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Study Notes

Justices of the Peace

AQA, Edexcel, OCR, Eduqas

Justices of the Peace were a key element of local government in Elizabethan England. They were a voluntary position, however, it was a great honour to serve as a justice of the peace. They were responsible for ensuring law and order were kept in the counties. They were supervised by the Lord Lieutenants.

Throughout the reign of the Elizabeth the powers of the Justices of the Peace slowly increased. Powers eventually included the ability to collect the profits of justice or fines, imprison a suspect of a crime. Justices of the Peace, would then bring those arrested to the Assizes court when they visited in order for the suspects to be tried and charged.

Justices of the Peace exist today in the form of magistrates.

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