Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Inquisition, trial by
(927 words)

Trial by inquisition is a type of criminal procedure (the inquisitorial system, in contrast to the adversarial system) that is characterized by the principle of inquisition or inquiry; this holds that a court of law takes action ex officio and thus does not rely on the participation of the parties. Trial by inquisition is thus an essential resource of the sovereign administration of criminal law that was regulated in the Holy Roman Empire by the Constitutio Criminalis Carolina. After criminal procedure was reformed in the 19th century, the inquisitorial system became …

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Schmoeckel, Mathias, “Inquisition, trial by”, 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 25 February 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_021454>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20190124

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