(prepared by Lilian Schmid)
During the month of May we are praying for the domain or sphere of Law and Justice.
Let us read Psalm 84:
How lovely is your dwelling place,
My soul yearns, even faints,
for the courts of the Lord;
my heart and my flesh cry out
for the living God.
Even the sparrow has found a home,
and the swallow a nest for herself,
where she may have her young—
a place near your altar,
Lord Almighty, my King and my God.
Blessed are those who dwell in your house;
they are ever praising you.
Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baka,
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion.
Hear my prayer, Lord God Almighty;
listen to me, God of Jacob.
Look on our shield, O God;
look with favor on your anointed one.
Better is one day in your courts
than a thousand elsewhere;
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
than dwell in the tents of the wicked.
For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
the Lord bestows favor and honor;
no good thing does he withhold
from those whose walk is blameless.
blessed is the one who trusts in you.
What are the Courts?
From Wikipedia (en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Court):
“A court is any person or institution, often as a government institution, with the authority to adjudicate legal disputes between parties and carry out the administration of justice in civil, criminal, and administrative matters in accordance with the rule of law. In both common law and civil law legal systems, courts are the central means for dispute resolution, and it is generally understood that all people have an ability to bring their claims before a court. Similarly, the rights of those accused of a crime include the right to present a defense before a court.”
“The practical authority given to the court is known as its jurisdiction – the court’s power to decide certain kinds of questions or petitions put to it. … a court is constituted by a minimum of three parties: the actor or plaintiff, who complains of an injury done; the reus or defendant, who is called upon to make satisfaction for it, and the judex or judicial power, which is to examine the truth of the fact, to determine the law arising upon that fact, and, if any injury appears to have been done, to ascertain and by its officers to apply a legal remedy. It is also usual in the superior courts to have barristers, and attorneys or counsel, as assistants, though, often, courts consist of additional barristers, bailiffs, reporters, and perhaps a jury.”
Types and organisation of courts:
- Administrative court
- Constitutional court
- Court of Faculties
- Court of record
- Courts of England and Wales
- Ecclesiastical court
- Equity court
- Family court
- High Court of Justiciary
- Revolutionary Tribunal (French Revolution)
- Scots Law
- Scottish Court Service
- Supreme court
Courts in Australia
Australia has courts based on the Westminster system from the United Kingdom, but uniquely adapted for Australia’s federal and state structures. The Australian Constitution requires courts to be established that are independent of the other arms of government, ensuring that judicial officers can act without interference from politicians or other parties within the government hierarchy.
There is a federal court system and a court system in each state; the state systems generally deal with cases that have context within their state, and the federal courts deal with cases which have a broader context, are federal matters, or are referred from the states (e.g. by appeal).
A good overview can be found at legalvision.com.au/an-introduction-to-australian-court-hierarchy/
Below are listed are some international courts across the world and their jurisdiction:
- Trial and appellate courts
- Civil law courts and common law courts
- International courts
- International Court of Justice (replaces the Permanent Court of International Justice)
- International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea
- International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia
- International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda
- International Criminal Court
- International arbitral tribunals
- Permanent Court of Arbitration
- WTO Appelate Body
- WTO Dispute Settlement Panels
- NAFTA Dispute Settlement Panels
- International Centre for the Settlement of Investment Disputes
- Court of Arbitration for Sport
- OSCE Court of Conciliation and Arbitration
- Quasi-judicial international institutions
- Human Rights Committee
- Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
- Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women
- Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
- Committee on the Rights of the Child
- Committee Against Torture
- Committee on Migrant Workers
- Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
- African regional judicial institutions
- African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights
- Court of Justice of the African Union (planned)
- Court of Justice of the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa
- Community Court of Justice of the Economic Community of West African States
- East African Court of Justice
- Southern African Development Community Tribunal
- Regional judicial institutions of the Americas
- Inter-American Court of Human Rights
- Central American Court of Justice
- Court of Justice of the Andean Community
- Caribbean Court of Justice
- Eastern Caribbean Supreme Court
- European regional judicial institutions
- European Court of Justice
- European General Court
- European Court of Human Rights
- Court of Justice of the European Free Trade Agreement States
- Benelux Court of Justice
- Economic Court of the Commonwealth of Independent States
- European Nuclear Energy Tribunal (dormant)
- Western European Union Tribunal (defunct)
- European Tribunal in Matters of State Immunity (dormant)
Current Situation with Cronavirus
Following developments in the COVID-19 pandemic, the High Court of Australia, Federal Court of Australia, Family Court of Australia and Federal Circuit Court of Australia have closed all public counters and face-to-face services (www.ag.gov.au/About/covid-19/Pages/default.aspx). Each state of Australia have implemented similar constraints on their state courts.
Current topics of consideration:
- JobKeeper Wage Subsidy Scheme
- Industrial relations – information for employees
- Family issues
- Family violence and support services
- Complying with parenting orders
- International child parental abduction
- Elder abuse and support services for older Australians
- Getting married
- Courts and legal issues
- Going to court or the tribunal
- Seeking legal financial assistance (in certain circumstances)
- Seeking legal assistance
- Fraud and scams
- Extradition and mutual assistance
- Commonwealth parole
- Privacy and human rights
- Royal Commissions
- Foreign Influence Transparency Register
Pray for the Courts
“This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.”
(1 John 5:14-15)
God’s Will is Always Love and Mercy: a Full Life for All Who Will Receive.
“The LORD your God is a merciful God. He will not abandon you, destroy you, or forget the promise to your ancestors that he swore he would keep.” (Deuteronomy 4:31)
God loves the world and the victory in Jesus is complete for every matter we face – health, finance, etc. God wants each one of us to choose the abundant life available to us, but his mercy is only available to those who will come under his jurisdiction, who accepts his sovereignty over allegiance to any other.
“He has shown you, O mortal, what is good.
And what does the Lord require of you?
To act justly and to love mercy
and to walk humbly with your God.”
We muse believe God when he tenderly promised (Isaiah 41:10-13):
“So do not fear, for I am with you;
do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
“All who rage against you
will surely be ashamed and disgraced;
those who oppose you
will be as nothing and perish.
Though you search for your enemies,
you will not find them.
Those who wage war against you
will be as nothing at all.
For I am the Lord your God
who takes hold of your right hand
and says to you, Do not fear;
I will help you.”
God will not force our will or override legally binding vows, contracts or covenants that we have made, or that have been made on our behalf by previous generations of our family or leaders in our nation; for Him to overrule them in our individual lives we need to submit those to Him ourselves.
“Remember, Lord, your great mercy and love,
for they are from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth
and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
for you, Lord, are good.”
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy;
I have come that they may have life,
and have it to the full.”
Let us pray:
Lord while most agencies and departments under this sphere have closed all public counters and doors, Your heavenly office is open 24/7 receiving peoples’ complaints and problems; asking for your mercy and justice.
Lord hear their prayers and their petitions.
You are Lord the High Judge and the ruler of this universe. You said You will never leave us nor forsake us; have mercy on your people.
Lord we pray the blood of Jesus over the Court system in our country to bring cleansing, justice, solutions, purity as it is heaven, bring peace between people who are fighting in courts, between lawyers and judges, our godly human rights according to our Judeo-Christian roots, pure moral values in marriages, peace in family conflicts, and justice in matters of faith and beliefs.
Father God, we pray you align out country’s Attorney General government departments and the Court systems to the Courts of Heaven and to Your holy order. Lord Let us be a witness to your glory. Amen
Who to Pray For
Pray for the people who are involved with or part of:
- Attorney Generals
- The Bars
- Chiefs Justice
- Circuit Judges
- Crown Prosecutors
- King’s Counsels
- Judicial Assistants
- Duty Solicitors
- Justices of Peace
- Justices’ clerks
- King’s Counsel
- Law firms
- The Law Lords
- Lord Chief Justice
- Lord Chancellors
- Masters of the Bench
- Defenders and Prosecutors
A Prayer for Prisoners
God, Our Creator,
We acknowledge the ancestors and original owners of this land.
Maker and spirit of earth and all creation let your love possess our land and may we share in faith and friendship, all your gifts.
We pray for all those in our prisons and those who through sickness, addictions and other reasons live in their personal prisons.
We remember and pray for those who seek to change difficult life stories.
We remember and pray for the victims of crime on the outside.
We remember and pray for the countless victims of crime on the inside.
We remember and pray for the whole criminal justice system and its processes.
Keep all of us ever mindful of your great love so that we may always remember you as a God of Mercy and forgiveness.
A Prayer for Justice
God of Compassion
You let your rain fall on the just and the unjust.
Expand and deepen our hearts
so that we may love as You love,
even those among us
who have caused the greatest pain by taking life.
For there is in our land a great cry for vengeance
as we fill up death row and kill the killers
in the name of justice, in the name of peace.
Jesus, our brother,
you suffered execution at the hands of the state
but you did not let hatred overcome you
Help us to reach out to victims of violence
so that our enduring love may help them heal.
Holy Spirit of God,
You strengthen us in the struggle for justice,
Help us to work tirelessly
for the abolition of state-sanctioned death
and to renew our society in its very heart
so that violence will be no more.
(Sister Helen Prejean – www.sisterhelen.org/a-prayer-for-justice)