Clergy and the Abuse of Legal Procedure in Medieval England

32 Pages Posted: 5 Jul 2015

See all articles by Jonathan Rose

Jonathan Rose

Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law Arizona State University College of Law

Date Written: July 4, 2015

Abstract

The common law’s emergence as a mechanism for dispute resolution created the potential for individuals to misuse litigation to implement their self-interest, thereby perverting the justice system. These abuses prompted numerous complaints to the king and council, parliament, and chancery seeking a remedy. Parliament attempted to mitigate these problems with the enactment of various statutes dealing with the abuse of legal procedure. These prohibitions included those directed at conspiracy, maintenance, champerty, and embracery. These statutes produced a significant amount of litigation in medieval England. Among all these abuses and offenses, maintenance emerged as the most common subject of complaint and the word commonly used to denote these types of wrongful conduct. The clergy were involved in these abuses and actions, both as perpetrators and victims. The records of litigation in the plea rolls reveal this involvement. The objective of this essay is to study these activities as they related to members of the clergy.

Suggested Citation

Rose, Jonathan, Clergy and the Abuse of Legal Procedure in Medieval England (July 4, 2015). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2626779 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2626779

Jonathan Rose (Contact Author)

Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law Arizona State University College of Law ( email )

Mail Code 9520
111 East Taylor St.
Phoenix, AZ 85004-4467
United States
480-965-6513 (Phone)

Register to save articles to
your library

Register

Paper statistics

Downloads
80
Abstract Views
645
rank
304,958
PlumX Metrics