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test 2 notes 1 - Page114 Law and Society The Rise of the...

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Page114 Law and Society: The Rise of the Common Law in England III Present at the Creation A. The History This was the following era of the common law, the judicial system that still prevails in England and Wales and in the United States. The Angevin government of Henry II, arrived at its momentous reforming judicial decisions for both expediency and profit . Expedient was a low-cost judicial system that at the same time enhanced royal power over landed society. Profit came mainly from the cost of obtaining a royal writ to start civil suit (as it is today) and the seizures by the crown of a felon’s movable property. The role of the crown was crucially important. B. The Founding and Shaping of English Common Law. Between 1160 and 1210. By the 13 th century a variety of legal mechanisms, called assizes , assured that all property disputes between and within landed families were litigated in the royal courts. The royal itinerant justices sent to preside at the shire courts were given commissions of general eyre . Or circuit, which imposed upon them a great variety of important political ad administrative as well as judicial functions. Through the common law's procedures , the king and his ministers communicated their program to the aristocracy and the gentry and made demands upon them in face-to-face confrontations. Maitland used all his skills to try to get us to visualize a general eyre. It was a supremely serious moment, for everyone who owed some obligation to the king would be called to account. Nothing irritated the justices more than juries that failed to give indictments or recognitions when asked to, this slowed up the regular and quick procedures of the court, and inevitably the justices would punish the community by fining the shire court. C. Angevin King
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Angevin king noticed how, the roman judges would be slowed up by having to make inquisitions themselves on the fact of each case. Angevin king and his justices did not have to take these same pains. All the pleading was oral, and the common law of judges had to make no preparation before the trial began. D. Common Law As it crystallized in the early thirteenth century, common law became committed to the adversary system of judicial procedure. The adversary system placed judges in a elevated position and served to entrench the belief that the actual trial was a function of communal, popular institutions. Common law procedure in property disputes is the womb from which the profession of attorneys emerged. The adversary system and increasing complexity of pleading generated an increasing need for legal counsel, especially in civil actions. The most important change was the decline of the clerical lawyer , usually educated in France or Italy, and the rise of the lay lawyer , educated in London.
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