Abstract and Keywords
The Holy Roman Empire had no written constitution, but only some basic laws. Seven prince-electors elected the emperor but the political power shifted increasingly to the territories with their secular or ecclesiastical rulers. The empire passed only a few formal laws; however, the Constitutio Criminalis Carolina (1532) became one of the most important criminal codes of early modern Europe. In general, there was a mixture of ius commune, territorial statutes, and local customs. On the other hand, a well-developed court system with the Imperial Chamber Court and the Imperial Aulic Council symbolized the status of Germany as a formal country of rule of law. The harmonization of courts via the privilegia de non appellando and the harmonization of law due to the transmission of files contributed to a relatively homogeneous region of German law even if the political power was split between territories of vastly differing sizes.
Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.
If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.