Prerogative court
A prerogative court is a court through which the discretionary powers, privileges, and legal immunities reserved to the sovereign were exercised. In England in the 17th century a clash developed between these courts, representing the crown's authority, and common law courts. Prerogative courts included the Court of the Exchequer, the Court of Chancery, and the Court of the Star Chamber. Their procedures were flexible and not limited by common law procedures. The Star Chamber became a tool of Charles I employed against his enemies, and was abolished by parliament. A parallel system of common law courts was grounded in Magna Carta and property rights; the main common law courts were the Court of the King's Bench and the Court of Common Pleas .

French equivalents

In France, more commonly known as cour souveraine (literally "Sovereign's court") or cour supérieure from 1661, referred to any prerogative courts of last resort in monarchical France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

. Among them included the King's Council, the Court of Accounts
Chambre des comptes
Under the French monarchy, the Courts of Accounts were sovereign courts specialising in financial affairs. The Court of Accounts in Paris was the oldest and the forerunner of today's French Court of Audit...

, the Cour des aides, the Cour des monnaies
Cour des monnaies
The Cour des monnaies was one of the sovereign courts of Ancien Régime France. It was set up in 1552. It and the other Ancien Régime tribunals were suppressed in 1791 after the French Revolution.- Origins :...

, and Paris and provincial Parlement
Parlements were regional legislative bodies in Ancien Régime France.The political institutions of the Parlement in Ancien Régime France developed out of the previous council of the king, the Conseil du roi or curia regis, and consequently had ancient and customary rights of consultation and...


Canterbury & York

The term also applied to one of the English provincial courts of Canterbury
Canterbury is a historic English cathedral city, which lies at the heart of the City of Canterbury, a district of Kent in South East England. It lies on the River Stour....

 and York
York is a walled city, situated at the confluence of the Rivers Ouse and Foss in North Yorkshire, England. The city has a rich heritage and has provided the backdrop to major political events throughout much of its two millennia of existence...

 having jurisdiction
Jurisdiction is the practical authority granted to a formally constituted legal body or to a political leader to deal with and make pronouncements on legal matters and, by implication, to administer justice within a defined area of responsibility...

 over the estates of deceased persons. They had jurisdiction to grant probate or administration where the diocesan courts could not entertain the case owing to the deceased having died possessed of goods above a set value in each of two or more dioceses. The jurisdiction of the prerogative courts was transferred to the Court of Probate in 1857 by the Probate Court Act, and is now vested in the Family Division
Family division
Family division can refer to:* Family Division of the High Court of Justice* divorce* annulment* division of property* alimony* parental responsibility * dysfunctional familyFor an overview, please see family and family law....

 of the High Court of Justice
High Court of Justice
The High Court of Justice is, together with the Court of Appeal and the Crown Court, one of the Senior Courts of England and Wales...

by the Judicature Act.
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