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The oldest part of the Lois des pers dou castel de Lille (1283–1308/1314) and the infancy of case law and law reporting on the continent

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image of Tijdschrift voor Rechtsgeschiedenis / Revue d'Histoire du Droit / The Legal History Review

The 'Lois des pers dou Castel de Lille' is a very interesting source of medieval law, which has been neglected by historians, as it is a very chaotic document. However, several chronological layers can be distinguished and the oldest part, the bulk of the 'Lois de Lille', dates from 1283–1308 and is very rich in information not found in other sources. It expressly mentions the spokesmen of the Lille castelleny court, the intellectual authors of its judgements. In fact, the very first version of the 'Lois de Lille' were the notes taken by these spokesmen, with originally two separate sets because of the gulf between the knights and the other judges of the court. Thus, the 'Lois de Lille' prove that occasional law reporting was not that much younger on the continent than in England and it is to be wondered how many other texts which look like mere collections of legal rules hide case law and embryonic law reports.

Affiliations: 1: Ghent


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