In law, the judiciary or judicature is the system of courts which administer justice in the name of the sovereign or state, and provide a mechanism for the resolution of disputes.
The term is also used to refer collectively to the judges, magistrates and other adjudicators who form the core of a judiciary, as well as the support personnel who keep the system running smoothly.
Under the doctrine of the separation of powers, the judiciary is the branch of government primarily responsible for interpreting the law.
· In common law jurisdictions, case law is created by the courts 'interpretations as a result of the principle of stare decisis;
· In civil law jurisdictions, courts interpret the law, but are, at least in theory, prohibited from creating law, and thus, still in theory, do not issue rulings more general than the actual case to be judged; in practice, jurisprudence plays the same role as case law;
· In socialist law, the primary responsibility for interpreting the law belongs to the legislature.
This difference can be seen by comparing the United States, France and the People's Republic of China:
· In the United States government, the Supreme Court is the final authority on the interpretation of the federal Constitution and all statutes and regulations created pursuant to it;
· In France, the final authority on the interpretation of the law is the Conseil d'Etat for administrative cases, and the Court of Cassation for civil and criminal cases;
· And in the PRC, the final authority on the interpretation of the law is the National People's Congress.
· Other countries such as Argentina have mixed systems that include lower courts, appeals courts, a cassation court (for criminal law) and a Supreme Court. In this system the Supreme Court is always the final authority but criminal cases have four stages, one more than civil law.
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