Rethinking the justice of the feud in sixteenth century Scotland

Godfrey, A.M. (2014) Rethinking the justice of the feud in sixteenth century Scotland. In: Boardman, S. and Goodare, J. (eds.) Kings, Lords and Men in Scotland and Britain, 1300-1625: Essays in Honour of Jenny Wormald. Edinburgh University Press: Edinburgh, pp. 136-154. ISBN 9780748691500 (doi: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748691500.003.0007)

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This chapter critically examines existing interpretations of development of central authority and state institutions in Scotland, suggesting an alternative approach in which the administration of justice is placed within the wider context of dispute resolution with regard to civil as well as criminal jurisdiction. It examines the relationships between methods of dispute resolution such as feud, informal settlement mechanisms such as arbitration, formal litigation and other means of resolving disputes in sixteenth-century Scotland. It argues that private justice had never operated entirely separately from public justice and without regard to property rights and wrongs as defined by the legal order. The development of central jurisdiction and legal process by the early sixteenth century created a culture of vindication of rights which undermined feud as a method of dispute resolution. The decline of the bloodfeud was a consequence and not a cause of the rise of central justice to a much greater extent than previously realised.

Item Type:Book Sections
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Godfrey, Professor Mark
Authors: Godfrey, A.M.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Law
Publisher:Edinburgh University Press
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