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JUSTICE. The constant and perpetual disposition to render every man his due. Just. Inst. B. 1, tit. 1. Toullier defines it to be the conformity of our actions and our will to the law. Dr. Civ. Fr. tit. prel. n. 5. In the most extensive sense of the word, it differs little from virtue, for it includes within itself the whole circle of virtues. Yet the common distinction between them is that that which considered positively and in itself, is called virtue, when considered relatively and with respect to others, has the name of justice. But justice being in itself a part of virtue, is confined to things simply good or evil, and consists in a man's taking such a proportion of them as he ought.

2. Justice is either distributive or commutative. Distributive justice is that virtue whose object is to distribute rewards and punishments to each one according to his merits, observing a just proportion by comparing one person or fact with another, so that neither equal persons have unequal things, nor unequal persons things equal. Tr. of Eq. 3, and Toullier's learned note, Dr. Civ. Fr. tit. prel. n. 7, note.

3. Commutative justice is that virtue whose object it is to render to every one what belongs to him, as nearly as may be, or that which governs contracts. To render commutative justice, the judge must make an equality between the parties, that no one may be a gainer by another's loss. Tr. Eq. 3.

4. Toullier exposes the want of utility and exactness in this division of distributive and commutative justice, adopted in the compendium or abridgments of the ancient doctors, and prefers the division of internal and external justice; the first being a conformity of our will, and the latter a conformity of our actions to the law: their union making perfect justice. Exterior justice is the object of jurisprudence; interior justice is the object of morality. Dr. Civ. Fr. tit. prel. n. 6 et 7.

5. According to the Frederician code, part 1, book 1, tit. 2, s. 27, justice consists simply in letting every one enjoy the rights which he has acquired in virtue of the laws. And as this definition includes all the other rules of right, there is properly but one single general rule of right, namely, Give every one his own. See, generally, Puffend. Law of Nature and Nations, B. 1, c. 7, s. 89; Elementorum Jurisprudentiae Universalis, lib. 1, definito, 17, 3, 1; Gro. lib. 2, c. 11, s. 3; Ld. Bac. Read. Stat. Uses, 306; Treatise of Equity, B. 1, c. 1, s. 1.

JUSTICES. Judges. Officers appointed by a competent authority to administer justice. They are so called, because, in ancient times the Latin word for judge was justicia. This term is in common parlance used to designate justices of the peace.

JUSTICES IN EYRE. They were certain judges established if not first appointed, A. D. 1176, 22 Hen. II. England was divided into certain circuits, and three justices in eyre, or justices itinerant, as they were sometimes called, were appointed to each district, and made the circuit of the kingdom once in seven years for the purpose of trying causes. They were afterwards directed by Magna Charta, c. 12, to be sent into every county once a year. The itinerant justices were sometimes mere justices of assize or dower, or of general gaol delivery, and the like. 3 Bl. Com. 58-9; Crabb's Eng. Law, 103-4. Vide Eire.

JUSTICES OF THE PEACE. Public officers invested with judicial powers for the purpose of preventing breaches of the peace, and bringing to punishment those who have violated the law.

2. These officers, under the Constitution of the United States and some of the states, are appointed by the executive in others, they are elected by the people, and commissioned by the executive. In some states they hold their office during good behaviour, in others for a limited period.

3. At common law, justices of the peace have a double power in relation to the arrest of wrong doers; when a felony or breach of the peace has been committed in their presence, they may personally arrest the offender, or command others to do so; and in order to prevent the riotous consequences of a tumultuous assembly, they may command others to arrest affrayers, when the affray has been committed in their presence. If a magistrate be not present when a crime is committed, before he can take a step to arrest the offender, an oath or affirmation must be made by some person cognizant of the fact that the offence has been committed, and that the person charged is the offender, or there is probable cause to believe that he has committed the offence.

4. The Constitution of the United States directs, that "no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation." Amendm. IV. After his arrest, the person charged is brought before the justice of the peace, and after bearing he is discharged, held to bail to answer to the complaint, or, for want of bail, committed to prison.

5. In some, perhaps all the United States, justices of the peace have jurisdiction in civil cases, given to them by local regulations. In Pennsylvania, their jurisdiction in cases of contracts, express or implied, extends to one hundred dollars. Vide, generally, Burn's Justice; Graydon's Justice Baches Manual of a Justice of the Peace Com. Dig. h. t.; 15 Vin. Ab. 3; Bac. Ab. h. t.; 2 Sell. Pr. 70; 2 Phil. Ev. 239; Chit. Pr. h. t.; Amer. Dig. h. t.

JUSTICIAR, or JUSTICIER. A judge, or justice the same as justiciary.

JUSTICIARII ITINERANTES, Eng. law. They were formerly justices, who were so called because they went from county to county to administer justice. They were usually called justices in eyre, (q. v.) to distinguish them from justices residing at Westminster, who were called justicii residentes. Co. Litt. 293. Vide Itinerant.

JUSTICIARII RESIDENTES, Eng. law. They were justices or judges, who usually resided in Westminster; they were so called to distinguish them from justices in eyre. Co. Litt. 293. Vide Justiciarii Itinerantes.

JUSTICIARY, officer. Another name for a judge. In Latin, he was called justiciciarius, and in French, justicier. Not used. Bac. Ab. Courts and their Jurisdiction, A.

JUSTICIES, Eng. law. The name of a writ which acquires its name from the mandatory words which it contains, "that you do A B justice."

2. The county court has jurisdiction in cases where damages are claimed, only to a certain amount; but sometimes suits are brought there, when greater damages are claimed. In such cases, an original writ, by this name, issues out of chancery, in order to give the court jurisdiction. See 1 Saund. 74, n. 1.

JUSTIFIABLE HOMICIDE. That which is committed with the intention to kill, or to do a grievous bodily injury, under circumstances which the law holds sufficient to exculpate the person who commits it.

2. It is justifiable, 1. When a judge or other magistrate acts in obedience to the law. 2. When a ministerial officer acts in obedience to a lawful warrant, issued by a competent tribunal. 3. When a subaltern officer, or soldier, kills in obedience to the lawful commands of his superior. 4. When the party kills in lawful self-defence.

3. - 1. A judge who, in pursuance of his duty, pronounces sentence of death, is not guilty of homicide; for it is evident, that as the law prescribes the punishment of death for certain offences, it must protect those who are entrusted with its execution. A judge, therefore, who pronounces sentence of death, in a legal manner, on a legal indictment, legally brought before him, for a capital offence committed within his jurisdiction, after a lawful trial and conviction, of the defendant, is guilty of no offence.

4. - 2. Magistrates, or other officers entrusted with the preservation of the public peace, are justified in committing homicide, or giving orders which lead to it, if the excesses of a riotous assembly cannot be otherwise be repressed.

5 - 2. An officer entrusted with a legal warrant, criminal or civil, and lawffully commanded by a competent tribunal to execute it, will be justified in committing homicide, if, in the course of advancing to discharge his duty, he be brought into such perils that, without doing so, he cannot either save his life, or discharge the duty which he is commanded by the warrant to perform. And when the warrant commands him to put a criminal to death, he is justified in obeying it.

6. - 3. A soldier on duty is justified in committing homicide, in obedience to the command of his officer, unless the command was something plainly unlawful.

7. - 4. A private individual will, in many cases, be justified in committing homicide, while acting in self-defence. See Self-defence. Vide, generally, 1 East, P. C. 219; Hawk. B. 1, c. 28, s. 1, n. 22; Allis. Prin. 126-139; 1 Russ. on Cr. 538; Bac. Ab. Murder, &c., E; 2 Wash. C. C. 515; 4 Mass. 891; 1 Hawkes, 210; 1 Coxes R. 424; 5 Yerg. 459; 9 C. & P. 22; S. C. 38 Eng. C. L. R. 20.

JUSTIFICATION. The act by which a party accused shows and maintains a good and legal reason in court, why he did the thing he is called upon to answer.

2. The subject will be considered by examining, 1. What acts are justifiable. 2. The manner of making the justification. 3. Its effects.

3. - 1. The acts to be justified are those committed with a warrant, and those committed without a warrant. 1. It is a general rule, that a warrant or execution, issued by a court haviug jurisdiction, whether the same be right or wrong, justifies the officer to whom it is directed and who is by law required to execute it, and is a complete justification to the officer for obeying its command. But when the warrant is not merely voidable, but is absolutely void, as, for want of jurisdiction in the court which issued it, or by reason of the privilege of the defendant, as in the case of the arrest of an ambassador, who cannot waive his privilege and immunities by submitting to be arrested on such warrant, the officer is no longer justified. 1 Baldw. 240; see 4 Mass. 232; 13 Mass. 286, 334; 14 Mass. 210. 2. A person may justify many acts, while acting without any authority from a court or magistrate. He may justifiably, even, take the life of an aggressor, while acting in the defence of himself, his wife, children, and servant, or for the protection of his house, when attacked with a felonious intent, or even for the protection of his personal property. See Self-defence. A man may justify what would, otherwise, have been a trespass, an entry on the land of another for various purposes; as, for example, to demand a debt due to him by the owner of the land to remove chattels which belong to him, but this entry must be peaceable; to exercise an incorporeal right; ask for lodging's at an inn. See 15 East, 615, note e; 2 Lill. Ab. 134; 15 Vin. Ab. 31; Ham. N. P. 48 to 66; Dane's Ab. Index, h. t.; Entry. It is an ancient principle of the common law, that a trespass may be justified in many cases. Thus: a man may enter on the land of another, to kill a fox or otter, which are beasts against the common profit. 11 H. VIII. 10. So, a house may be pulled down if the adjoining one be on fire, to prevent a greater destruction. 13 H. VIII. 16, b. Tua res agitur paries cum proximus ardet. So, the suburbs of a city may be demolished in time of war, for the good of the commonwealth. 8 Ed. IV. 35, b. So, a man may enter on his neighbor to make a bulwark in defence of the realm. 21 H. VIII. b. So, a house may be broken to arrest a felon. 13 Ed. IV. 9, a; Dodd. Eng. Lawy. 219, 220. In a civil action, a man may justify a libel, or slanderous words, by proving their truth, or because the defendant had a right, upon the particular occasion, either to write and publish the writing, or to utter the words; as, when slanderous words are found in a report of a committee of congress, or in an indictment, or words of a slanderous nature are uttered in the course of debate in the legislature by a member, or at the bar, by counsel, when properly instructed by his client on the subject. See Debate; Slander; Com. Dig. Pleader, 2 L 3 to 2 L 7.

4.- 2. In general, justification must be specially pleaded, and it cannot be given in evidence under the plea of the general issue.

5. - 3. When the plea of justification is supported by the evidence, it is a complete bar to the action. Vide Excuse.

JUSTIFICATORS. A kind of compurgators, or those who, by oath, justified the innocence or oaths of others, as in the case of wagers of law.

JUSTIFYING BAIL, practice. The production of bail in court, who there justify themselves Against the exception of the plaintiff.

 
 
 
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