Court's formal inquiry into whether there is legal cause for not pronouncing judgment against a defendant. Often used to provide a defendant with an opportunity to make a statement on his or her own behalf and present evidence that might mitigate his sentence.
Generally, to allocute in law means "to speak out formally." In the field of apologetics, allocution is generally done in defense of a belief. In politics, one may allocute before a legislative body in an effort to influence their position on an issue.