Legal Definition and Related Resources of Bench

Meaning of Bench

The court considered in its official capacity , while the judge or judges are sitting; remarks from the bench are those made by a judge or judges during such a session ; the body of judges collectively.

Bench Alternative Definition

A tribunal for the administration of justice. The judges taken collectively, as distinguished from counsellors and advocates, who are called the “bar.” The term, indicating originally the seat of the judges, came to denote the body of judges taken collectively, and also the tribunal itself. The jus tanci, says Spelman, properly belongs to the king”s judges, who administer justice in the last resort. The judges of the inferior courts, as of the barons, are deemed to judge piano pede, and are such as are called in the civil law pedanei judices. The Romans used the words sellae and tribunalia to designate the seats of their higher judges, and subsellia to designate those of the lower. See Spelman, “Bancus;” 1 Reeve, Hist. Eng. Law (4th Ed.) 40, “The court of common pleas in England was formerly called bancus, the bench, as distinguished from hancus reflris,-the king”s bench. It was also called communis banens, the common bench ; and this title is still retained by the reporters of the decisions in the court of common pleas. Mention is made in the Magna Charta “de justieiariis nostris de banco,” which all men know to be the justices of the court of common pleas, commonly called the common bench, or the bench.” Viner, Abr. “Courts,” note 2.

Synonyms of Bench


  • bar
  • bar of justice
  • board
  • cabinet
  • chamber
  • circuit
  • council
  • court
  • court of justice
  • court of law
  • forum
  • forum of justice
  • judge
  • judgment seat
  • judicatory
  • judicature
  • judicial assembly
  • judicial forum
  • judicial tribunal
  • judiciary
  • judicium
  • justice
  • justice seat
  • law court
  • legal administration
  • magistracy
  • magistrate
  • magistrature
  • open court
  • panel ofjudges
  • privy council
  • seat of judgment
  • seat of justice
  • tribunal
  • Associated Concepts: at the bench
  • bench docket
  • bench notes
  • bench warrant

Related Entries of Bench in the Encyclopedia of Law Project

Browse or run a search for Bench in the American Encyclopedia of Law, the Asian Encyclopedia of Law, the European Encyclopedia of Law, the UK Encyclopedia of Law or the Latin American and Spanish Encyclopedia of Law.

Bench in Historical Law

You might be interested in the historical meaning of this term. Browse or search for Bench in Historical Law in the Encyclopedia of Law.

Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms

Search for legal acronyms and/or abbreviations containing Bench in the Legal Abbreviations and Acronyms Dictionary.

Related Legal Terms

You might be also interested in these legal terms:

Mentioned in these terms

, En Banc, In Banc, Fiction, Judiciary, Queen”s Bench.

Translate Bench from English to Spanish

Translation of Bench, with examples. More about free online translation into Spanish of Estrado del juez and other legal terms is available here.

What does Bench mean in American Law?

The definition of Bench in the law of the United States, as defined by the lexicographer Arthur Leff in his legal dictionary is:

The structure, both seat and desk, on and at which a judge sits. By the common rhetorical device of metonymy, it has come to stand for the judges themselves, and especially for the judicial branch of government, as in “bench and bar.”


You might be interested in these references tools:

Resource Description
Bench in the Dictionary Bench in our legal dictionaries
Browse the Legal Thesaurus Find synonyms and related words of Bench
Legal Maxims Maxims are established principles that jurists use as interpretive tools, invoked more frequently in international law
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Related topics Bench in the World Encyclopedia of Law


This definition of Bench Is based on the The Cyclopedic Law Dictionary . This definition needs to be proofread..

Vocabularies (Semantic Web Information)


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Topic Tree A topic display format, showing the hierarchy
Sitemap Index Sitemap Index, including Taxonomies The URI of Bench (more about URIs)

Bench in the Dictionary of Law consisting of Judicial Definitions and Explanations of Words, Phrases and Maxims

The judge”s seat in a court. Also, the judges themselves as a tribunal or a professional class: as, the common or common pleas bench, the supreme bench, a full or partial bench. Compare Bar. King”s or Queen”s bench. The supreme court of common law in England, now merged into the High Court of Justice. The king in person used to sit in his court: In theory it was always held before the sovereign. It has also supervisory power over inferior tribunals, magistrates, and corporations. See 3 Bl. Com. 41; 4 id. 265.

Note: This legal definition of Bench in the Dictionary of Law (English and American Jurisprudence) is from 1893.

English Spanish Translation of Bench

1 Juez
2 Pol escaño
3 estrado
4 Tribunal
It is the oppinion of the bench: Es opinión del Tribunal
The Bench: Los jueces, La Magistratura
To be on the bench: Ser Juez
To be raised to the bench: Ser nombrado Juez
To bring before the bench: Llevar ante los Tribunales

Find other English to Spanish translations from the Pocket Spanish English Legal Dictionary (print and online), the English to Spanish to English dictionaries (like Bench) and the Word reference legal translator.

Bench in Law Enforcement

Main Entry: Law Enforcement in the Legal Dictionary. This section provides, in the context of Law Enforcement, a partial definition of bench.


This term is a noun.

Etimology of Bench

(You may find bench at the world legal encyclopedia and the etimology of more terms).

Old English benc “long seat,” from Proto-Germanic *bankon “bank of earth,” perhaps here “man-made earthwork,” later “bench, table” (source also of Old Frisian bank “bench,” Old Norse bekkr, Danish bænk, Middle Dutch banc, Old High German banch), from PIE root *bheg- “to break.” Used for “office of a judge” since late 13c. Sporting sense “reserve of players” (in baseball, North American football, etc.) is by 1909, from literal sense of place where players sit when not in action (by 1889).

Meaning of Bench in Spanish

Description/ translation of bench into Spanish: tribunal, órgano jurisdiccional colegiado; tribunal; bench trial = juicio por un tribunal (de jueces profesionales, sin jurado); bench warrant (= bench summons)= orden de detención (orden que da el juez o tribunal a la fuerza pública para que lleve ante él manu militari a una persona (sospechoso o testigo) que no atendió el llamamiento a comparecer (summons) (fr: mandat d’amener); bench conference: deliberaciones del tribunal[1]

Note: for more information on related terms and on the area of law where bench belongs (criminal procedure law), in Spanish, see here.

Notes and References

  1. Translation of Bench published by Antonio Peñaranda


See Also

  • Law Enforcement Officer
  • Police Officer
  • Law Enforcement Agency

Further Reading

English Legal System: Bench

In the context of the English law, A Dictionary of Law provides the following legal concept of Bench :

1. Literally, the seat of a judge in court. The bench is usually in an elevated position at one side of the court room facing the seats of counsel and solicitors.

2. A group of judges or magistrates sitting together in a court, or all judges, collectively. Thus a lawyer who has been appointed a judge is said to have been raised to the bench.

Meaning of Bench in the U.S. Legal System

Definition of Bench published by the National Association for Court Management: The seat occupied by the judge. More broadly, the court itself.


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