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justice of the peace definitions

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

n
1: a local magistrate with limited powers

Merriam Webster's

Date: 15th century a local magistrate empowered chiefly to administer summary justice in minor cases, to commit for trial, and to administer oaths and perform marriages

Britannica Concise

In Anglo-Amer. legal systems, a local magistrate empowered chiefly to administer justice in minor cases. In the U.S., justices of the peace are elected or appointed and hear minor civil matters and petty criminal cases. They may also officiate at weddings, issue arrest warrants, deal with traffic offenses, and hold inquests.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

5. A person duly commissioned to hold courts, or to try and decide controversies and administer justice. Note: This title is given to the judges of the common law courts in England and in the United States, and extends to judicial officers and magistrates of every grade. Bed of justice. See under Bed. Chief justice. See in the Vocabulary. Justice of the peace (Law), a judicial officer or subordinate magistrate appointed for the conservation of the peace in a specified district, with other incidental powers specified in his commission. In the United States a justice of the peace has jurisdiction to adjudicate certain minor cases, commit offenders, etc. Syn: Equity; law; right; rectitude; honesty; integrity; uprightness; fairness; impartiality. Usage: Justice, Equity, Law. Justice and equity are the same; but human laws, though designed to secure justice, are of necessity imperfect, and hence what is strictly legal is at times far from being equitable or just. Here a court of equity comes in to redress the grievances. It does so, as distinguished from courts of law; and as the latter are often styled courts of justice, some have fancied that there is in this case a conflict between justice and equity. The real conflict is against the working of the law; this a court of equity brings into accordance with the claims of justice. It would be an unfortunate use of language which should lead any one to imagine he might have justice on his side while practicing iniquity (inequity). Justice, Rectitude. Rectitude, in its widest sense, is one of the most comprehensive words in our language, denoting absolute conformity to the rule of right in principle and practice. Justice refers more especially to the carrying out of law, and has been considered by moralists as of three kinds: (1) Commutative justice, which gives every man his own property, including things pledged by promise. (2) Distributive justice, which gives every man his exact deserts. (3) General justice, which carries out all the ends of law, though not in every case through the precise channels of commutative or distributive justice; as we see often done by a parent or a ruler in his dealings with those who are subject to his control.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Peace Peace, n. [OE. pees, pais, OF. pais, paiz, pes, F. paix, L. pax, pacis, akin to pacere, paciscere, pacisci, to make an agreement, and prob. also pangere to fasten. Cf. Appease, Fair, a., Fay, v., Fang, Pacify, Pact, Pay to requite.] A state of quiet or tranquillity; freedom from disturbance or agitation; calm; repose; specifically: (a) Exemption from, or cessation of, war with public enemies. (b) Public quiet, order, and contentment in obedience to law. (c) Exemption from, or subjection of, agitating passions; tranquillity of mind or conscience. (d) Reconciliation; agreement after variance; harmony; concord. ``The eternal love and pees.'' --Chaucer. Note: Peace is sometimes used as an exclamation in commanding silence, quiet, or order. ``Peace! foolish woman.'' --Shak. At peace, in a state of peace. Breach of the peace. See under Breach. Justice of the peace. See under Justice. Peace of God. (Law) (a) A term used in wills, indictments, etc., as denoting a state of peace and good conduct. (b) (Theol.) The peace of heart which is the gift of God. Peace offering. (a) (Jewish Antiq.) A voluntary offering to God in token of devout homage and of a sense of friendly communion with Him. (b) A gift or service offered as satisfaction to an offended person. Peace officer, a civil officer whose duty it is to preserve the public peace, to prevent riots, etc., as a sheriff or constable. To hold one's peace, to be silent; to refrain from speaking. To make one's peace with, to reconcile one with, to plead one's cause with, or to become reconciled with, another. ``I will make your peace with him.'' --Shak.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

(Justices of the Peace) 1. In Britain, a Justice of the Peace is a person who is not a lawyer but who can act as a judge in a local criminal law court. The abbreviation JP is also used. = magistrate N-COUNT 2. In some states in the United States, a Justice of the Peace is an official who can carry out some legal tasks, such as settling minor cases in court or performing marriages. The abbreviation JP is also used. = magistrate N-COUNT



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