Meaning of justice of the peace

jus'tice of the peace'

Pronunciation: [key]
  1. a local public officer, usually having jurisdiction to try and determine minor civil and criminal cases and to hold preliminary examinations of persons accused of more serious crimes, and having authority to administer oaths, solemnize marriages, etc.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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