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JUSTICE (Lat. justitia)

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Originally appearing in Volume V15, Page 595 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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JUSTICE (Lat. justitia), a term used both in the abstract, for the quality of being or doing what is just, i.e. right in law and equity, and in the concrete for an officer deputed by the sovereign to administer justice, and do right by way of judgment. It has long been the official title of the judges of two of the English superior courts of common law, and it is now extended to 1 Where a borough council desire the appointment of a stipendiary magistrate they may present a petition for the same to the secretary of state and it is thereupon lawful for the king to appoint to that office a barrister of seven years' standing. He is by virtue of his office a justice for the borough, and receives a yearly salary, payable in four equal quarterly instalments. On a vacancy, application must again be made as for a first appointment. There may be more than one stipendiary magistrate for a borough _ - The chairman of a county council is ex officio a justice of the peace for the county, and the chairman of an urban or rural district council for the county in which the district is situated. Justices cannot act beyond the limits of the jurisdiction for which they are appointed, and the warrant of a justice cannot be executed out of his jurisdiction unless it be backed, that is, endorsed by a justice of the jurisdiction in which it is to be carried into execution. A justice improperly refusing to act on his office, or acting partially and corruptly, may be proceeded against by a criminal information, and a justice refusing to act may be compelled to do so by the High Court of Justice. An action will lie against a justice for any act done by him in excess of his jurisdiction, and for any act within his jurisdiction which has been done wrongfully and with malice, and without reason-able or probable cause. But no action can be brought against a justice for a wrongful conviction until it has been quashed. By the Justices' Qualification Act 1744, every justice for a county was required to have an estate of freehold, copyhold, or customary tenure in fee, for life or a given term, of the yearly value of roo. By an act of 1875 the occupation of a house rated at roo was made a qualification. No such qualifications were ever required for a borough justice, and it was not until 1906 that county justices were put on the same footing in this respect. The Justices of the Peace Act 1go6 did away with all qualification by estate. It also removed the necessity for residence within the county, permitting the same residential qualification as for borough justices, " within seven miles thereof." The same act removed the disqualification of solicitors to be county justices and assimilated to the existing power to remove other justices from the commission of the peace the power to exclude ex officio justices. The justices for every petty sessional division of a county or for a borough having a separate commission of the peace must appoint a fit person to be their salaried clerk. He must be either a barrister of not less than fourteen years' standing, or a solicitor of the supreme court, or have served for not less than seven years as a clerk to a police or stipendiary magistrate or to a metropolitan police court. An alderman or councillor of a borough must not be appointed as clerk, nor can a clerk of the peace for the borough or for the county in which the borough is situated be appointed. A borough clerk is not allowed to prosecute. The salary of a justice's clerk comes, in London, out of the police fund; in counties out of the county fund; in county boroughs out of the borough fund, and in other boroughs out of the county fund. The vast and multifarious duties of the justices cover some portion of every important head of the criminal law, and extend to a considerable number of matters relating to the civil law. In the United States these officers are sometimes appointed by the executive, sometimes elected. In some states, justices of the peace have jurisdiction in civil cases given to them by local regulations.
End of Article: JUSTICE (Lat. justitia)

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