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Learned Law And Secular Legislation

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Chapter Summary

The aim of Gratian's Decretum, the original title of which was the telling Concordia discordantium canonum, was an attempt to systematise and harmonise the many, frequently divergent, decisions in individual cases that constituted Canon law. The newly established universities were central factors in the development of both canon and secular law. Law and legal learning developed rapidly in the High Middle Ages. There are many reasons behind secular legislation in the thirteenth century and they can only be explained if we see the development as a culmination of many phenomena that found their expression in the idea of the secular right to legislate. The decisions of the Fourth Lateran Council signalled a change of direction in law. This was not least the case for procedural law, where it marked the culmination of several long developments.

Keywords: canon law; Gratian's Decretum; procedural law; secular legislation; thirteenth century; universities

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