Social power and authority

  • 11 Oct 2011
  • Crime and Legal
  • Back
Today, the state controls all aspects of the legal system, but in the past there were three distinct legal authorities which controlled rural life. The Judges and the local Justices of the Peace administered the laws of the land; local legal rules and customs were administered by the manorial courts; and ecclesiastical law was enforced by the church courts. In small rural communities these three legal systems often appeared to overlap, and were often administered by the same people.