A half-French phrase applied in England to the assizes, which are so called from the commission of oyer and terminer directed to the judges, empowering them to “inquire, hear, and determine” all treasons, felonies, and misdemeanors. This commission is now issued regularly but was formerly used only on particular occasions, as upon sudden outrage or insurrection in any place. In the United States, the higher criminal courts are called “courts of oyer and terminer.” Burrill.

More On This Topic

Link to This Definition
Did you find this definition of OYER AND TERMINER helpful? You can share it by copying the code below and adding it to your blog or web page.
Written and fact checked by The Law Dictionary