Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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Legal unity
(828 words)

Legal unity describes that state when the same law is in force in one or more territories. Broad parts of early modern Europe enjoyed relative legal unity by virtue of the tradition of medieval ius commune [1]. This law had emerged from the integration of Roman and canon law, leading to the creation of a legal culture that spanned western and central Europe, including England (Common law[7].

The reception of ius commune not only led to the spread of related legal rules across Europe, but also rationalized ways of using the law and established western jurisprudence. Courts of law felt th…

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Avenarius, Martin, “Legal unity”, 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 31 March 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_026212>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20190801

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