By the Local Government (Ireland) Act 1898, Belfast became for assize purposes "the county of the city of Belfast," with a high sheriff.
The penal tribunals have jurisdiction in cases involving imprisonment up to ten years, or a fine exceeding 40, while the assize courts, with a jury, deal with offences involving imprisonment for life or over ten years, and have exclusive jurisdiction (except that the senate is on occasion a high court of justice) over all political offences.
This Assize, which has been described as the earliest English Building Act, is of great value from an historical point of view, but unfortunately it had little practical effect, and in 1212 what was called " Fitz-Ailwyne's Second Assize," with certain compulsory regulations, was enacted.
The aldermen are not mentioned as the colleagues of the mayor until the very end of the 13th century, except in the case of Fitz-Ailwin's Assize of 1189, and this, of course, related specially to the duties of aldermen as heads of the wards of the city.
The early palaces of Verona, before its conquest by Venice, were of noble and simple design, mostly built of fine red brick, with an inner court, surrounded on the ground floor by open arches like a cloister, as, for example, the Palazzo della Ragione, an assize court, begun in the r 2th century.