"The General Court of Virginia began with the reorganization of the government of the colony of Virginia in 1619. The court was established not for any political motives to control, or for any financial motives to collect lucrative fines, but it was a part of the tradition of good government. Private disputes are better settled in official courts of law rather than by self-help and vendetta. Therefore, access to the courts is good public policy.

From its foundation in 1607 until 1624, Virginia was a private corporation that was created by a succession of royal charters; in its organization, it was similar to an English municipal corporation. The first royal charter and the accompanying instructions set up a Council of government, and this Council was given broad and general judicial powers. The model for this was the cities and boroughs of medieval England which had their own courts of law for the settlement of local disputes. In 1624, the charter was revoked, and Virginia came under direct royal control, and, thus, after 1624, all of the Virginia courts were continued as royal courts, even though there was never any formal creation of them as such." [...]

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