Definition of certiorari in English:



  • A writ or order by which a higher court reviews a decision of a lower court.

    ‘an order of certiorari’
    • ‘The old judicial review remedies of certiorari, mandamus and prohibition were never applied to charitable trusts as such.’
    • ‘Certainly, insofar as the order nisi seeks writs of mandamus and certiorari, it is outside of the time limit.’
    • ‘Well, your Honour, the orders that are sought are writs of mandamus and certiorari in this matter.’
    • ‘The applicant commenced proceedings in this Court for writs of mandamus, certiorari and injunctions.’
    • ‘If a lower court commits a factual or legal error, the Supreme Court will not grant a writ of certiorari simply to review that error.’



/ˌserSH(ē)əˈrärē/ /ˌsɛrʃ(i)əˈrɑri/ /ˌserSH(ē)əˈrerī/ /ˌsɛrʃ(i)əˈrɛraɪ/


Late Middle English from Law Latin, ‘to be informed’, a phrase originally occurring at the start of the writ, from certiorare ‘inform’, from certior, comparative of certus ‘certain’.