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Kameralprozess

(784 words)

Author(s): Oestmann, Peter
The Kameralprozess (“cameral procedure”) is the term used to describe the trial procedure of the Reichskammergericht established in 1495. It was a special form of the general ordinary civil procedure, as set forth by medieval Italian jurists and especially in the Speculum iudiciale (1271-1291; “judicial mirror”) of Guilelmus Durantis. On contrast to scholarly law, the Kameralprozess retained the separation of judge and jurors that was typical of the German Middle Ages. The royal chamber court ( Kammergericht) of the 15th century was heavily influenced by the procedural law of iu…
Date: 2019-10-14

Bailiff (law)

(850 words)

Author(s): Oestmann, Peter
A bailiff (German: Gerichtsvollzieher) in his capacity as a court official is responsible for  enforcing the decisions and writs of execution of a court of law. The existence of the office depends on two fundamental decisions of the legal order. On the one hand, the office of the bailiff is an expression of the state’s monopoly on violence. Private individuals, in particular the victorious party in litigation, may not enforce their rights personally; only the state power - personified by the bailif…
Date: 2019-10-14

Constitutio Criminalis Carolina

(813 words)

Author(s): Oestmann, Peter
The criminal law enacted by Emperor Charles V in 1532 known as the Constitutio Criminalis Carolina is the most important legislation on criminal law and criminal proceedings under the Holy Roman Empire and probably the single most important law issued under the Holy Roman Empire altogether. It introduced the criminal and procedural doctrines of Italian jurisprudence to Germany and marked German and European criminal law until the 19th century.At the recommendation of the Reichskammergericht, the Reichstag resolved in 1498 to issue an empire-wide act on the subje…
Date: 2019-10-14

Kabinettsjustiz

(969 words)

Author(s): Oestmann, Peter
Kabinettsjustiz (“cameral justice” or “cabinet justice”)  signifies a ruling over a legal case by a territorial sovereign or any other intervention by a sovereign in the administration of justice, always in reference to a single case (Territorial sovereignty [Holy Roman Empire]). The German term originated in the 18th century and had a negative connotation long thereafter, indicating an infringement against the separation of powers (Powers, separation of) and the independence of the judiciary. This la…
Date: 2019-10-14

Justice, minister of

(872 words)

Author(s): Oestmann, Peter
The Minister of Justice, alongside the Ministers of the Interior, Foreign Affairs, Finance, and War, is one of the five classical ministers of the European constitutional tradition. By virtue of their respective constitutions, such different countries as Poland (1791), France (1791), and Prussia (1808) had introduced this system at the end of the  Ancien Régime and the dawn of the 19th century. Ministers (or “secretaries”) in the modern sense – directors of specific branches of government appointed by the head of state and accountable before th…
Date: 2019-10-14

Lotharian Legend

(853 words)

Author(s): Oestmann, Peter
The Lotharian Legend is an early modern theory that explained the validity of Roman law (Ius commune) in Germany. It claimed that, in 1137, Emperor Lothair III of Supplinburg had decreed by law that Roman law was applicable in the Holy Roman Empire.The Lotharian Legend emerged against the background of questions by late medieval and early modern jurists as to why Justinian’s  Corpus Iuris Civilis, the great sixth-century codification of ancient (late antique) Roman law created in the eastern Roman Empire was still regarded as valid law in large parts of Eu…
Date: 2019-10-14

Arson

(873 words)

Author(s): Oestmann, Peter | Nordloh, Philipp
Arson in medieval and early modern criminal law was the deliberate or neglectful setting fire to buildings, especially homes. Dense urban development (Town), highly flammable building materials (wood and straw), and the lack of equipment for firefighting made fire a constant threat. Many towns and cities in Europe therefore issued Polizeiordnungen (police ordinances) in the 16th and 17th centuries, stipulating very precise instructions for the prevention of fire. Arson was therefore one of the gravest of breaches of the peace.In accord with late medieval Italian jurisprud…
Date: 2019-10-14