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The Politicization Of Criminal Justice

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Chapter Summary

The focus of this chapter is the impact of Bologna's bitter political rivalries on its system of criminal justice, especially the effects of the coming of the popolo to full power, the narrowing of oligarchical ranks, and the division of society into legally distinct, hereditary groups in the early fourteenth century. The new government of the popolo established institutions and practices of summary justice that were intended to protect popolani from injustice from the more powerful members of society. One of the greatest achievements in Western legal history was the development in the twelfth century and the subsequent significant expansion in the thirteenth century of the ordo iudiciarius, the congeries of Romano-canonical theories and practices that became the basis for the legal systems of continental medieval Europe. By the late thirteenth century, although assault cases continued to dominate accusation-procedure trials, serious crimes were more likely to be prosecuted by inquisitio.

Keywords: bologna; criminal justice; fourteenth century; medieval europe; romano-canonical theories; twelfth century; western legal history



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