In post-Roman times a villa referred to a self-sufficient, usually fortified Italian or Gallo-Roman farmstead. It was economically as self-sufficient as a village and its inhabitants, who might be legally tied to it as serfs were villeins. The Merovingian Franks inherited the concept, followed by the Carolingian French but the later French term was basti or bastide. Villa/Vila (or its cognates) is part of many Spanish and Portuguese placenames, like Vila Real and Villadiego: a villa/vila is a town with a charter (fuero or foral) of lesser importance than a ciudad/cidade ("city"). When it is associated with a personal name, villa was probably used in the original sense of a country estate rather than a chartered town. Later evolution has made the Hispanic distinction between villas and ciudades a purely honorific one. Madrid is the Villa y Corte, the villa considered to be separate from the formerly mobile royal court, but the much smaller Ciudad Real was declared ciudad by the Spanish crown. A village is a clustered human settlement or community, larger than a hamlet with the population ranging from a few hundred to a few thousand (sometimes tens of thousands). Though often located in rural areas, the term urban village is also applied to certain urban neighbourhoods, such as the East Village in Manhattan, New York City and the Saifi Village in Beirut, Lebanon, as well as Hampstead Village in the London conurbation. Villages are normally permanent, with fixed dwellings; however, transient villages can occur. Further, the dwellings of a village are fairly close to one another, not scattered broadly over the landscape, as a dispersed settlement. In the past, villages were a usual form of community for societies that practise subsistence agriculture, and also for some non-agricultural societies. In Great Britain, a hamlet earned the right to be called a village when it built a church. In many cultures, towns and cities were few, with only a small proportion of the population living in them. The Industrial Revolution attracted people in larger numbers to work in mills and fact ries; the concentration of people caused many villages to grow into towns and cities. This also enabled specialization of labor and crafts, and development of many trades. The trend of urbanization continues, though not always in connection with industrialisation. Villages have been eclipsed in importance as units of human society and settlement. A court is a tribunal, often a governmental institution, with the authority to adjudicate legal disputes between parties and carry out the administration of justice in civil, criminal, and administrative matters in accordance with the rule of law. In both common law and civil law legal systems, courts are the central means for dispute resolution, and it is generally understood that all persons have an ability to bring their claims before a court. Similarly, the rights of those accused of a crime include the right to present a defense before a court. The system of courts that interpret and apply the law are collectively known as the judiciary. The place where a court sits is known as a venue. The room where court proceedings occur is known as a courtroom, and the building as a courthouse; court facilities range from simple and very small facilities in rural communities to large buildings in cities. The practical authority given to the court is known as its jurisdiction (Latin jus dicere) -- the court's power to decide certain kinds of questions or petitions put to it. According to William Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England, a court is constituted by a minimum of three parties: the actor or plaintiff, who complains of an injury done; the reus or defendant, who is called upon to make satisfaction for it, and the judex or judicial power, which is to examine the truth of the fact, to determine the law arising upon that fact, and, if any injury appears to have been done, to ascertain and by its officers to apply a legal remedy. It is also usual in the superior courts to have attorneys, and advocates or counsel, as assistants, though, often, courts consist of additional attorneys, bailiffs, reporters, and perhaps a jury.
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