JUDICIAL CHANGES 

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  • JUDICIAL CHANGES
    • supervising of judicial system
      • he aimed to minimise corruption, speed up justice and he reversed many poor decisions.
    • reforms of the existing system
      • public jury courts for criminal cases (drawn from equites) continued but no longer dealt with notorious cases.
        • Augustus added a court for dealing with cases of adultery, increased the number of jurymen and selected them carefully.
      • in order to speed up the justice process he increased the number of days that cases could be heard on
      • he initiated a speedier process for settling cases involving extortion/ restitution of property to a provincial
        • a jury of 5 men was made to make a verdict within 30 days.
      • civil cases still heard in front of magistrates usually the praetors.
    • changes in provincial justice
      • in republic- governor had judicial authority but could not carry out capital sentence on a Roman citizen.
      • new type of criminal court manned by Roman citizens in the provinces
        • introduced to deal with cases similar to those dealt with by public courts in Rome.
          • allowed prosecution of Romans living in provinces
            • governor still able to handle cases but individuals able to appeal to Caesar against governors decisions.
    • two new high courts
      • the senatorial court
        • consisted of the consuls using the senate as their consilium ( group of expert advisers)
          • it dealt with political cases such as treason and those which involved senators and their wives;/ other prominent people.
      • the imperial court
        • consisted of Augustus and his unofficial group of advisers.
          • dealt with wider range of cases e.g. parricide/forgery, and murder.
        • suetonius: Augustus proved assiduous in his administration of justice, once remaining in court until nightfall; and if he happened to be unwell, would have his litter carried up to the tribunal. sometimes he even judged cases from his sick-bed in his house. as a judge he was both conscientious and lenient.
    • appeal to Caesar
      • there was  system of appeal against the decisions of magistratesin Rome, Italy and the provinces- it became very common and usually went to Augustus.

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