Ban (bannus, bannum), in ancient jurisprudence, a declaration, especially a declaration of outlawry; in ecclesiastical law, a declaration of excommunication (q.v.). According to the canon law of the Roman Church the authority to decree the ban lies in the pope for the whole church, in the bishop for his diocese, in the apostolic legate for his legation, and in the prior of an order for his subordinates. Priests had formerly an independent right of excommunication, but can now exercise that right only by authority of the bishop. The ban covers all Christians, whether heretics or not, under the jurisdiction of the administrator (Conc. Trident. Sess. 25, cap. 3). SEE EXCOMMUNICATION.
For Banns of Marriage, SEE BANNS.