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Central Courts in Early Modern Europe and the Americas
2020. 1 Abb.; 543 S.
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The intimate connection between medieval royal government and the administration of justice led to a new generation of centralized law courts emerging in early modern Europe. Some were newly created institutions, but often they were associated with the evolution of the judicial role of royal councils, or equivalent bodies, which sat outside the ordinary course of justice. Typically these were empowered on behalf of the sovereign to make interventions in legal process on grounds of equity. Legal change of this kind was connected with the development of the state, and reflected the way that enhancement in the exercise of centralized judicial authority could be a powerful force reshaping the administration of justice more generally. The contributions to this book seek to examine how such newly created or reformed central judicial bodies (in Europe but also to some extent in European colonial settlement in the Americas) became integrated into the wider structures of jurisdiction within states, with a superior or even supreme jurisdiction. A particular emphasis is given to exploring how their jurisdiction and authority related to other more political institutions of central governance with an adjudicative role, such as parliaments or privy councils.


A. M. Godfrey and C. H. van Rhee: Introduction

K. Salonen: The Sacra Romana Rota

N. G. Jones: The English Court of Chancery

W. Prest: An ›ordinary court of justice‹? The appellate jurisdiction of the House of Lords, 1689–1760

A. M. Godfrey: The College of Justice, Court of Session and Privy Council in sixteenth century Scotland, 1532–1603

J. D. Ford: Adjudication in the Scottish Parliament, 1532–1707

P. Oestmann: The highest courts of the Holy Roman Empire: Imperial Chamber Court and Imperial Aulic Council

D. Tamm: The King in Council and the Supreme Court in Denmark, 1537–1660

M. Korpiola: The Svea Court of Appeal: A basis for good governance and justice in the early modern Swedish realm, 1614–1800

H. Pihlajamäki: The Appeals Court of Dorpat in the seventeenth century: Establishing Swedish judiciary overseas

A. Wijffels: The supreme judicature in the Habsburg Netherlands

C. H. van Rhee: Supreme judicature in Holland, Zeeland and West-Friesland after the Dutch Revolt, 1582–1795

D. Freda: The Sacro Regio Consiglio of Naples, 15th–17th century

I. Czeguhn: The history of the supreme courts in the Iberian peninsula from the 14th century to the 18th century

L. López Valencia: The Royal and Supreme Council of the Indies: the Supreme Court of New Spain

S. Dauchy: The Sovereign Council of New France, 1663–1760

W. H. Bryson: The General Court of Virginia, 1619–1776

List of contributors


»Der vorliegende Band gewährt einen hervorragenden Überblick über rechtshistorische Perspektiven auf die europäische Zentral- und Höchstgerichtsbarkeit und bietet zahlreiche Anknüpfungspunkte, an denen eine soziologisch interessierte Geschichtswissenschaft künftig ansetzen könnte, umunsere Kenntnis über jene »central courts« zu erweitern, die in der Geschichte Europas eine so bedeutsame Rolle
gespielt haben.« Dr. Tobias Schenk, in: Zeitschrift für Historische Forschung, Bd. 48, 4/2021


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