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Democratie En Rechtsstaat in Het Twaalfde-Eeuwse Graafschap Vlaanderen

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

The author enquires to what extent the idea of the rule of law was present in twelfth-century Flanders. He examines two notions in particular, that the prince is under the law and that it is the task of the law courts to adjudicate in case of legal conflict between the ruler and his subjects. The author finds clear indications that those notions were fully grasped in one narrative source, Galbert of Bruges, and in several charters granted by the counts of Flanders to the towns of Saint-Omer and Ghent in the years 1127, 1128, 1164 and 1191. The author compares the Flemish and the English situation and concludes that whereas England, with Magna Carta, was moving towards the Rechtsstaat, in Flanders one might rather speak of a Rechtsstadt.


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