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The bailiff.


THE BAILIFF [...] is a minister of justice, who takes all of the necessary steps to call forward the parties involved, both by judgment and outside the court, & who executes judgments & all ordinances put forth by the judge.

It falls to the bailiff to guard the door of the courtroom, the principal objective of this function being to maintain closed doors during deliberations in court, & to prevent any outsiders from entering without the permission of the judge, to prevent anyone from listening in at the door to those whose deliberations must be kept secret, to have those who have been summoned to appear in court enter, & to have expelled those who cause a disturbance. [...]

They must walk ahead of the judges, either when they are together in a group or by deputies, & also before the first officers when they enter the seat or leave it, to induce towards them honour & respect, & to prevent them from being stopped in their passage; this is why they strike with their staff in order to make way for them. [...]

When there is rebellion against them, they must


write a report; it is a serious matter to insult any bailiff in his functions, as the injury is aimed at the court of justice itself, of which he is a minister. [...]

They are permitted to carry arms for the safety of their person, & to receive strong-arm assistance so as to maintain order in the court.

Source: Diderot, Denis et Jean le Rond d'Alembert, "The bailiff, in l'Encyclopédie, ou Dictionnaire Raisonné des Sciences, des Arts et des Métiers" (Paris: Briasson et autres, n.d.), tome VIII, pages 340.

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