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"We [science fiction writers] always wanted to believe in "private sector" space -- hucksters make better characters than a government does."
- Larry Niven

Space-Court  
  The place of judgement for crimes committed in interstellar space.  

"I do not know just what means you used to murder him," the captan told him unrelentingly, "but your guilt is obvious. You will be imprisoned in the ship's brig until we reach Earth, where you will be turned over to the space-court for trial.
From Murder in the Void, by Edmond Hamilton.
Published by Thrilling Wonder Stories in 1938
Additional resources -

This is the earliest use of this phrase that I know about; take a look at the discussion of asteroid claim law and Sky-Lawyer in Nat Schachner's 1941 story Jurisdiction.

You might also enjoy this discussion of Frank Herbert's courtarena from his novel The Dosadi Experiment.

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Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Murder in the Void
  More Ideas and Technology by Edmond Hamilton
  Tech news articles related to Murder in the Void
  Tech news articles related to works by Edmond Hamilton

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