Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal, Wikipedia.


, magistrature
1. the office or function of a magistrate
2. magistrates collectively
3. the district under the jurisdiction of a magistrate
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



(1) A state position in ancient Rome. The origin of the magistracy dates to the time of the establishment of the republic (late sixth century B.C.). Initially all magistracies, except those of the plebeian tribunes, were occupied by patricians, but by the early third century B.C. they became accessible to the plebeians as well. The duties of the magistracies were performed without monetary compensation, and they were short-term (as a rule, one year) and collegial (with the exception of the position of dictator). A distinction was made between ordinary magistracies, which were filled by elections, and extraordinary ones, which were filled by appointment. There was also a difference between the higher magistracies, who had the right to perform the higher auspices and who were elected in the centuriate committees, and the lower ones, who were elected in the tribune committees; the higher and lower magistracies worked, correspondingly, in the centuriate and tribune committees.

Higher extraordinary magisterial positions were those of dictator, master of the horse, and decemvir. Ordinary magistracies included the high magistrates (consuls, praetors, and censors) and the lower ones (including the plebeian tribunes, aediles, and quaestors). All magistrates had the power of potestas, that is, the right to issue decrees within the field of their jurisdictions and to impose penalties; the higher magistrates, except for the censors, held the power of life or death (imperium). The magistrates were attended by a retinue of lictors bearing fasces. The law of Villius (Lex Villia annalis; 180 B.C.) established a sequence whereby minimum ages for each magistracy and the progression from one office to the next were set. The colleges of priests were a specific kind of magistracy.

(2) A term used as a synonym for a juridical administration.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Unless we stop treating the magistracy as a political football and start giving a little respect for people who give up so much of their time to serve the community and the judiciary, we're going to continue this appalling downhill spiral.
Mayo's clerks preserved every application to him for a magistracy -- over 120.
Prior to the introduction of the 'New Police', that power lay firmly with the local magistracy, upon whom the military depended to legitimate their use of potentially lethal force against rioters.
'The powers of the magistrates now reside in the judges who have not been permitted to go in field and perform duties of a regular magistrate,' he noted while emphasising on studying the history of magistracy and reviving that system.
Among the duties of the Supreme Council of Magistracy is the promotion and disciplining of judges and prosecutors.
Summary: Rabat - Moroccan and Libyan Higher Institutes of Magistracy signed a twinning agreement on the sidelines of the first Maghreban Meeting of the heads of magistrates and justice officers training institutions, which opened Monday in Rabat.
The last three chapters report experiences teaching Italian surveillance magistracy, local police officers in Bologna, and Italian prisoners.
The magistracy is a voluntary institution and the justices give considerable amounts of their time, voluntarily receiving only expenses for travel and meals.
Although it has technically always been possible for an individual to propose themselves for the magistracy, the process was largely perceived as a club culture.
If there was a conflict, the demands of conscience necessarily "trumped" obedience to this-worldly magistracy and "for every order by a magistrate there was a possible objection in conscience." The Elizabethan Settlement succeeded in finessing the dilemma by permitting "varying local standards of conformity," but "[w]hen a more centralized monarchy" under the early Smarts "tried to impose genuine uniformity on the nation, consciences rose up and smote it" (201-02).
Kazuhiko Fujita, 48, appeared in the Eastern Magistracy on Thursday, but no plea was taken.