the actions in dispute: if a man fails to get an adequate decision from them, he shall repair to another court; and if these two courts are unable to settle the matter, the third court shall put an end to the case. In a sense we may say that the establishment of law-courts coincides with the election of officials; for every official must be also a judge of certain matters, while a judge, even if not an official, may be said to be an official of no little importance on the day when he concludes a suit by pronouncing his judgment.
Assuming then that the judges are officials, let us declare who will make suitable judges, and of what matters, and how many shall deal with each case. The most elementary form of court is that which the two parties arrange for themselves, choosing judges by mutual agreement; of the rest, there shall be two forms of trial,—the one when a private person accuses a private person of injuring him and desires to gain a verdict by bringing him to trial, and the other when a person believes that the State is being injured by one of the citizens
and desires to succor the common weal. Who and what sort the judges are must now be explained. First, we must have a court common to all private persons who are having their third1
dispute with one another. It shall be formed in this way. On the day preceding the commencement of a new year of office—which commences with the month next after the summer solstice—all the officials, whether holding office for one year only or longer, shall assemble in the same temple and, after adjuring the god,
they shall dedicate, so to say, one judge from each body of officials, namely, that member of each body whom they deem the best man and the most likely to decide the suits for his fellow-citizens during the ensuing year in the best and holiest way. These being chosen, they shall undergo a scrutiny before those who have chosen them; and should any be disqualified, they shall choose a substitute in like manner. Those who pass the scrutiny shall act as judges for those who have escaped the other courts, and they shall cast their votes openly.
The Councillors, and all the other officials, who have elected them, shall be obliged to attend these trials, both to hear and to see; and anyone else that wishes may attend. Anyone who accuses a judge of deliberately giving an unjust judgment shall go to the Law-wardens and lay his charge before them: a judge that is convicted on such a charge shall submit to pay double the amount of the damage done to the injured party; and if he be held to deserve a greater penalty, the judges of the case shall estimate what additional punishment must be inflicted, or what payment made to the State and to the person who took proceedings. In the matter of offences against the State it is necessary, first of all,