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Title: The prevention and resolution of disputes over property rights in twelfth and early thirteenth century Scotland
Author: O'Sullivan, Eileen Marie
Awarding Body: University of Glasgow
Current Institution: University of Glasgow
Date of Award: 2006
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The accepted view of dispute resolution during the twelfth and early thirteenth century is to either dismiss the possibility altogether due to a scarcity of documents or to look backward from the later thirteenth century and beyond, measuring the records of the twelfth century and early thirteenth against the more prolific and more detailed records of later periods. This has led to the widely accepted conclusion that either the means of resolving disputes in the earlier period were less sophisticated, less developed versions of later legal systems, or that the earlier period was in a legal dark age where the light of reason and systematic approaches to law had not yet developed. The evidence discussed here shows, however, that there were systematic approaches to both preventing disputes and resolving those that did occur. The documents are not in the format that came to be accepted in later periods, nor are they worded as later legal documents would be. But that there were legal decisions being made according to norms, customs and rules that were consistently applied is clear. Using complexity theory as a means of analysis allows us to see the patterns and the systematic approaches, not in a system wide context, but at the level of decision making, where these rules, norms and customs were applied to the facts by one or more decision makers in order to achieve a just result. This approach affirms the underlying concept of justice that drives any legal system, whether a more modern, well documented legal structure or one where the records are not so abundant.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral