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This book provides an introduction to the English legal system and its development during the period c 1215-1485. It affords a valuable insight into the character of medieval governance as well as revealing the complex nexus of interests, attitudes and relationships prevailing in society during the later Middle Ages. The book considers the theoretical and ideological aspects of medieval law and justice, examining the concepts and discourses to be found in official and non-official circles. It concentrates on manifestations of crime and disorder and the royal response to this in the form of the development of judicial institutions. The book then looks at the dispensation of justice both inside and outside the courtroom. It examines in detail the machinery and functioning of criminal justice both in the royal courts and in those autonomous areas exercising delegated powers. The book also considers the use of extra-judicial methods, such as arbitration and 'self-help', to illustrate the interaction of formal and informal methods of dispute settlement. It focuses on the personnel of justice, the justices of the central courts and the local officials who carried out the day-to-day administrative tasks. The smooth and successful operation of the judicial system was challenged and sometimes hindered by the existence of corrupt practices and abuse of its procedures.

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Politics, violence and resistance
Richard Jackson

or by US helicopter gunships attacking insurgents on the streets of Fallujah. There is no escape from the fact that in America and Britain discrimination and the abuse of human rights has now been normalised and is considered an inevitable if regrettable part of the counter-terrorist effort, including judicial abuse, torture and war crimes; we are now firmly ensconced in a ‘dirty war on

in Writing the war on terrorism
The courts
Philippa Byrne

discretion (and by extension judicial abuses). 62 The structure of the English judicial system, however, made it almost impossible to grant ‘impartial’ justice. At every level, there was space for judicial discretion, and as a result the possibility of judicial abuse. The system rested on public service. 63 While judges received a stipend, their wealth was acquired through other means, partly from earnings as private pleaders, but also through extra-legal rewards for favourable judgment. 64 Judges may have been required to enforce the royal law, but

in Justice and mercy
Anthony Musson
Edward Powell

friend.’ ‘More than that, by God,’ said he. 8.5 Abuse of judicial procedure: conspiracy and champerty Concern about judicial abuse had been present in the articles of the eyre, but was given a higher profile through the ordinances defining conspiracy more closely issued in 1293

in Crime, Law and Society in the Later Middle Ages
Philippa Byrne

witnessed a judicial abuse, but this was the duty of every diligent minister, and, indeed, all virtuous Christians. 112 As will be seen in the next chapter, the greatest problem for Church judges in the twelfth century, however, was not the question of how to limit the excesses of secular punishment, but how to respond to an internal, ecclesiastical, argument about how mercy and justice should be realised within the Church itself. Notes 1 ‘Utinam autem vindictam omnino nullam

in Justice and mercy