Court of Arches Law and Legal Definition

Court of Arches refers to the ecclesiastical court belonging to the archbishop of Canterbury, responsible for appeals from provincial diocesan courts. It is so called because the court was originally held in the Church of St. Mary-le-Bow, the steeple of which is raised on stone pillars in the manner of an arch or bow. It is held by the Dean of the Arches. The Pope heard appeals from the Court of Arches and later, the break with Rome prompted a transfer of the appellate jurisdiction to the Court of Delegates.