(from Latin inhibere
, to restrain, prevent), as an English legal term, particularly used in ecclesiastical law
, is an act of restraint or prohibition
, for a writ from a superior to an inferior court
, suspending proceedings in a case under appeal, also for the suspension of a jurisdiction of a bishop’s court on the visitation of an archbishop, and for that
of an archdeacon on the visitation of a bishop. It is more particularly applied to a form of ecclesiastical censure, suspending an offending clergyman from the performance of any religious service, or other spiritual duty, for the purpose of enforcing obedience to a monition or order of the bishop or judge. Such inhibitions are at the discretion of the ordinary if he considers that scandal might arise from the performance of spiritual duties by the offender (Church Discipline Act 1860, re-enacted by the Clergy
Discipline Act 1892, sect. 10).
By the Sequestration Act 1871, sect. 5, similar powers of inhibition are given where a sequestration remains in force
for more than six months, and also, by the Benefices Act 1898, in cases where a commission reports that the ecclesiastical duties of a benefice are inadequately performed through the negligence of the incumbent.