diko-, dik-, dico-, dic- +
(Greek: a judge; right, order, law, manner; justice)
The dicasts sat together in numbers varying, according to the importance of the case, from one to five hundred.
2. The place where the law court sat to carry out its legal responsibilities.
Dicasteries were divisions of the Heliaea (a judicial body in ancient Athens) from the time of the democratic reforms of Cleisthenes (about 508-507 B.C.), when the Heliaea was transformed from an appellate court to a court with original jurisdiction.
Each year 6,000 volunteers, who were required to be male citizens at least 30 years of age, were assigned by lot to sit on specific dicasteries, or court panels.
Each group of about 500 dicasts (about 200 in matters of private law) constituted a court for the entire year.
In more important cases, several dicasteries might be combined. The verdict was determined by majority vote; a tie vote resulted in acquittal.
courts of "first instance" are said to have original jurisdiction of legal proceedings that are initiated or first heard.
A court of first instance is distinguishable from an appellate court, which is a court of last instance. In the federal court system, a federal district court is a court of first instance, whereas the Supreme Court is the court of last instance.
Dike (Δίκη, "justice") ruled over human justice; her mother (Themis) ruled over divine justice.
She was one of the Horae (Seasons) who guarded the interests of the individual and represented justice. Her emblem was a sword.
Dike was born a mortal and Zeus placed her on earth to keep mankind just. He quickly learned this was impossible and placed her next to him on Olympus.