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Boundaries of Law: Code and Custom in the Legal Practice of Early Medieval Catalonia

Boundaries of Law: Code and Custom in the Legal Practice of Early Medieval Catalonia

Kelleher, Marie A.

Comitatus Vol.30 (1999)

Introduction

I wish to address in this paper the question of why the judges in this case should take such a course, and what it means to our understanding of the way the law worked—at least in Catalonia—before the rediscovery
of the Justinianic corpus and the beginning of formal and standardized
legal instruction. I believe that an examination of the dispute
over the possession of Moya and Albinyana reveals that even those
early medieval societies that had fully developed law codes perceived
the need for flexible systems of dispute settlement. Specifically, I will
argue that written and customary law were not mutually exclusive legal
traditions, but rather were complementary systems of conflict resolution.

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