Kritarchy, also called kritocracy, is a system of rule by judges
(Hebrew: שופטים, shoftim) in the tribal confederacy of
ancient Israel during the period of time described in the Book of
Judges, following Joshua's conquest of
Canaan and prior to the united
monarchy under Saul.
Because it is a compound of the Greek words κριτής, krites
("judge") and ἄρχω, árkhō ("to rule"), its use has expanded to
cover rule by judges in the modern sense as well, as in the case of
Somalia, ruled by judges with the polycentric legal tradition of
xeer, and arguably the Islamic Courts Union and in
the fictional regime of Mega-city One, the focus of setting for the
Judge Dredd franchise.
^ A Peaceful Ferment in Somalia: Publications: The Independent
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