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Condemnatio

(256 words)

Author(s): Paulus, Christoph Georg (Berlin)
[German version] In criminal proceedings the sentencing of the accused (Cic. Verr. 2,75). In civil proceedings the condemnatio is according to Gai. Inst. 4,43 that part of the proceeding formula that grants a private judge in the context of the suit brought forward (  intentio ) and the statement of facts (  demonstratio ) the power to sentence or acquit ( qua iudici condemnandi absolvendive potestas permittitur). It is only required in payment suits. Gai. Inst. 4,48ff. further states that condemnatio relates to a sum of money ( condemnatio pecuniaria). This restriction (which was …

Praeiudicium

(222 words)

Author(s): Paulus, Christoph Georg (Berlin)
[German version] (lit. 'prior legal proceedings'). Already under Roman law, the fact that different law-courts had different jurisdictions could in certain circumstances prevent the final resolution of a case until the legal question at issue had been clarified by the competent court. Examples of such questions might include the allocation of inheritances, the ownership of a piece of land or the existence of a capital offence. There was, however, no general precedence of the iudicia publica ( iudicium ) over actiones privatae. To resolve…

Furtum tabularum

(103 words)

Author(s): Paulus, Christoph Georg (Berlin)
[German version] A criminal offence that corresponds with modern obstruction of evidence and so implies a more or less definite obstruction of evidence in Roman civil procedure. Tabulae are written notes that served, e.g., to safegua…

Altercatio

(167 words)

Author(s): Paulus, Christoph Georg (Berlin)
[German version] is an argument and interchange which can take place in the Senate or in judicial (criminal or civil) proceedings. In the latter case altercatio stands in contrast to the self-contained lecture oratio continua regularly given at the beginning of a hearing by the counsel of both parties. As proceedings progressed they repeatedly gave rise to debate, due to evidence recorded or other findings, on the status of the dispute and the legal situation; it took place in the form of an

Advocatus

(520 words)

Author(s): Paulus, Christoph Georg (Berlin)
[German version] The advocatus, as ‘one called on’, developed from adviser to the ultimate legal adviser in the late classical period (around AD 200). At first advocatus referred to a usually influential person, who supported someone as an act of friendship in court proceedings (both in criminal and -- notorious for being more boring, Cic. Opt. Gen. 9 f. -- civil law) -- simply by his presence or by his legal knowledge (general knowledge acquired through his training and education); cf. Ps.-Asc. on Cic. in Caec. 11. Here he is distinguished (at least theoretically) from the patronus, who …

Liquet

(148 words)

Author(s): Paulus, Christoph Georg (Berlin)
[German version] In contrast to the right to have recourse to a court that is guaranteed by modern constitutional law, the judge in (Classical) Roman antiquity was allowed to declare that he considered himself unable to come to a decision: rem sibi non liquere (Gell. NA 14,2,25) when he could not condemn or acquit according to procedural formula ( formula ). If he swore an oath to this effect, the parties could have the same legal dispute heard by another judge. The same applied to an arbiter (Dig. 4,8,13,3) appointed by a private arbitration agreement and to c…

Iurisdictio

(596 words)

Author(s): Paulus, Christoph Georg (Berlin)
[German version] Literally ‘speaking law’. Where iurisdictio was split into various stages of procedure (in particular in iure, apud iudicem), it means the sovereign powers conferred on a Roman court magistrate for observing judicial practice. This term was originally used for private judicial practice, but in the 2nd cent. AD it was also extended to criminal judicial practice and to the procedure of cognition (  cognitio ), in the context of which iurisdictio describes the official judicial competences as a whole - in other words also the authority to pass judgemen…

Sequester

(204 words)

Author(s): Paulus, Christoph Georg (Berlin)
[German version] Literally probably (from secare, 'to divide') a neutral person independent of the parties. According to the late Classical Roman jurist Modestinus (3rd cent. AD), sequester is the person to whom several entrust an item that is the subject of a dispute (Dig. 50,16,110). Until this period, the parties generally deposited the item whose replevy they disputed voluntarily and out of court. In occasional cases, e.g. Dig. 43,30,3,6 (custody of a child), however, the praetor could also make an official order for…

Accipere

(244 words)

Author(s): Paulus, Christoph Georg (Berlin)
[German version] with the meaning of ‘receive, obtain’ (cf. Dig. 50,16,71pr.) characterizes several juristically relevant processes: as accipere hereditatem for instance (Dig. 28,5,77) the actual receipt of a legacy; as accipere censum the acceptance of a ‘tax declaration’ from the person liable to tax (Dig. 50,4,1,2); as accipere iudicem in more ancient times the acceptance of a judge appointed by a magistrate, later replaced by the meaning of a judge agreed between the parties. The meaning ‘accept’ refers for instance to accipere legem the acceptance of a law by the people; accipere…

Legis actio

(600 words)

Author(s): Paulus, Christoph Georg (Berlin)
[German version] The legis actio (LA) was the earliest form of Roman civil procedure and, therefore, characterized by considerable formality. It owed its name to a law from which the suit received its immutabilit…

Litis denuntiatio

(279 words)

Author(s): Paulus, Christoph Georg (Berlin)
[German version] (‘Dispute announcement’) is a form of the Roman procedural opening that was in use for a relatively short time (essentially in the 4th cent. AD) but then stopped being practised because of its ponderousness. Its characteristic feature is that the

Cognitio

(374 words)

Author(s): Paulus, Christoph Georg (Berlin)
[German version] is derived from cognoscere and means an investigation or decision carried out when acting as a judge. In criminal proceedings, this term covers the investigation of a crime including the establishment of the facts (Dig. 47,20,3 pr.), as well as the interrogation of a person in remand (Dig. 1,16,6 pr.). In civil proceedings, causae cognito usually means a summary examination by a magistrate; as a form of proceedings, the cognito changes from an extraordinary type of proceedings ( e…

Restitutio

(499 words)

Author(s): Paulus, Christoph Georg (Berlin)
[German version] In a general legal sense, restitutio means 'restoration'. In the area of Roman criminal law, it refers to the full or partial revocation of a legally binding conviction, as a result of which the condemned is restored to his former status (cf. Cod. Iust 9,51). In Roman civil and civil action law, a distinction must be made between a material and a formal restitutio. In certain actions, the material restitutio is the desired outcome, thus above all in actions in rem such as the rei vindicatio (action for the restitution of goods by the owner): in …

Mors litis

(172 words)

Author(s): Paulus, Christoph Georg (Berlin)
[German version] (literally: ‘death of a lawsuit’). According to Gai. Inst. 4,104 a means introduced by the l. Iulia iudiciorum privatorum specially for the iudicium legitimum ( iudicium ), to limit the duration of lawsuits. Whereas all other lawsuits were limited by the period in office of the magistrates who appointed judges, ML was what happened when after 18 months there had been no judgment. From the lex Irnitana (ch. 91, l.2) it followed that this regulation was transferred - evidently by pretending that the municipal process was identical to the iudicium legitimum - also to this…

Causidicus

(199 words)

Author(s): Paulus, Christoph Georg (Berlin)
[German version] A court orator who appears in court as a champion of a party. Whilst Cic. De or. 1,202 uses the term in an obviously derogatory sense as being distinct from a true orator, and whilst a similar evaluation is evident in Gai. Dig. 1,2,1 ( causas dicentibus), causidicus is later applied in inscriptions (CIL 5,5894) and constitutions as a neutral vocational title alongside (Cod. Iust. 2,6,6) or identical (Cod. Theod. 2,10,5) to   advocatus . As such, a causidicus belonged to the state controlled professional association (Cod. Iust. 2,7,11, 1) of orators appearin…

Vadimonium

(205 words)

Author(s): Paulus, Christoph Georg (Berlin)
[German version] ( surety, bail). A legal transaction agreed in a stipulatio , by which one party in a Roman formulary procedure (Procedural law IV.) commits itself to appear at a certain location in order to enable legal proceedings to take place. This self-committal replaced the practice of providing guarantors ( vades) as had been the practice in the legis actio . A distinction was made between different kinds of vadimonium. The voluntary summoning vadimonium consisted of the promise (regularly sanctioned by fines) to appear near the law court for a final attempt a…

Adsertor

(90 words)

Author(s): Paulus, Christoph Georg (Berlin)
[German version] is a free citizen who pleads in court the case, in particular the liberation, of a slave, who is incapable of being a party to a lawsuit: as plaintiff in the vindicatio in libertatem including the manumissio vindicta, as defendant in the vindicatio in servitutem. On the possibilities of abuse in liberation cases Liv. 3,44 ff. Following preceding relaxation, Justinian ultimately declared slaves capable of acting in liberation cases (Cod. Iust. 7,17).  Vin…

Formula

(325 words)

Author(s): Paulus, Christoph Georg (Berlin)
[German version] The written formula is the essential component of the type of trial which replaced the   legis actio procedure; by means of the lex Aebutia, 2nd cent. BC, as well as the two leges Iuliae, 17 BC) and which consequently is generally described as a formula trial. Despite a slow development, this classical procedural type is distinguished from its predecessor by having far greater flexibility and by being more adaptable to individual cases in the late Republic and the Principate. The text of the suit was no longer ceremonial and…
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