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Comment by Francis Davey[edit]

Something needs to be said about tribunals here. In England and Wales a “tribunal” is often something different from a court (with some notable exceptions). Francis Davey01:40, 21 Nov 2004 (UTC)

The difference does need to be brought out. Please see below.VivekM

It should also be said that the description of a court room is nonsense for my jurisdiction (England and Wales), which while not “typical” perhaps, is the oldest common law jurisdiction. Some things such as not having a flag; courts rarely being wood panelled and so on stand out. I cannot visualise where the “bar” is supposed to go in a court room from the description given. I have appeared in quite a few courts and never been aware of an area that only I may enter.

Perhaps those who work in jurisdictions with more typical court rooms could make a description that can be visualised (which way does the bar go for example) and make it clear that things differ.

In England and Wales there are some curious differences, eg in most London Magistrates’ Courts there is a single Royal Coat of Arms above the judge, in the City of London there is a vertical sword in its place flanked by the Royal and City Coats of Arms (one has to do something to while away the hours waiting to be called on). Francis Davey 01:45, 21 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I’ve added some of the above, rather than tried to edit what is there. I hope this will prompt someone to do a bit of editing — someone who knows more than I do about courts around the world. An explanation of what the “bar” is would be cool to.

Francis Davey 22:07, 6 Dec 2004 (UTC)

pluripersonal courts etc[edit]

Can someone explain the passage in this about pluripersonal courts, it makes no sense to me (a practising barrister in England). Does the pluripersonal describe the size of thetribunal — eg 3 judges usually sit in our Court of Appeal of England and Wales, or does it refer to the number of members of the court itself? The paragraph at the moment is deeply mysterious.

Francis Davey 11:00, 4 Dec 2004 (UTC)

I am an American attorney. I have never seen the term “pluripersonal” before. I concur with the comment by Francis Davey. The article does not seem to explain the term effectively. Can anyone enlighten us? Famspear 05:27, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

Attempting re-draft[edit]

Hi, I’m doing a re-draft on my user page (leaving the article as it stands), in response to (and agreement with) the Rfe. I think the present article is well thought out in structure but could do with some re-arrangement; and fleshing out of content particularly to enable linking to very good existing material on related topics. I’m new to town. So comment, help, directions and company would be more than welcome. Apart from treatment of Francis Davey’s requests already noted in the draft, explaining “bar” should be interesting. VivekM23:33, 1 October 2005 (UTC)

Civil Law[edit]

Hi, although I’m not a civil law qualified lawyer (and more than prepared to be corrected), it is not my understanding that civil law is based on French law (although France is of course a civil law jurisdiction); rather Roman law. Wikipedia contains a helpful entry on Civil Law (see the second link on the disambiguation page). Regards, —DRN 19:40, 1 October 2006 (UTC)

The term “court” sometimes means the judge, by law[edit]

I corrected some of the verbiage in the article. In the United States, for example, in the case of many Federal courts, the judge actually IS “the court,” by statute. Of course, the term “the court” can also refer to the room or place where the proceeding is held, and that is the more common use of the term. Yours, Famspear 23:54, 8 March 2007 (UTC)

This is actually a common-law tradition. You’ll see the same thing in Canada or England (as in finding things like “The Court addressed the plaintiff” etc. in the trial record). It probably comes from the fact that there weren’t fixed courts (as in places) in the past but rather itinerant judges who traveled a circuit. G. Csikos, 3 May 2008 —Precedingunsigned comment added by (talk) 23:18, 3 May 2008 (UTC)
Indeed it often causes muddle in England and Wales because many of our courts can sit in multiple places at multiple times. The High Court of Justice might be sitting in 40 or 50 places, not all in the same town, at the same time, but it is still one court (as we would understand it). It just happens to be rather a big one. The Crown Court is even bigger. For administrative and practical reasons this does make a difference. Francis Davey (talk) 23:52, 25 August 2008 (UTC)


I removed this:

The court was traditionally where the monarch gave an audience to visitors. These audiences were often appellants requesting the monarchs judgement in resolving a dispute. European monarchs of the medieval period, such as Englands Henry II, found it expedient to appoint representatives, known as magistrates, to dispense justice on their behalf. These magistrates were set up in houses across the country as surrogates of the Royal Court and so were also known as courts. These became the basis of the modern legal administration system and the word court has come to mean a place where the law is heard.

because it is so horridly confused in its historical account that it is far more misleading to leave it in. I am not sure I am able to produce something accurate to replace it or what should go there (if anything). One difficulty is that it is far from clear that a “court” is originally a specifically royal court. In any case the history is all wrong. There are lots and lots of non-royal courts long before Henry II (Sheriff’s courts, market courts, courts of feudal lords, courts of the counties Palatine, courts of the vil and hundred and so on). Magistrates or justices of the peace were a separate creation (as a counter-balance to the power of the Sheriff amongst other things) and had nothing to do with the central justice of the Royal courts. Local instances of Royal justice was carried out first through the institution of the Eyre and then via the system of judges going on circuit (even here I am simplifiying of course) at first with specific commissions, then with more general ones, not to mention the use of judicial writs to have matters heard in the county. None of this has anything to do with justices of the peace. Francis Davey (talk) 23:48, 25 August 2008 (UTC)

New lead[edit]

The lead now says that a court is a “government institution” and cites beginners textbook on law for source. How can that be right? Is the Court of Arches a governmentinstitution? For that matter the various Beth Din or any international court could not be described as a “government” institution. Looks wrong to me. Comments? Francis Davey(talk) 11:13, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

I think you may be viewing the word “government” too narrowly. “A government is the organization, that is the governing authority of a political unit, the ruling power in a political society, and the apparatus through which a governing body functions and exercises authority.” So, for example, a church has a governing body, and thus a “government”; likewise the international court operates through a governmental framework. In other words, a government needn’t be a national entity. Maybe it would be better termed an “instrument of governance”? — Mwanner | Talk 12:45, 17 October 2008 (UTC)

I think that’s such a broad use of the word government that it will confuse. A court isn’t really an instrument (is it)? More views welcome I think. Francis Davey (talk) 10:17, 26 June 2009 (UTC)

Me’s still busy [not really, :-)], back soon 🙂 VivekM (talk) 03:52, 25 June 2009 (UTC) today november 9 is my birthday and i am so proud of my self beacouse i am growing up and i a getting more meture i think


This article has an audience. The article, in various places, gives examples in good faith that would be familiar to readers and aids comprehension of the concepts…but only if you are from the US, the UK, or France. Someone else had already requested globalization, and I decided to specify the template after reading over the article. —Mr. Guye (talk) 22:56, 17 May 2014 (UTC)

Civil Law and Common Law[edit]

I am in agreeance with several posters regarding this particular article. As noted above, Civil Law is a variant of Roman Law and was not conceptualized by the French. This portion of the article needs some fleshing out and restructuring. Mmcasse (talk) 00:52, 5 February 2015 (UTC)

Requested move 16 August 2015[edit]

The following is a closed discussion of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. Editors desiring to contest the closing decision should consider a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the move request was: no consensus, leaning towards not moved. Primary topic has two criteria and it has been shown in the discussion that the law court meets the usage criterion. The long-term significance criterion is a lot more subjective and reasonable arguments have been made from both sides. Regardless, with the head count roughly split, one of two criteria favouring the status quo, and the other criterion up for debate, there can’t be considered a consensus to move and, if anything, there could arguably be a consensus against moving.

The discussion of Court (royal)Royal court got lost in the wash a bit. I’d recommend starting a separate RM for it that won’t get muddied with primary topic concerns.Jenks24 (talk) 20:53, 1 September 2015 (UTC)

– From research, what I am seeing is that it looks as though the subject currently at the ambiguous title Court and the subject at Court (royal) are both as significant as each other historically. Also, the current primary topic only averages about 2x the amount of page views than Court (royal) does. For this reason, the disambiguation page should probably be moved to the ambiguous title so that readers can try to figure out which article they are trying to locate. Steel1943 (talk) 02:07, 16 August 2015 (UTC) Relisted.Jenks24 (talk) 11:48, 24 August 2015 (UTC)

  • Counterproposal – In line with WP:NATURAL, which prefers natural disambiguation to parenthetical, I propose that this article should be renamed Court of law, and that the other article should be renamed Royal court. Then, the disambiguation page can be moved to court. This would provide an ideal situation, in line with our guidelines and policies. RGloucester 04:03, 16 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Support counterproposal per RGloucester, as NATURALDAB. Move disambiguation page to the base location. — (talk) 04:25, 16 August 2015 (UTC)
  • support original proposal / or half support counterproposal court of law will still easily come up with autocomplete, but royal court includes imperial court princely court so isn’t the obvious letter “R” to start search. In ictu oculi (talk) 08:18, 16 August 2015 (UTC)
Either way there’s support for the basic proposal here from all above, User:Steel1943‘s proposal should be implemented without fine tuning if there’s not clear support for court of law. In ictu oculi (talk) 08:20, 16 August 2015 (UTC)

I don’t think that’s really a problem. The phrase “royal court” is a standard phrase. It simply takes the parenthetical disambiguation of (royal) and adds it into the phrase, per WP:NATURAL. What you say implies that there is a problem with the current parenthetical disambiguator, i.e. “royal”. There is no justification for leaving the current situation, as it uses a parenthetical when a readily available natural alternative is available. RGloucester 15:22, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
Steel1943, I would say ‘no caps’ is ‘no disambiguation’ in this context, (though court should prob. not be caps). But the matter is not serious, anyone looking for the theatres wouldn’t be surprised to end up in the institution they took their name from. Pincrete (talk) 16:57, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Comment: I updated the appearance of the move request to accommodate the direction of the discussion. Steel1943 (talk) 13:48, 16 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Support counter Court of law proposal Court of law + Royal court per RGloucester, Royal court, is also the name of several notable theatres and would probably not be used in that form ‘naturally’, where ‘visiting the court’ or ‘going to the court of Queen Zorg’, would be more likely. Though I do not strongly object.Pincrete (talk) 16:19, 20 August 2015 (UTC)
Royal court already redirects to court (royal), so your opposition makes no sense. No theatre is called the “royal court”, only the “Royal Court“, and only then with added words like “theatre” or the city where the theatre is located.The actual “royal court” is the primary topic of royal court. There is no doubt about this. RGloucester 16:45, 21 August 2015 (UTC)

I was unaware of the Royal court redirect, so apologies RGloucester, mine wasn’t an ‘oppose’, it was a ????, since it is a redirect, it may as well be the article name.Pincrete (talk) 21:43, 21 August 2015 (UTC)
I can understand Royal Court as a dab page. As a proper noun, Royal Court has multiple uses that royal court does not. RGloucester 17:23, 21 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Very few people actually attend a royal court nowadays or will ever do so during their lifetime. Far more will set foot in a court of law at least once or twice. PerWikipedia:Article titles, specifically the part about “commonly recognizable names,” it seems to me we should default to the more commonly intended one. When the average English speaker says “I have to go to court today,” most people understand that they mean they will be in a court of law either as party, lawyer, judge, juror, journalist, or observer. Few people would think they are going to a royal court unless the speaker is actually a senior member of a royal family. —Coolcaesar (talk) 06:45, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose basically per Coolcaesar. What the OP says may well be true historically, but what counts is what’s true now. Very few of our readers will have any significant interaction with or knowledge of royal courts, even the ones who live in countries that still have them. By contrast law courts are very common, events in them are widely reported, and it’s common for ordinary people who don’t work in the legal profession to have to visit one at some point. If I type “court” into Google I get plenty of hits relating to law courts and plenty of hits relating to places that have “court” in the name (presumably because they have a courtyard), but I can’t see any relating to royal courts at all. Hut 8.5 15:54, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Perhaps we need a counter policy to WP:RECENTISM called WP:ANCIENTISM. The common meaning of an unembellished “Court” today is the legal entity.bd2412 T 18:31, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose. See commentary by Coolcaesar. Famspear (talk) 18:49, 23 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Relisting comment. Could arguably be closed as not moved now, but as most of the opposes have come within the last day it probably doesn’t hurt to give this another week just in case. Jenks24 (talk) 11:48, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
  • The above opposes are a nonsense, as the people involved clearly have not read WP:PRIMARYTOPIC, and are instead speaking anecdotally from their own personal experience of various “courts”. According to our relevant guideline, the primary topic is most patently not what first comes to mind. That’s because there is another criteria, one of historical significance. It is clear that both topics have extraordinary historical significance, and also clear that neither is the primary topic of the word court. Whether people attend a royal court or not is irrelevant. Not many people attended royal courts even when most countries had them, so I’m not sure why that’s even being brought up. What matters is whether royal courts and courts of law are topics of equal historical significance, and it is clear that they are, judging by the page view data provided by the proposer. RGloucester 12:52, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
  • I agree with this. If WP:RECENTISM was a criterion that leads to establishing a primary topic, I would have opposed this move myself and would have never proposed it. However, that is not how encyclopedias are meant to be designed; it’s about historical significance. Steel1943 (talk) 13:03, 24 August 2015 (UTC)
And I disagree. What is more important is the long-established policy on article titles vis-à-vis the less-important guideline on article title disambiguation. Under the policy, “court” for a court of law makes more sense because it most readily fulfills the five values set forth at the start of the policy: recognizability, naturalness, precision, conciseness, and consistency. Long-term significance is not necessarily always controlling. For example, it is beyond any reasonable dispute that the much larger city of San Jose, California, has far more historical, economic, political, and cultural significance at a global level than San José, Costa Rica by virtually every conceivable objective and subjective measure, but we continue to use a disambiguation page at “San Jose” because of the recognizability and precision factors. —Coolcaesar (talk) 13:36, 24 August 2015 (UTC)

This is a matter of disambiguation. San Jose is done as such because of the WP:USPLACE guidelines, not for any other reason. RGloucester 14:52, 24 August 2015 (UTC)

Not exactly. If the California city were considered to be the primary topic it would stay at the same page while the undisambiguated title would redirect to it. USPLACE does not prevent a city in the US from being the undisambiguated primary — for example, if a city was founded in Turkey named Sacramento the redirect to the California city would remain, despite it not being at that precise title.–Yaksar (let’s chat) 23:17, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
It is not true that royal courts and law courts have equal long-term significance, at least not on the timescales that we pay attention to. In an absolute monarchy the royal court is the centre of power, and so people with positions there will have great influence and events there will have huge impact. That is why royal courts did historically have more significance than they do now, and if we were writing this encyclopedia a thousand years ago then royal court would be the primary usage. However the vast majority of our readers live in countries which have never had monarchies, where the monarchy was deposed long ago or which have long been constitutional monarchies where the monarch has little or no power. This isn’t a recent trend, it spans centuries. Nor is it possible to demonstrate long-term significance with page view counts, and as I’ve noted few of the people looking for royal courts are typing “Court” into the search bar. Hut 8.5 19:49, 24 August 2015 (UTC)

Where or not a country had a monarchy or not is irrelevant. The concept of the royal court, as a concept, is historically significant in world history, and no less significant in that history than courts of law. RGloucester 20:18, 24 August 2015 (UTC)

But we don’t determine article titles based on whether something is “historically significant in world history”. We determine them based on current usage and (present) enduring notability. We don’t decide article titles based on the fact that something that used to be significant hundreds of years ago. Hut 8.5 21:40, 24 August 2015 (UTC)

Are you really trying to argue that royal courts are no longer notable? That’s a total nonsense. They may be a historical subject, but that does not make them less notable. Much of what we deal with here no longer exists, but the significance of those topics, and hence their notability, does not decline because they are historical. They are part of the essential fabric of world political history, and can hardly be said to be “non-notable”. They are still significant now, in that the existence of royal courts served as the precursor to modern forms of government. If more than one thing can be called “court”, we follow the relevant disambiguation guidelines, i.e. WP:PRIMARYTOPIC. WP:PRIMARYTOPIC does take long-term significance into account, so your argument makes absolutely no sense. RGloucester 21:56, 24 August 2015 (UTC)

No, I’m not arguing that royal courts are no longer notable, I’m arguing that they are significantly less notable than law courts and have been for some time. Yes, we do take long term significance into account, but that isn’t intended to imply that we should consider the significance of the topics over the entirety of human history. Hut 8.5 06:14, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

There is no question of “less” or “more” notable. There is only “notable” (WP:N). Notable is not temporary. Once something is notable, it stays notable. Notability is determined by discussion of a topic in reliable secondary sources, of which there are an infinite number discussing both royal courts and courts of law. Notability is the guideline used on Wikipedia to determine whether an article on a certain subject should exist on Wikipedia. It plays no part in decisions on disambiguation. RGloucester 14:54, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

You’re arguing that both courts of law and royal courts have equal long-term significance. WP:PRIMARYTOPIC defines long-term significance as “it has substantially greater enduring notability and educational value than any other topic associated with that term“. That’s the sense in which I used the word “notable”. I don’t think this definition is actually referencing the notability guideline because the term isn’t linked and because, as you’ve noted, the notability guideline is intended for discussions about the existence of articles. Notability is an English word aside from Wikipedia jargon. Hut 8.5 19:28, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

The topic of “royal courts” has no less enduring notability or educational value than the topic of “courts of law” . That’s a nonsense argument. Even if you were to ignore the importance of royal courts to political history, you cannot ignore the fact that there are still countries that possess them. RGloucester 20:53, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

Royal courts have been important to political history, yes, but law courts exert a far greater influence on our society and have for some time. If you doubt this then check Google: web, news and scholar searches are all overwhelmingly dominated by mentions of law courts, with few or no mentions of royal courts. Google Books does have a number of mentions of royal courts, but they are still outnumbered by mentions of law courts and the books about royal courts tend to discuss history that is at least a few hundred years old. Some countries do still have royal courts but they are getting far less attention than courts of law are. Hut 8.5 21:37, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

Again, it doesn’t matter whether one or other gets “more attention”. All that matters is that the word “court” is ambiguous, and that users searching for “court” often want a page other than the page about courts of law, as demonstrated by the statistics provided above. It is quite clear that neither courts of law nor royal courts have attained WP:PRIMARYTOPIC status, hence the need for disambiguation page, in line with our policies. RGloucester 23:16, 25 August 2015 (UTC)

┌────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┘The statistics above demonstrate nothing of the kind. Court gets 9000-12000 views per month and Court (royal) gets about 6000, but anyone who searches for “Court” wanting to read about royal courts would have to go to Court (disambiguation) to get there and that page gets only 600-700 views per month. Of course not all those 600-700 people are looking to read about royal courts because other articles are disambiguated as well. It’s true that this article doesn’t get vastly more page views than the article about royal courts, but that’s beside the point – we’re interested in which article is the primary topic of the word “Court”, not which is most popular. FurthermoreWP:PRIMARYTOPIC places usage counts in search engines on the same footing as page view counts, so you can’t use it to dismiss them if you want to go by page view counts. Hut 8.5 21:35, 26 August 2015 (UTC)

  • Support counterproposal (court of law, royal court). The theaters take their names from the idea of a royal court, and “royal” is the current disambiguation for the page right now anyway (“royal court” is better than “court (royal)“, which is how it currently stands). There is a high level of cultural recognition of both meanings, I would think. Though it is true that “far more will set foot in a court of law”, that’s not necessarily grounds for primariness. Far more people will meet knights of the Judi Dench variety than will meet knights of the Lancelot variety; yet the Lancelot variety is no less well-known for it. — the Man in Question (in question) 05:08, 25 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose Recentism concerns are important when a topic’s coverage has only recently risen and can be expected to decline in the near future. It is not particularly helpful when a term’s relative use has been high for the past half century and has no clear indication of decline in the future. In this case, news hits indicate such an overwhelming interest in the current topic that it seems this move would inconvenience the vast majority of readers.–Yaksar (let’s chat) 23:20, 26 August 2015 (UTC)
  • Oppose per BD2412‘s remarks above. — Notecardforfree (talk) 20:45, 28 August 2015 (UTC)
BD2412 provided no evidence to support his claims, whereas the viewership statistics provided above clearly point to an alternative conclusion. RGloucester 00:00, 29 August 2015 (UTC)
Your interpretation of those numbers is an egregious distortion. Stick to the facts, please. It neither improves your credibility nor the persuasiveness of your position. —Coolcaesar (talk) 08:48, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

RGloucester, I don’t want to restate arguments other editors made earlier in this discussion, but unless I missed something, the only objective evidence of notability you have offered in this discussion are your references to viewership statistics. However, the fact that more people look at something does not support the conclusion that it is more notable (see the fallacies of false equivalence, fallacy of the single cause, and faulty generalization). There are many other objective criteria that we must consider when determining whether one term is the “primary” topic. For example:

  • If you do a google search of the word “court,” the first few hundred results refer to a “court of law” (keep in mind that WP:PRIMARYTOPIC states that “[a] topic is primary for a term, with respect to usage, if it is highly likely—much more likely than any other topic, and more likely than all the other topics combined—to be the topic sought when a reader searches for that term” (emphasis in original)).
  • Court has nearly three times more page watchers than Court (royal). Isn’t this a better indication of who is really interested in the topic?
  • In a JSTOR search for the word “court,” 24 out of the first 25 results refer to a “court of law” and only one refers to a “royal court.”
  • In a ProQuest search for the word “court,” 100 out of the first 100 results refer to a “court of law.”
  • In a search of the New York Times Archive for the word “court,” only two of the first thirty results referred to a “royal court.”
This seems to me to be very strong evidence that a “court of law” is the primary topic here. If you have other evidence to support your argument (besides the page views cited above), then by all means let us know. Best, — Notecardforfree (talk) 10:09, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

This is not a question of whether one of the topics is more notable. That question does not exist in policy or guidelines. As soon as something is included in the encylopaedia, that makes it notable in Wikipedia terms. Notability is equal amongst subjects that pass the WP:GNG. None of your methods are valid. We follow the methods that are described in WP:PRIMARYTOPIC and WP:DAB, and by those methods, it is clear that the word “court” is ambiguous. RGloucester 17:01, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

RGloucester, per WP:PRIMARYTOPIC, do you have any evidence that court (by which I mean a “court of law”) is not “the topic that is primary with respect to usage”? I just provided four metrics that indicate it is “highly likely” “court of law” is “the topic sought when a reader searches for” the term “court.” The evidence listed in my previous post is both relevant and informative (incidentally, the word “valid” is a term that is used to describe arguments, not evidence). Your argument goes something like this: “there are high readership totals for both court and court (royal), therefore ambiguity must exist.” This argument is nether valid nor sound; the evidence simply does not support your conclusion. There could be many reasons why there are high readership totals. For example, there may be a disproportionately large number of readers interested in medieval history, or there may be less interest in learning about courts of law. That does not mean, however, that “court of law” is not “the topic that is primary with respect to usage” in the English language. — Notecardforfree (talk) 17:24, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

I don’t do useless scientific blather. Have fun in the realm of rational theatre. Regardless, the evidence is simple. The word “court” is ambiguous, when used on its own. It can refer to any number of things, the two primary usages being those discussed here. According to WP:PRIMARYTOPIC, viewership statistics are one way to determine what readers want. It is clear that the present court is not overwhelmingly more sought than the present court (royal). Remember that both of these articles are presently titled court, merely that one has parenthetical disambiguation. Therefore, by Wikipedia standards, it is clear that neither topic is primary for the word court. That’s not to mention the matter of long-term significance, whereby it is made even more clear that neither type of court holds sold dominance in the books of history. One can find just as many books on royal courts as on courts of law. RGloucester 17:30, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

Please don’t deride my comments as “scientific blather” — resorting to incivility does not make your arguments any stronger. It is true thatWP:PRIMARYTOPIC suggests editors look at page view statistics, but it also suggests looking at “Usage in English reliable sources demonstrated with Google web, news, scholar, or book searches”, which I included in my previous comment. As I explained in my previous remarks, an article may be “more sought” (and therefore have more page views) for all kinds of reasons. One reason is that Wikipedia readers are likely not a representative sample of the English speaking population. It might also be the case that the topic of royal courts is more interesting to the average reader than a court of law, and thus attracts a disproportionately large number of readers relative to the article about “courts of law.” Therefore, readership totals may not be the best metric for determining the primary use of the term in the English language. I would be very curious to see some objective evidence of “long term significance” with regard to how the term “court” has been used, but I have not seen any such evidence. In any case, it doesn’t look like there is consensus here to change the status quo. — Notecardforfree (talk) 17:50, 29 August 2015 (UTC)

Concur with Notecardforfree. RGloucester, you keep engaging in proof surrogates. Anyone who has studied informal logic or critical thinking or basic philosophy at the college level will see right through that cheap tactic. In any event, you never directly replied to my key point above, the distinction between policies versus guidelines and how we have a policy that directly controls this issue. You keep conflating policies and guidelines in a way that doesn’t make sense. It indicates that you either do not understand the difference or you do understand but are being disingenuous. (I was going to quote Inigo Montoya’s notorious response to Vizzini in The Princess Bride at this point but that would be overkill.)
Finally, to reinforce that you are arguing from ignorance, I just ran the relevant searches on WorldCat, the world’s largest union catalog, to refute your argument above that “One can find just as many books on royal courts as on courts of law.” The keywords “royal court” return 17,217 books, versus 209,892 books for “court of law”. Google Books returns 69,000 results for “royal court” versus 350,000 results for “court of law.” —Coolcaesar (talk) 06:17, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

More blather from the ivory tower, I presume. Regardless, if you had searched merely for “court” you would find many references to what could be more specifically termed a “royal court”, and associated items such as the “papal court”, which might as well be a royal court. We shall follow here the relevant guidelines on disambiguation and on primary topics. Those guidelines demand a change in the status quo. I would further like to note that you two have a conflict of interest, being members of the legal “profession”. It is in your interest, of course, to overstate the value of your own profession. Please spare the rest of us from your own self-aggrandisement. RGloucester 21:47, 30 August 2015 (UTC)

No. We will follow Wikipedia policy on Wikipedia:Article titles, specifically the part about “commonly recognizable names.” For the third time, you haven’t bothered to directly respond to that point. Your silence speaks volumes and underlines the weakness of your position.
It is quite amusing that you would appeal to what matters in the “books of history” and then turn around and denigrate the ivory tower. That means you’re a hypocrite or you likely do not hold a degree in history. Either way, you are in no position to lecture anyone on what is historically significant or who has a conflict of interest. I probably have far more personal hands-on experience with history, having visited over 100 libraries and two archives—and that was just for my undergraduate thesis. Do you even know what “double fold” means? I’m sure you will have to look that up. A true historian doesn’t.
I also note that the Princess Bride reference appears to have completely gone over your head. If you haven’t understood that yet, then you are really missing the point. —Coolcaesar (talk) 02:54, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

More words, declining profit. Are you proposing that neither “court of law” nor “royal court” are commonly recognisable? That’s not the question at hand, and would be wrong on every count. The question at hand regards disambiguation. If more than one thing is properly titled a “court”, the relevant guidelines and policies give us a few option. First, if one topic surpasses all the others, grant it WP:PRIMARYTOPIC status. Second, if no topic surpasses all the others by far, a disambiguation page is provided, along with titles that are disambiguated. It is clear, according to the relevant guidelines, that the court of law does not take primacy over other kinds of courts. Therefore, we have the proposal above. Your continued attempts to grant your profession outsize importance is tiring. Please recognise that whilst you may only use the word “court” to refer to your own variety of courts, others do not work within the confines of your legal jargon.RGloucester 03:34, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

┌────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┘RGloucester, your characterization of Coolcaesar‘s argument as “neither ‘court of law nor ‘royal court’ are commonly recognizable” is a straw man. You admit that “if one topic surpasses all the others, grant it WP:PRIMARYTOPIC status”. This is precisely what we have shown with our data above. I would love to see some data or facts to support your position, but so far you have provided none (aside from your spurious conclusions about page view statistics). Please try to observe WP:CIVIL, respond to the merits of our arguments, and do not resort to ad hominem attacks. Thanks, — Notecardforfree (talk) 16:22, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

  • Nominator comment: I’m not going to get involved in the debate above (which is quite informative), but … I would like to point out that at least two of the “opposers” above are declared current or former lawyers, and thus, I believe there may be a WP:COI/WP:NPOV issue with those opinions. Steel1943 (talk) 14:13, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
Steel1943, implying that a person has a COI is a very serious accusation on WIkipedia — please be very careful about making those kinds of ad hominem accusations. In any event, the fact that Coolcaesar and I have law degrees does not detract from the merits of our arguments. We have cited statistics from Google, JSTOR,ProQuest, the New York Times, and WorldCat that indicate it is “highly likely” “court of law” is “the topic sought when a reader searches for” the term “court” (quoting from WP:PRIMARYTOPIC). In earlier discussions, Hut 8.5 demonstrated how page views have been misinterpreted, and I also explained above that page views are likely not a reliable indicator of the primary use of the term in the English language. Again, please direct your comments to the merits of these arguments and keep in mind that WP:NPA states that is is “never acceptable” to use “someone’s affiliations as an ad hominem means of dismissing or discrediting their views”. Best, —Notecardforfree (talk) 16:09, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

…Emphasis on the word …may…. (Amazing how that word was overlooked which essentially set the tone for my entire comment.) Steel1943 (talk) 16:15, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

Using the word “may” doesn’t make it any less of an ad hominem and a red herring. As I said above, please try to observe WP:CIVIL, respond to the merits of our arguments, and do not resort to ad hominem attacks. Thanks, — Notecardforfree (talk) 16:29, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

…And thank you for continuing to accuse me of doing something which I haven’t. My comment was directed towards the closer of this discussion so that they take this information into account when assessing consensus. Steel1943 (talk) 17:15, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
Since your “arguments” are meritless and false, that would be impossible. Please note that “primary use of a term in the English language” is not how we determine WP:PRIMARYTOPIC status on Wikipedia. The primary topic is not what first comes to mind. RGloucester 17:06, 31 August 2015 (UTC)
I object to the insinuation. I am not a lawyer and have no legal training or experience whatsoever. In any case that comment is a blatant ad hominem attack with no validity. Hut 8.5 21:46, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

I probably should have specified which editors I was referring to. I did not think you were. My apologies for what this has done to the discussion; my intent was just to let the closer know that there my be some biased opinions in this discussion. This has already been called a red herring. Honestly, now that I see what I did, I’m a bit embarrassed at myself, though I still believe that the closet should take into account that some opinions above may be subject to bias. Steel1943 (talk) 22:01, 31 August 2015 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of a requested move. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page or in a move review. No further edits should be made to this section.

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