A court is a form of tribunal, often a governmental institution, with the authority to adjudicate legal disputes between parties and carry out the administration of justice in civil, criminal, and administrative matters in accordance with the rule of law...
s that interprets and applies the law
Law is a system of rules and guidelines which are enforced through social institutions to govern behavior, wherever possible. It shapes politics, economics and society in numerous ways and serves as a social mediator of relations between people. Contract law regulates everything from buying a bus...
in the name of the state
A state is an organized political community, living under a government. States may be sovereign and may enjoy a monopoly on the legal initiation of force and are not dependent on, or subject to any other power or state. Many states are federated states which participate in a federal union...
. The judiciary also provides a mechanism for the resolution of disputes
Dispute resolution is the process of resolving disputes between parties.-Methods:Methods of dispute resolution include:* lawsuits * arbitration* collaborative law* mediation* conciliation* many types of negotiation* facilitation...
. Under the doctrine of the separation of powers
Separation of powers
The separation of powers, often imprecisely used interchangeably with the trias politica principle, is a model for the governance of a state. The model was first developed in ancient Greece and came into widespread use by the Roman Republic as part of the unmodified Constitution of the Roman Republic...
, the judiciary generally does not make law (that is, in a plenary fashion, which is the responsibility of the legislature) or enforce law (which is the responsibility of the executive), but rather interprets law and applies it to the facts of each case.
This branch of the state is often tasked with ensuring equal justice under law
Equal justice under law
"Equal justice under law" is a phrase engraved on the front of the United States Supreme Court building in Washington D.C. This phrase was apparently first written in 1915 by the architectural firm that designed the building...