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Lit de Justice

Properly the seat occupied by the French king when he attended the deliberations of his parlement. The session itself. Any arbitrary edict. As the members of Parlement derived their power from the king, when the king himself was present their power returned to the fountain-head, and the king was arbitrary. What the king then proposed could not be controverted, and, of course, had the force of law. The last lit de justice was held by Louis XVI. in 1787.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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