfavored but may be ordered to maintain uniformity of decisions within the circuit or if the issue is exceptionally important (Fed. R. App. P. 35(a)). Each court of appeals also has particular rules regarding en banc proceedings. Under the doctrine of stare decisis , as applied in the federal court system, only a court sitting en banc or the U.S. Supreme Court can overrule a prior decision in the same circuit; in other words, one panel cannot overrule another.

United States courts of appeals post-1891 U.S. appellate circuit courts

The United States courts of appeals or circuit courts are the intermediate appellate courts of the United States federal court system. A court of appeals decides appeals from the district courts within its federal judicial circuit, and in some instances from other designated federal courts and administrative agencies.

United States federal judge position in the USA

In the United States, the title of federal judge means a judge appointed by the President of the United States and confirmed by the United States Senate pursuant to the Appointments Clause in Article II of the United States Constitution.

The Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure are a set of rules, promulgated by the Supreme Court of the United States on recommendation of an advisory committee, to govern procedures in cases in the United States Courts of Appeals.

Federal law provides that for courts with more than 15 judges, an en banc hearing may consist of "such number of members of its en banc courts as may be prescribed by rule of the court of appeals." [4] The Ninth Circuit, with 29 judges, uses this procedure, and its en banc court consists of 11 judges. Theoretically, the Ninth Circuit can hear the case with all judges participating. In practice, however, such a hearing has only been requested rarely; the requests have all been denied. [5] [6] [7] The Fifth Circuit, with 17 judges, also adopted a similar procedure in 1986. State of La. ex rel. Guste v. M/V TESTBANK, 752 F.2d 1019 (5th Cir. 1985) (en banc). The Sixth Circuit has 16 judges [8] but as of September 2016 [9] it has not yet adopted such a policy; en banc cases are generally heard by all 16 judges. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, established in 1978, sat en banc for the first time in 2017 in a case concerning bulk data collection. [10]

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit Federal court with appellate jurisdiction over the districts of Alaska, Arizona, California, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon and Washington

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit is a U.S. Federal court with appellate jurisdiction over the district courts in the following districts:

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit federal court

The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit is a federal court with appellate jurisdiction over the district courts in the following federal judicial districts:

United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit

The United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit is a federal court with appellate jurisdiction over the district courts in the following districts:

United Kingdom

The UK Supreme Court has twelve justices, and cases are ordinarily decided by panels of five. However, the Court may sit en banc:

Supreme Court of the United Kingdom Highest court of appeal in England, Wales and Northern Ireland, and for limited matters in Scotland

The Supreme Court is the final court of appeal in the UK for civil cases, and for criminal cases from England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It hears cases of the greatest public or constitutional importance affecting the whole population.

As of January 2017, only one case has been heard en banc, R (Miller) v Secretary of State for Exiting the European Union , [12] which was heard by eleven justices as there was one judicial vacancy at the time.


The Supreme Court of Japan, which has a total of fifteen justices, ordinarily hears cases in panels of five judges, but is required to hear cases en banc (by the "Grand Bench", 大法廷 daihōtei) when ruling on most constitutional issues, when overturning a previous decision of the Supreme Court, when the five-judge panel is unable to reach a decision, and in other limited cases. [13]

See also

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  1. Legal Definition of En Banc
  2. 1 2 law.com Law Dictionary
  3. Fed. R. App. P. 35(a).
  4. Pub.L. 95–486
  5. SeeAbebe v. Holder, 577 F.3d 1113 (2009); Compassion in Dying v. Washington, 85 F.3d 1440 (9th Cir. 1996); United States v. Penn, 647 F.2d 876, 889-91 (9th Cir. 1980); Campbell v. Wood, 20 F.3d 1050, 1051, 1053 (9th Cir. 1994).
  6. Paul Elias (2009-11-25). "Feds seek rehearing of baseball drug list ruling". Associated Press.
  7. "Feds seek rehearing of baseball drug list ruling". USA Today. 2009-11-24.
  8. "U.S. Courts of Appeals; Additional Authorized Judgeships" (PDF).
  10. "IN RE OPINIONS & ORDERS OF THIS COURT ADDRESSING BULK COLLECTION OF DATA UNDER THE FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE SURVEILLANCE ACT" (PDF). Sitting en banc for the first time in our history, we now vacate that decision.
  11. Darbyshire, Penny (2015-05-19). "The UK Supreme Court - is there anything left to think about?". European Journal of Current Legal Issues. 21 (1). ISSN   2059-0881.
  12. Michael Holden (30 November 2016). "Factbox: Brexit case in Britain's Supreme Court – how will it work?". Reuters. Retrieved 24 January 2017.
  13. "裁判所|Court System of Japan". www.courts.go.jp (in Japanese). Retrieved 2017-01-25.