Arbiter, arbitrator, or compositor amicabilis : Medieval Arbitration between Diplomatics and Legal History : The V. Brno Workshop on Diplomatic Studies, Faculty of Arts, Masaryk University



Year of publication 2023
Type Workshop
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description Arbitration offers an alternative approach to resolving disputes compared to traditional legal proceedings. Its roots in the European legal landscape can be traced back to Roman law, where arbitrators were considered both mediators and judges, selected by the parties involved. The procedure's popularity during the era of the so-called medieval reception of Roman law can be attributed to its lower degree of formality, more acceptable costs, and general flexibility. This popularity is evident not only in the abundant procedural manuals present in legal and canonical literature but also in sources derived directly from practice. Whether it is the actual awards made by the arbitrator or accompanying documents shedding light on other circumstances of the case, arbitration, in some respects, competed with ordinary courts. The somewhat simplistic characterization of medieval arbitration prompts a general reflection on its development in legal handbooks, normative texts, and diplomatic sources. Tracing the practice of arbitration is a priority, as it evolved and changed in parallel with the norm but is not always easy to reconstruct. The international workshop offered a forum for discussion on mediaeval arbitrations from several points of view: legal theory, diplomatics and legal practice.
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