CERTIORARI, in law, is a writ issu ing from one of the superior courts, di recting the judges or officers of an inferior court to transmit or cause to be certified (certiorari facias) records or other pro ceedings. The object of the removal is either that the judgment of the inferior jurisdiction may be reviewed by the su perior court, or that the decision and the proceedings leading to it may take place before the higher tribunal. An instance, of the former is where the convictions of magistrates or the judgments or orders of courts of quarter-sessions are removed by certiorari into the court of King's Bench by way of appeal against their validity, in which case the decision which has previously been given is re-consi dered, and is confirmed or set aside. An instance of the latter is where an indict ment found against a peer by an inferior jurisdiction is certified or transmitted into the Court of Parliament or the Court of the Lord High Steward, in order that the further proceedings and the adjudication may take place before the proper tribunal.
By this writ, indictments, with the pro ceedings thereon, may, at any time before actual trial, be removed from the assizes or quarter-sessions into the Court of King's Bench, as the supreme court of ordinary criminal jurisdiction. Tne 5 & 6 Wm. IV. c. 33, enacts that no certiorari shall issue to remove indictments or pre sentments from inferior courts to the Court of King's Bench, at the instance of a prosecutor, without leave obtained from the court, as by a defendant. In order to avoid the occurrence of frivolous ap peals, it is usual in statutes which give summary jurisdiction to inferior tribunals to restrict, or altogether take away, the right to a certiorari.