Praetores 'praetors' were Roman magistrates with imperium who issued the annual edicts. The praetor urbanus (city praetor) originally had a military function, but became a civil judge. In 241 B.C. a second praetor (praetor peregrinus) was added to deal with cases involving foreigners. By 80 B.C., there were 8 praetores; by the reign of Tiberius, 16. During the Empire, the praetores, who had reduced responsibility, were in charge of the festivals and games.
Praetores were annually elected by the comitia centuriata. Running for praetor was part of the cursus honorum and was second only to the position of consul. Like the other magistracies, praetores were members of the senate. Signs of power showing that the praetores had imperium were:
Also see: Roman Magistrates With Imperium
Additional Source: 'www.theaterofpompey.com/rome/reviewmagist.shtml' Regular Magistracies of the Roman Republic