minima non curat lex

minima non curat lex - minima non curat lex 1. When the...

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minima non curat lex 1. When the Germanic tribes entered the lands of the Western Roman empire, they brought many of their customs and traditions with them, among them being those customs and traditions that comprised their system of justice. The bases of those systems among the various peoples appear to have been much the same. A. The operative unit of society was the kindred , the clan or extended family. When the member of one kindred harmed the member of another in person or in property, the aggrieved persons relatives sought retribution in what is now termed a vendetta or feud . Given the collective nature in which people operated, it should come as no surprise to find that retribution was not sought specifically from the person at fault, but from him or any member of his kindred. The problem with this system is that retribution betprends upon an equivalence between injury and punishment, and this is not always a simple matter to establish. It is only human for a plaintiff to consider the value of his loss more highly than the defendant gauges his own responsibility. There was always the danger that a kindred would consider that there opponents had been overreachig in their retribution and would seek their own retribution as a means of striking what they might consider a suitable balance. Such games of tit for tat could go on for years with men being killed long after the original basis of complaint had been forgotten. This was the case with the famous feud between the Hatfields and McCoys of Appalachia in the United States. B. At some period in their development, the Germans tried to overcome the defects of this system of maintaining law and order. They turned to their chieftains to act as arbitrators in disputes between kindreds. The first matter was to reach a decision on the facts of the case, and several means arose. 1. Compurgation . Compurgation meant that the person accused of a crime was required to swear an oath that he was innocent and, depending on the seriousness of the offense, he might be required to persuade a greater or lesser number of the leading members of his kindred to swear the same oath along with him. The may seem similar to the modern practice of offering character
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This note was uploaded on 11/18/2011 for the course HISTORY 170 taught by Professor Romero during the Fall '11 term at Rutgers.

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minima non curat lex - minima non curat lex 1. When the...

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