AskDefine | Define jurist

Dictionary Definition



1 a legal scholar versed in civil law or the law of nations [syn: legal expert]
2 a public official authorized to decide questions bought before a court of justice [syn: judge, justice, magistrate]

User Contributed Dictionary



(US) IPA: /ˈdʒərɪst/


  1. a judge
  2. an expert in law or jurisprudence

Extensive Definition

This article is about the use of the term "jurist". For the University of Pittsburgh School of Law's legal news and research website, see JURIST.
A jurist is a professional who studies, develops, applies or otherwise deals with the law. The term is widely used in American English, but in the United Kingdom and many Commonwealth countries it has only historical and specialist usage. In most of Continental Europe any person who possesses a degree in law is called a jurist.

English speaking countries

There is no alternative word for "jurist" in English-speaking countries outside the U.S. Members of the general public are largely unaware of the term and are likely to confuse it with "juror". Although the word "jurist" can technically be applied to anyone having a thorough knowledge of law, American lawyers usually use the word only to refer to a judge. The term "legal professional" may be used for convenience. Within the legal community usage of "jurist" is usually restricted to eminent judges or academics. Apart from this people working in law are usually described as "lawyers" or solicitors if they are practicing law, or as belonging to a more specific branch of the legal profession, such as barrister or advocate, judge or law professor. Less qualified professionals may be referred to as paralegals.

Continental Europe

In some of Continental Europe, anyone with a degree in law (e.g., a bachelor or master of laws) may be called a jurist. Such jurists can practice law as employees hired by law firms or legal departments of other business entities. Being a jurist does not necessarily mean that one has the privileges usually attributed to "attorney" or "solicitor". Often there are two classes of qualified lawyers, those at the "jurist" level and those known as barristers or advocates who may act in the highest courts.

Russia and Ukraine

Law degree - jurist (often compared to an LL.M., but in fact equivalent to the degree of Specialist specific to the Soviet educational system) is awarded in Russia and Ukraine after 5 years of study at a university. Note that this fused, one-degree educational scheme has coexisted with the two-degree (bachelor's - master's) scheme since Russia launched its higher education reform to bring the domestic educational system in closer compliance with the Bologna accords. See also academic degree.

Muslim world

In the Muslim world, where Sharia (Islamic law) is common, jurists are known as Ulema, who specialize in Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence).
jurist in Bulgarian: Юрист
jurist in Czech: Právník
jurist in Danish: Jurist
jurist in German: Jurist
jurist in Estonian: Jurist
jurist in Spanish: Jurista
jurist in Esperanto: Juristo
jurist in French: Juriste
jurist in Italian: Giurista
jurist in Lithuanian: Teisininkas
jurist in Hungarian: Jogász
jurist in Dutch: Jurist
jurist in Japanese: 法学者
jurist in Norwegian: Jurist
jurist in Norwegian Nynorsk: Jurist
jurist in Polish: Prawnik
jurist in Portuguese: Jurisconsulto
jurist in Kölsch: Juriss
jurist in Russian: Юрист
jurist in Slovenian: Pravnik
jurist in Finnish: Juristi
jurist in Swedish: Jurist
jurist in Ukrainian: Юрист
jurist in Chinese: 法学家
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