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NCJ Number: 52163 Find in a Library
Title: HISTORY OF THE LAY JUDGE
Journal: STATE COURT JOURNAL  Volume:2  Issue:4  Dated:(FALL 1978)  Pages:9-12
Author(s): T J FETTER
Corporate Author: National Ctr for State Courts
United States of America
Date Published: 1978
Page Count: 8
Sponsoring Agency: National Ctr for State Courts
Williamsburg, VA 23185-4147
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
US Dept of Justice
Washington, DC 20531
Grant Number: 78-TA-AX-0012
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Historical Overview
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE HISTORY OF LAY JUDGES OR JUSTICES OF THE PEACE IS TRACED FROM MEDIEVAL ENGLAND THROUGH THE NEIGHBORHOOD ALTERNATIVE DISPUTE SETTLEMENT CENTERS OF THE 1970'S. THE OUTLOOK FOR LAY JUDGES IS CONSIDERED BRIEFLY.
Abstract: THE ENGLISH JUSTICE OF THE PEACE SYSTEM DEVELOPED FROM THE 12TH THROUGH THE 15TH CENTURIES AND FORMED THE MODEL FOR THE LEGAL SYSTEM OF THE ENGLISH-SPEAKING COLONIES OF NORTH AMERICA. IN COLONIAL TIMES LAWYERS WERE FEW AND EDUCATED LAY PERSONS HELD MOST JUDICIAL POSITIONS. EVEN STATE SUPREME COURTS WERE COMPOSED OF MERCHANTS, PHYSICIANS, TEACHERS, AND CLERGYMEN. THE NUMBER OF LEGALLY TRAINED PERSONS SERVING AS JUDGES INCREASED THROUGH TIME. AT THE TIME OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION LEGAL TRAINING WAS MORE PREVALENT IN THE NORTHEAST, LESS STRINGENT AND NOT AS COMMON IN THE SOUTH AND WEST. THE MOVEMENT TOWARD INCREASED PROFESSIONALIZATION WAS INTERRUPTED BY THE JACKSONIAN POPULACE MOVEMENT AND DID NOT GAIN MOMENTUM AGAIN UNTIL THE END OF THE 19TH CENTURY. EFFORTS BY LAWYERS TO ELIMINATE THE JUSTICE OF THE PEACE SYSTEM, THE LAST REFUGE OF THE LAY JUDGE, ARE DETAILED. BY THE MID-1960'S THE OFFICE DID NOT EXIST IN 16 STATES, WAS REDUCED SUBSTANTIALLY IN 6 OTHERS, AND WAS IN THE PROCESS OF BEING REFORMED IN 25 MORE. HOWEVER, JUST AS THE ROLE OF THE LAY JUDGE SEEMED HEADED FOR EXTINCTION, NEIGHBORHOOD DISPUTE SETTLEMENT CENTERS REVIVED THE CONCEPT OF DISPUTE MEDIATION BY INTELLIGENT LAY PERSONS WITH TRAINING IN A SPECIALIZED AREA. IN THESE CENTERS KNOWLEDGE OF LABOR LAW OR DOMESTIC RELATIONS IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN LEGAL TRAINING. IT IS SUGGESTED THAT THE CONCEPT OF THE LAY JUDGE IS CURRENTLY AT THE CROSSROADS. EITHER IT WILL DIE COMPLETELY, OR IT WILL BE ELEVATED TO A NEW STATURE. THIS ARTICLE CONTAINING THE HISTORY OF LAY JUDGES, IS PART OF A LARGER STUDY ON LAY JUDGES. NUMEROUS FOOTNOTES ARE INCLUDED. (GLR)
Index Term(s): England; Judges; Justices of the peace; Neighborhood justice centers; United States of America
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=52163

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