What is MAGISTRACY?

This term may have a more or less extensive signification according to the use and connection in which it occurs. In its widest sense it includes the whole body ?of public functionaries, whether their offices be legislative, judicial, executive, or administrative. In a more restricted (and more usual) meaning, it denotes the class of officers who are charged with tlie application and execution of the laws. In a still more confined use, it designates the body of judicial officers of the lowest rank, and more es- pecially those who have jurisdiction for tlie trial and punishment of petty misdemeanors or the preliminary stops of a criminal prosecution, such as police judges and justices of the peace. The term also denotes the office of a magistrate.

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