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Law And Practice In The Late Middle Ages

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Chapter Summary

When inquisitorial procedure was introduced by the Catholic Church in 1215, it impacted decisively on the law of proof that had previously been used and promoted in Christian Europe. The purpose was, on the one hand, to ensure the protection of the law so that innocent people were not solely sentenced because of the accusation of the plaintiff and the defendant's absent proof of innocence and, on the other hand, to limit the number of cases since the change caused a decrease in the number of wrongful accusations and subsequent prosecutions. Danish procedural law did not go through extensive radical changes in the period between the composition of the provincial laws in the thirteenth and the post-Reformation legislation of the sixteenth centuries, and such changes were not introduced until the unifying Danske Lov of 1683.

Keywords: Europe; law; middle ages

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