Comparative Legal History
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Comparative Legal History

Edited by Olivier Moréteau, Aniceto Masferrer and Kjell A. Modéer

The specially commissioned papers in this book lay a solid theoretical foundation for comparative legal history as a distinct academic discipline. While facilitating a much needed dialogue between comparatists and legal historians, this research handbook examines methodologies in this emerging field and reconsiders legal concepts and institutions like custom, civil procedure, and codification from a comparative legal history perspective.
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Chapter 12: Continental European superior courts and procedure in civil actions (11th–19th centuries)

C.H. (Remco) van Rhee


The chapter discusses the superior courts in continental Europe and their procedure in civil matters. The starting point is the late 11th century, which witnessed the early beginnings of what became known as the Romano-canonical procedure. This procedure would serve as a source of inspiration, originally for the various higher courts in Europe. The chapter ends in the 19th century. From the late 18th century the superior courts of the European nation states came into being and they administered justice according to national rules of procedure, usually codified in a national procedural code. This development in nation-building was fully achieved for the greater part of Europe in the 19th century and therefore it seems justified to use the 19th century as the final point of this chapter. The development of various supra-national superior courts of justice in the 20th century is not discussed. The chapter offers an overview of major issues and concentrates on similarities in legal developments on the European Continent and, where relevant, highlights some differences.

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