Duhaime's Law Dictionary


Gavel Definition:

A wooden mallet used by a judge to bring proceedings to a start or to an end or to command attention in his or her court.

gavelA wooden mallet used by a judge or a other presiding officer (such as a chairperson or a president) to bring proceedings to a start or to an end or to command attention in his or her court.


Although used in American and Chinese courts, the gavel is not used in British, Canadian, New Zealand or Australian courts.


During meetings run pursuant to standard rules of order, some assemblies give the gavel to the chair who raps it after stating decisions or to demand the floor and summon order in the event of disorderly conduct.


The gavel is generally held by the chair of a meeting and is the symbol of that authority.


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