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"The Courts take even longer to decide things than the Senate."
Padmé Amidala[1]

The Supreme Court was the highest court of law in the Galactic Republic, and composed the judicial branch of the Republic's government. The Supreme Court was headquartered in the Galactic Courts of Justice Building on Coruscant. It survived into the reign of the Galactic Empire until it was replaced by the Court of Justice in 7 ABY under the New Republic.


The Court consisted of twelve justices (each addressed as "Your Honor"); one of them was the Chief Justice who headed both the Court and the judicial branch. The Supreme Chancellor would nominate judges to the Court which then had to be confirmed by the senate. The Chief Justice would be nominated by the Chancellor and confirmed by the other judges on the court. During his 13 year reign as Chancellor, (especially after the increase of his powers following the the Separatist Crisis and the beginning of the Clone Wars), Palpatine got the chance to replace all but 5 of the judges on the court, including the Chief Justice.

The Supreme Court, in addition to serving as a 'court of last resort' and as a determiner of constitutional legality, also tried cases involving the most important matters in the Republic, such as that of Supreme Chancellor Finis Valorum, who they called before them over charges of corruption. However, at least some cases (including the trial of senators for treason) were handled internally by the Senate. The Court apparently had the ability to try the same case more than once; this may mean that the Republic's judicial system had no concept of double jeopardy. Evidence for this can be seen in the four trials of the Trade Federation vs. the Royal House of Naboo after the Invasion of Naboo. Either that, or the proceedings always ended in a mistrial, necessitating another. The Court also had the power to issue subpoenas and writs.

When the New Republic took Coruscant in 7 ABY, the already defunct Supreme Court was replaced by the Court of Justice.

Behind the scenes[]

It is interesting to note that there are an even number of justices in the Supreme Court. No mention has yet been made on how split decisions are handled or avoided. This may be an explanation for having four trials of Nute Gunray, if the Court was split in deciding each of them and unable to reach a unanimous verdict, or even a supermajority (if this was required), or even in rendering verdicts at all (if simple majority was sufficient) causing a deadlock.



Notes and references[]

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