The number of penal proceedings, especially those within the competence of praetors, has also increased,, chiefly on account of the frequency of minor contraventions of the law referred to in the section Crime.
Meantime the attempts of the Liberian government to control the Kru coast led to various troubles, such as the fining or firing upon foreign steamships for alleged contraventions of regulations.
There are 26 justices of peace, to whose decision are referred slight contraventions of the law (lrraLQµara) and civil causes in which the amount claimed is below 600 francs.
The court has also the power to relieve from the consequences of certain innocent contraventions of the law caused by inadvertence or miscalculation.
In penal cases its jurisdiction extends to all offences of the class known as dClitsoffences punishable by a more serious penalty than the contraventions dealt with by the juge de paix, but not entailing such heavy penalties as the code applies to crimes, with which the assize courts (see below) deal.