JUDICIUM

judicium (joo-dish-ee-[schwa]m), n. [Latin] Hist.

1. A judgment.

2. A judicial proceeding; a trial.

3. A court or tribunal. • In Roman law, the plural judicia refers to criminal courts. Pl. judicia.

judicium capitale (kap-i-tay-lee). [Latin] Hist. A judgment of death; a capital sentence.

judicium parium (par-ee-[schwa]m). [Latin] Hist. A judgment of one’s peers; a jury trial or verdict.

judicium publicum (p[schwa]b-li-k[schwa]m). [Latin “public trials”] A criminal proceeding under a public statute. • The term derived from the Roman rule allowing any member of the public to initiate a prosecution. See COMITIA.

“Judicium publicum may have originally meant trial by or before the actual popular assembly, though it is doubtful whether the phrase existed at all before the ‘people’ had come to be replaced by quaestores. There is much to be said, in spite of Justinian’s explanation [Inst. 4.18.1], for the view that these criminal trials were called ‘public’ as being ‘of public interest,’ because, to use Blackstone’s words, their subject-matter affects the whole community.” 2 E.C. Clark, History of Roman Private Law § 10, at 441 (1914).