Courtroom English in Common Law System
I like watching American TV series with the theme of law which attract me by their interesting courtroom scenes, portrayal of lawyers, themes of justice or liberty, discussion of substantive legal issues, or other law related issues. Some classic law series I enjoy the most are The Practice, Boston Legal and The Justice, especially Boston Legal.
I would like to introduce to you these TV series next time. Today, I would introduce some expressions and sentences commonly used in the courtroom in countries with common law system.
Oyez is a traditional interjection said three times in succession to introduce the opening of a court in the United States. At the beginning of each session, the marshal of the Court (Court Crier) announces: “Oyez! Oyez! Oyez! All persons having business before the Honorable, the Supreme Court of the United States, are admonished to draw near and give their attention, for the Court is now sitting. God save the United States and this Honorable Court.”
2. May it please the court（庭上，请允许我…）
“May it please the court” is a statement said during an opening of a statement or when the lawyer would like to ask the court for permission to do something, or would like the court to do something. The lawyers say it to show deference to the court.
3. Your Honor（尊敬的法官大人）
The lawyer begins his address to the court with this phrase. The judge is the contact point for the court. By saying “Your Honor”, the lawyer gets the attention of the court and opens a communication channel with the court.
4. Objection! – Sustained/Overruled. （反对！—反对有效/无效）
Objection is a formal protest raised in court during a trial to disallow a witness’s testimony or other evidence which would be in violation of the rules of evidence or other procedural law. The judge then makes a ruling on whether the objection is “sustained” (the judge agrees with the objection and disallows the question, testimony, or evidence) or “overruled” (the judge disagrees with the objection and allows the question, testimony, or evidence).
Learning English while watching English TV series may greatly raise your interest in learning and be more efficient as well.
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