Anthony Musson
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Participation in the royal courts
in Medieval law in context
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Royal jurisdiction through the common law increased exponentially during the period 1215-1381. Participation in the royal courts was therefore an important way in which people became increasingly familiar with the processes of law. A mixture of royal policy, experience of litigation and feedback from lawyers and litigants shaped the development of the royal courts. The effects of changes are assessed by four criteria: availability, actionability, accountability and accessibility. The chapter first considers the availability of royal justice and provides the reader with a snapshot of the judicial system. Accountability was an important feature of the Crown's policy towards the administration of justice and one that had political and financial implications as well as purely legal ones. The Crown's role in the prosecution of individuals was not restricted to the identification of offenders through the use of local juries.

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Medieval law in context

The growth of legal consciousness from Magna Carta to the Peasants’ Revolt


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