Accounting historians have rarely investigated the role of accounting in the administration of justice. Drawing on Foucault’s “governmentality” framework, this article explores the 1571 Ordinances enacted by Margaret of Austria that specifically regulated and shaped the behaviour of officers working within the justice apparatus of the State’s towns and lands. The article documents the role played by accounting, and especially financial information, in the administration of the sixteenthcentury justice offices with a focus on the use of that information for the control of magistrates/officers working in the decentralized apparatus. The study provides evidence of the major technologies of government enforced by Margaret of Austria for the “good administration of justice”, and devoted to the removal of the “bad order of Tribunals” and to assist in the elimination of “abuses”. The article also seeks to enhance our understanding of accounting by highlighting the interplay between justice and accounting officers and their functions.
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