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The State And The Law

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Chapter Summary

The majority of legal practice was inherited or created through imitation. The medieval regional Swedish law codes incorporate matters touching almost every aspect of people's lives, but the most systematically regulated parts are those that modify existing custom or concern relatively recent innovations-for instance, laws based on church canon law, the procedures for jury trial, and matters involving fines and other payments to the king or his agents or the Church. The compilers of the landskapslagarand their counterparts from other kingdoms were keen to emphasise that they built upon earlier laws, whether this was actually the case or not, and similar poetic form was used in law-codes elsewhere in Europe. The influence of upper nobility and crown on the landskapslagar may have been exaggerated by some scholars who wish to argue that they were almost wholly derived from the Roman-Lombard tradition.

Keywords: church canon law; landskapslagar; medieval regional Swedish law codes; Roman-Lombard tradition



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