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|French to English translations [PRO]|
Art/Literary - History / feudal history
|French term or phrase: petite/moyenne justice|
|Le manoir est donc un instrument de pouvoir du seigneur sur le paysan, domination d’autant plus forte que le premier détient la petite et moyenne justice.|
I'm having a full mental block on this one.
small and medium-sized courts?
|minor civil and criminal displutes|
I gather that "la petite justice" is an archaic equivalent of a "tribunal d'instance" or "small claims court" (see "Oboulo" article link), and "la moyenne justice" a court for crimes against property but not persons (see wikipedia on "La Moyenne Justice" and "La Justice Seigneuriale").
I'm guessing that "la petite justice" is another term for what the "Justice seigneuriale" article refers to as "la basse justice" - maybe it depends on the period and the status of the Lord in question.
So the phrase would be something like "all the more powerful in virtue of the fact that the Lord also has the power to settle/rule on minor civil and criminal disputes."
Note added at 2 hrs (2007-06-28 11:34:44 GMT)
Um, that would be "disputes" rather than "displutes" (drinking again!). "minor civil and criminal matters" might also work and be more neutral.
Selected response from:
Local time: 13:37
|This fitted the text nicely, although I liked Christophers idea of Misdemeanours too. Sorry I can't award points all round.|
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1 hr confidence:
keep it simple?
"administers simple justice" or "manorial justice" (as opposed to Royal justice)?
Wienfort begins her study with a revealing examination of manorial justice and its critics in the late eighteenth century. Some historians will doubtless be ...
It abolished manorial justice. But the first article was to raise much difficulty and discontent. The National Assembly entirely destroys the feudal system. ...
Besides, the right of manorial justice had been retained, and over large districts the lord was still judge, or else he nominated the judges; and in virtue ...
High Justice: power to inflict death.
Outfangenthef(t): power to inflict capital punishment within the MANOR on non-tenants without recourse to Royal justice
If you want to get technical, you might find the following site of assistance :
Manor courts were held 'for lord and neighbourhood', their principal functions being the preservation of the rights of the lord, on the one hand, and the regulation of relations between tenants, on the other. The latter function merged into dealing with breaches of the peace, and a third strand in the work of the court leet was their public role of dealing with criminal affairs and carrying out the various statutory obligations laid on them. This combination of being a branch of the King's judiciary, an arm of the lord of the manor's estate administration, and a forum for the discussion of matters of concern to the community as a whole is well illustrated by the compilations of byelaws which survive for some manors.
There were two main types of manor court, the court baron and the court leet, though some early manor court records do not specify the type of court, stating simply that it was the 'court' (Latin curia) of the manor in question. On many manors by the late-medieval period courts baron, dealing largely with minor pleas, were held every three or four weeks, while agrarian business was dealt with at the 'head court' (curia capitalis), which was generally a court leet and was held twice each year, in Spring and Autumn. The pattern is described in a survey of Burgh by Sands barony in c.1589, which reads (spelling modernised):
[ ... ]
Some manorial lords also had the right to hold a court leet with view of frankpledge, which was required to meet twice a year and had a wider remit as an arm of royal justice dealing with minor breaches of the peace and public order and administering the provisions of a series of Tudor statutes. The term 'view of frankpledge' (Latin: visus franciplegii) harked back to the Anglo-Saxon system of peace-keeping where groups of ten men undertook to be responsible for each other's behaviour. In the context of the court leet, the phrase 'view of frankpledge' was short-hand for the additional judicial rights held by the court. Courts leet upheld the 'assize of bread and ale' by appointing ale-tasters to ensure that standards were maintained, and also had the right to appoint township constables
Local time: 05:37
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in category: 154
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Goodness, Miranda, you are certainly getting a Middlevil Workout.
Off the top of my head, the basic concept is that, with the collapse of any Central Authority (5th c., and then again in the 10th) the right to administer Justice passed to the guy with the strongest right arm.
Justice rights were attached to the land --as were the serfs who worked that land-- and were an important instrument of power (and money) for the Lord of the Land.
The distinction between levels of crime goes back (I should imagine) to Roman times, at least.
Roughly, "petite justice" = our "misdemeaner" crimes, i.e., non-capital offenses and, perhaps, "crimes not involving forfeiture of property" (OED).
High justice (I forget the French: Haute? Grande?) involved capital crimes --murder, arson, lesse majesté, whatever.
In the English system, these disctinctions are still represented by King's Bench Courts and Courts of Common Pleas.
More ina bit.
Note added at 4 hrs (2007-06-28 13:58:09 GMT)
I believe in some U.S. states this distinction is reflected in the levels of the state courts as well.
In any case, High Justice certainly belonged to the "Capitalis Dominus" and when a piece of land was alienated (e.g., given to an ecclesiastical institution) or given "in fief" to another, say, knight, the C.D. could, if he wished, retain these H.J. rights --or all Justice rights, for that matter-- though more often the rights transferred with the property itself.
Ocassionally the Church (or a church) let a piece of property in fief or in rent, in which case the justice rights remained with the ecclesiastical institution (the land still being church property).
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