Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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(694 words)

1. Definition

The term impeachment originated in medieval English law. Especially in Great Britain, the Republic of Ireland, and the United States, it denotes a parliamentary procedure for removing a member of the government or a high-ranking civil servant from office for a serious offense. In the United Kingdom, impeachment serves to initiate a formal hearing and investigation; actual removal from office requires a separate act of Parliament. By contrast, American federal law prescribes …

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Pörtner, Regina, “Impeachment”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 26 November 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_COM_021276>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180915

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