Full Court
A Full Court refers to a court consisting of a greater-than-normal number of judges. Thus, in relation to a court usually presided over by a single judge, a Full Court would comprise a bench of three (or more) judges; for a court which, like many appellate courts, normally comprises three judges, a Full Court of that court would involve a bench of five (or more) judges. The expression originated in England but seems largely to have fallen into disuse there; however it is still used in Scotland and in many other Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 jurisdictions such as Australia, New Zealand, India etc. Although possible, a Full Court typically does not involve the participation of all the existing judges of the court (a practice known, in the United States, as the court sitting en banc
En banc
En banc, in banc, in banco or in bank is a French term used to refer to the hearing of a legal case where all judges of a court will hear the case , rather than a panel of them. It is often used for unusually complex cases or cases considered to be of greater importance...


The term reflects the practice, before permanent appeal courts were established, of appeals from decisions of trial courts being heard by several judges of the same court (excluding the judge who gave the decision appealed from). Technically, a judgment of a Full Court is at the same level of the judicial hierarchy as the decision appealed from, and under the doctrine of precedent may not bind future courts at that level; however the greater number of judges involved and the fact that it is an appeal may make it almost as persuasive, in practice, as a judgment of the same number of judges in a higher court.

The historical trend to create separate courts of appeal, with permanent rather than ad hoc appellate judges, has reduced the need for the use of Full Courts. However they are still sometimes found in cases of great significance where there is either no possibility or no likelihood of a further appeal.
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