Kritarchy

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Kritarchy 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.[1] 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,[2] and arguably the Islamic Courts Union.[citation needed]

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