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date: 18 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The rise of royal power coincided with the emergence of supreme courts throughout Europe from the thirteenth century onwards. The differentiation of legal business and the institutionalization of a judicial section concerned the interface of jurisdiction, political authority, and territory. The commitment to streamline the administration of justice and to provide access to courts was the major catalyst for pre-state unification, and legal theorists advocated limits on the extent of a legal purview. These limits resolved themselves into ordinary competences and jurisdictions or, in other words, what constitutes a court as a court of law. The attempts to resolve these issues had a common forebear in the canon law of the Church, exemplified by the legal discourses of the Roman-canonical process, the so-called ordines iudiciarii. However, European court systems developed along divergent paths concerning jurisdiction, political authority, and territory, as each sought to balance sovereignty and the legal order.

Keywords: jurisdiction, supreme court, superiority, legal professionalization, judicial sovereignty, prerogative courts, monarchical church supremacy

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