In Latin jus (ius) gladii
literally means "the right of the sword", referring to the legal authority of an individual or group to execute someone for a capital offense.
According to the New Testament
account of the death of Jesus
, the Jewish
leaders had the right to imprison someone within their territory, but only the Roman
rulers were permitted to claim jus gladii
. Therefore, Jesus had to be brought up for judgment before the Romans in order for an execution to be legal.