These laws were directed against, and identified by name particularly influential (i.e. aristocratic) families and Ghibelline sympathizers. Those identified were supposed to possess a bellicose and ungovernable nature. Primarily these people were barred from holding office and, if they committed certain crimes their punishment could be doubled.
In later years the severity of the Ordinances of Justice were somewhat mitigated but they stayed in force. These ordinances ensured that the guilds of Florence retained control of the city.