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THE SPACE OF JUSTICE IN THE MIDDLE AGES
THE SPACE OF JUSTICE IN THE MIDDLE AGES
Candidate of Legal Sciences, Associate Professor, Department of Public Law,
National Research University Higher School of Economics
The space of justice among our contemporaries, as a rule, is associated with the courthouse,
the courtroom. However, specifically for the placement of courts, buildings began to be
built no earlier than Modern Age. Where was justice administered before? The article is
devoted to an overview of the spaces (places) in which justice was administered during the
Middle Ages. As a rule, these are elevated places (hills, often handmade), the space under
the crown of a large trees, the courtyards of the churches and cemeteries near them, as well
as the porch, places near the churches gates, general halls of castles. Toward the end of the
Middle Ages, the court begins to settle in the buildings of the town halls, special rooms are
organized in the castles for judicial proceedings, and the halls gradually turn into salles
de pas perdus. The article notes the symbolic meaning of the places in which justice was
administered. The connection of justice with religious beliefs is traced. It is noted that in
the Middle Ages the space of justice was common, like markets and temples, and open to
the public, but in the late Middle Ages there was a tendency to close the space of justice,
moving it to the buildings of town halls and other administrative buildings. This tendency
coincides in time with the centralization of political power, the beginning of reception of
Roman law, and the bureaucratization of legal proceedings.
Keywords: judicial architecture; court; justice; legal proceedings; place of justice; judicial
process; town hall; Middle Ages.
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Information about the author
A.V. Argounov (Moscow, Russia) – Candidate of Legal Sciences, Associate Professor,
Department of Public Law, National Research University Higher School of Economics
(20 Miasnitskaia St., Moscow, 101000, Russia; e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org).
Argounov A.V. Prostranstvo pravosudiia v Srednie veka [The Space of Justice in the
Middle Ages]. Vestnik grazhdanskogo protsessa – Herald of Civil Procedure, 2020, vol. 10,
no. 3, pp. 142–169. (In Russ.) https://doi.org/10.24031/2226-0781-2020-10-3-142-169