Administration of Justice Act

It can be difficult for American citizens to remember today that at one time the United States were a group of colonies owned and controlled by the country of Great Britain. There were many events which led to the Revolutionary War which inevitably created the United States. One of the most important were a group of repressive laws passed by parliament that restricted the individual rights of colonists and the rights of the colonies as a whole. One of the most important of these acts was called the Administration of Justice Act and it was one of the main catalysts of revolution and change in the new world and changed the world in general.

What it Meant

In the days leading up to the Revolution, there were times when British interests were jeopardized by the actions of colonists. These colonists were taken to court and courts in the colonies often found for the defendants. This was seen as unfair by the British who passed this law to supply a change of venue from the colonies to Britain to make sure that “justice” was done. This was seen as a significant violation of the rights of all of those accused of committing a crime. All colonists felt like they were not being treated fairly and it was one of the signature intolerable acts.

Today a change of venue is often granted to a trial in order to establish a fairer location for a trial. This is particularly important for cases that have a sensational local angle. There are some cased that are moved to another country or district to allow for a less tainted and prejudiced jury members. This can sway the scales of justice.

In the case of revolution era colonists this was not the case. In fact it was almost a sure thing that the party would be found guilty and punished no matter what the facts of the situation were. This was the main reason that it was deemed so intolerable. There was no justice in it. If there had been a colonist allowed to represent the interests of the people then it might have been OK but there was not any form of representation and became a good example of how laws created without participation will lead to problems of inequality.


The American colonies suffered many injustices that led to the fighting of the revolutionary war and the establishment of the United States. All law makers can learn from this example as the rights of all being governed need to be represented in the law making process, or change will happen. Often change comes easily and sometimes it comes violently, but if there is inequality, change will come.