Royal Tribunal

Royal Tribunal (Трибунал коронний; Trybunal koronnyi). The highest appellate court in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, created in 1578 by the Great Diet in Warsaw. It limited the power of the king and heard appeals of the decisions of the city courts, land courts, and the pidkomorski courts. The tribunal was composed of 27 judges or deputies elected for one year at the voivodeship dietines of the gentry throughout the Commonwealth. When a case involved a church figure, it was heard by six lay judges and six clerical judges elected by church chapters. The same diet also created the Lutsk Tribunal to handle appeals from the Ukrainian territories of the Commonwealth. In 1581 the Supreme Lithuanian Tribunal was set up for Lithuanian territories. At its sessions in Piotrków and Poznań the Royal Tribunal heard appeals from Polish territories in Lublin and from Ukrainian territories in Lviv. In 1764 a special Royal Tribunal was set up in Lublin to serve the Ukrainian voivodeships of the Commonwealth.

[This article originally appeared in the Encyclopedia of Ukraine, vol. 4 (1993).]

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