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Introduction

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Chapter Summary

The introductory part of the book Legal Procedure and Practice in Medieval Denmark prepares the reader for the investigation of Danish legal procedure and its development in the Middle Ages. There are at least two good reasons to study the development of secular legal procedure in medieval Denmark. Firstly, because it is clear from the Danish sources how the Fourth Lateran Council's prohibition against the participation of clerics in trial by ordeal was implemented in Danish secular law in the years following 1215 and that it required both a fundamental restructuring of legal procedure and an entirely different approach to jurisprudence. Secondly, because secular legal procedure in the Late Middle Ages was conservative and consistently based on procedure that was a consequence of the radical changes of the thirteenth century.

Keywords:Danish procedure; Danish secular law; medieval Denmark

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