In Roman law, a sort of application of civil procedure, in some of its points, to criminal
cases. The presiding officers were usually a civil magistrate (the praetor), and the case was
heard before a bench of iudices.
It differed from ordinary civil process
in that the magistrate sat with the iudices
, directed their decision, and
pronounced the verdict. The earliest notice of the iudicium publicum is found in the Lex
Bantina of about B.C. 130. (See Tabula
.) Reference may be made to Mommsen, Röm. Staatsrecht
pp. 168 and 182 foll.; ii. pp. 223 and 569 foll.