Abstract

https://ssrn.com/abstract=1711665
 
 

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The Rise of Government Law Enforcement in England


Nicholas Adam Curott


Ball State University - Department of Economics

Edward Peter Stringham


Trinity College

2010

THE PURSUIT OF JUSTICE: LAW AND ECONOMICS OF LEGAL INSTITUTIONS, Edward J. Lopez, ed., Independent Institute, 2010

Abstract:     
Nearly one thousand years ago, before the existence of centralized government police and courts in England, disputes were settled in a decentralized and in many ways voluntary manner. When disputes occurred, private groups would ask the wrongdoer to pay restitution to the victim, and if the wrongdoer refused he would be viewed as an outlaw. Over time, however, the kings saw the court system as a potential source of revenue. Rather than having the full restitution go to the victim, they declared that fines must be paid to themselves for more and more offenses because they violated the King’s Peace. After the Norman conquest of England in 1066 A.D., restitution was completely replaced by a system of fines and punishments. The history of medieval England demonstrates, contrary to common belief, that law and order can be provided in a decentralized manner. It also demonstrates that government law enforcement in England was not created for public interest reasons, but to raise revenue for the kings.

Number of Pages in PDF File: 40

Keywords: polycentric law enforcement, anarchism, monopolization of law

JEL Classification: K40, N42, P16


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Date posted: November 21, 2010  

Suggested Citation

Curott, Nicholas Adam and Stringham, Edward Peter, The Rise of Government Law Enforcement in England (2010). THE PURSUIT OF JUSTICE: LAW AND ECONOMICS OF LEGAL INSTITUTIONS, Edward J. Lopez, ed., Independent Institute, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1711665

Contact Information

Nicholas Adam Curott
Ball State University - Department of Economics ( email )
Muncie, IN 47306-0340
United States
Edward Peter Stringham (Contact Author)
Trinity College ( email )
United States
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