- an English court of general criminal jurisdiction for crimes less than homicide, held quarterly.
- (in the U.S.) a court with limited criminal jurisdiction, having local administrative powers in some states.
Origin of quarter sessions
First recorded in 1570–80
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for quarter sessions
But the question about the Quarter-Sessions was by no means settled.
The severity of the magistrates at the quarter-sessions was equally revolting.A Shepherd's Life
W. H. Hudson
A case tried at Newbury quarter-sessions is fresh in the memory of many.The Mysteries of All Nations
Now the landlord could only proceed by ejectment in the quarter-sessions' court, or in the superior courts.
In that day the third-class amalgamator of distinct things was often on the bench of quarter-sessions.A Budget of Paradoxes, Volume II (of II)
Augustus de Morgan
- (in England and Wales, formerly) a criminal court held four times a year before justices of the peace or a recorder, empowered to try all but the most serious offences and to hear appeals from petty sessions. Replaced in 1972 by crown courtsSee also crown court Compare assizes
- (in Scotland, formerly) a court held by justices of the peace four times a year, empowered to hear appeals from justice of the peace courts and to deal with some licensing matters: abolished in 1975
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012