COURTS, COURTROOMS, AND JURIES
Each of the countries discussed in this book has a system of courts in line with its own needs and choice. Some have similar features, but no two are truly alike. Speaking broadly, however, each of these systems -- and in fact practically every known judicial system in the world -- has endeavored to separate the jurisdiction of trial (first instance) and appellate (review) courts. Some courts do fulfill both functions, but in that event -- if justice is to have any meaning at all -- it will at the very least have separate dockets for each area. This applies, for example, to an English Court of Quarters Sessions and a French Cour d'Assize. In a rather limited sense, the Supreme Court of the United States is also constitutionally empowered to exercise jurisdiction in the trial as well as in the appellate area, termed original and appellate by Article III of the Constitution, where these designations are found. However, that high tribunal's original jurisdiction docket is usually empty; seldom, if ever, has it exceeded more than 1 per cent of the volume of cases handled by the Court. The overwhelming number of cases and controversies that reach the highest tribunal in the American judicial hierarchy do so under its appellate jurisdiction. In fact, as will be explained in more detail in Chapter V, the Supreme Court may, save in the instance of litigation involving two or more of the fifty states, share its original jurisdiction with courts below - i.e. its original jurisdiction is thus concurrent with them -- which, in effect, means that seldom, if ever, will the Supreme Court decide such a case in its role of a trial court.