The assizes, or courts of assize, were court sessions that were held all over England
from 1215 until 1972. The Courts Act of 1971 led to the assizes being replaced by the Crown Court, which was established by the Parliament of the United Kingdom in order to modernise the court system in Britain.
Assizes typically handled criminal law and dealt only with the most serious criminal cases; however, they also occasionally handled some civil jurisdictions. The assize judges were called the "justices of assize", and they would travel all over England
to hold court. The majority of the Assize Rolls
, the assize court records, can be found today at The National Archives in London.
- ^ Sweet & Maxwell. Civil Procedure (The White Book), Volume 2. 2006.
- ^ The National Archives Research Guide: Criminal trials in the assize courts 1559-1971