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The Medieval Scottish Parliament As A Central Court

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Chapter Summary

The development of a central civil court in Scotland arose principally from the evolution of the judicial functions of the King's Council in the fifteenth century. The relationship between kingship, government and law in Scotland reflected wider European developments. The regularisation of Parliament's judicial functions did not occur in a vacuum but as part of the development by the thirteenth century of a Scottish common law administered principally by the King's justiciars and sheriffs. These offices would of course be held by nobles, who would hold their courts and grant remedies in the name of the King. The central judicial role in the law that the Scottish parliament developed in the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth centuries had disappeared by 1500, though, competence in criminal matters remained in its jurisdiction over treason.

Keywords: Parliament judicial function; Scottish common law

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