Crimes and Criminal Procedure

R. H. Helmholz

in The Oxford History of the Laws of England

Published in print January 2004 | ISBN: 9780198258971
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191681882 | DOI:

Series: The Oxford History of the Laws of England Series ISBN 0-19-961352-4

Crimes and Criminal Procedure

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This chapter deals with criminal law. The crimes that came before the spiritual courts were a miscellaneous lot, and the criminal jurisdiction exercised in them was not wholly stable over time. Both additions and subtractions took place. The most that can be said is that throughout the period covered by this volume, a significant part of what came before the courts were offences against either religion or the peace of a community — matters like blasphemy or scolding. According to this view, it is a mistake to confound the enforcement of societal norms with crimes that called for afflictive, serious penalties. This view would obviously exclude considering the ex officio jurisdiction of the ecclesiastical courts, with the possible exception of heresy.

Keywords: crimes; spiritual courts; criminal jurisdiction; societal norms; ecclesiastical courts

Chapter.  23510 words. 

Subjects: History of Law

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