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date: 01 October 2020

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter focuses on medieval canon law from which modern criminal law developed. It discusses the reform of canon law in the twelfth century, especially the growth of Roman law and the introduction of criminal sanctions. Attention then turns to the concepts of intentionality and individual responsibility, ecclesiastical crimes and punishments, and the procedural amendments that accompanied the changes in substantive criminal law. Consideration is given to the rise of the inquisitorial procedure alongside the traditional adversarial procedure and the statutory theory of proof to replace the old procedure based on oaths and ordeals. It also examines the impact of canonical criminal law on secular law, along with developments in the Reformation period and beyond including the development of criminal procedure. The Catholic Church’s establishment of its own judicial system, the institution of penance that stressed the individual nature of sin, and teachings on necessity, duress, and self-defense are highlighted.

Keywords: canon law, criminal law, intentionality, ecclesiastical crimes, punishments, inquisitorial procedure, secular law, criminal procedure, Catholic Church, penance

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