(A2-13) The History of Legal Enforcement
The project aims to bring together previous works of the project head on the history of the judiciary and procedural law, and to attempt an epoch-spanning description of the history of legal enforcement. The project C8 from the first funding stage of the Cluster of Excellence, “Procedures for Enforcing Secular and Church Law in Territories Ruled by Members of the Clergy” about appeal stages in the early modern period, will be an important component from which it will be possible to look both back and forward in time.
Historically, legal enforcement has particularly close connections with politics as the jurisdiction (iurisdictio) had been generally considered the most important sovereign right until well into the early modern period. The sovereign was first and foremost chief justice, and only then was he the legislative authority. As a guarantor of peace and justice, he tried to combat that the law was taken into one’s own hands on one’s own authority. At the same time, the fundamental proceedings maxims taught originate from Medieval canon law; these maxims are still significant today. The coexistence of Church law and secular law and of clerical courts and secular courts determined the legal practice for many centuries. In this respect, the Church jurisdiction served simultaneously as an archetype for the essential reforms of the secular jurisdiction. Overstated, these lines of tradition combined in the Holy Roman Empire in the perpetual peace of 1495 which at the same time demanded the strict separation of secular and clerical justice.
The central question will be the respective relationship between private violence, consensual finding of justice or sovereign legal enforcement. Numerous references to the role of Church institutions and secular institutions in the history of the judiciary arise from this. The secularisation in the history of procedural law can also be seen quite easily when disengaging from the notion that the mundane court served to enforce God’s will as chief justice, and by an increasingly marked shifting of factual responsibilities from clerical courts to secular courts. In a legal historical sense, the enforcement of norms is certainly not the equivalent of a court decision. For many centuries until the late Middle Ages, it was typical that the law was violently taken into one’s own hands on one’s own authority. At the same time, there were always amicable agreements.