Because of its manifold references to the consultation of medical experts in homicide and infanticide cases, the Constitutio Criminalis Carolina of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (1532) is often regarded as an important milestone in the development of early modern forensic medicine. During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries the County of Flanders, a principality within the Habsburg Netherlands, witnessed a similar upsurge in the production of normative and doctrinal texts aiming to regulate forensic activities. Drawing on princely legislation, local customary law and the writings of the jurists Filips Wielant and Joos de Damhouder, this contribution will compare the corpus of Flemish legal texts with its practical application by the myriad of law courts operating within the county. As the princely legislation only laid out a general framework, the regulation of the forensic post-mortem was essentially an issue of local governance. The local nature of forensic practices should however not be overestimated. Evidence from preserved post-mortem reports demonstrates that there were more similarities between towns and regions within the county than actual differences.
Nowadays it is generally held, that the owner who brought an actio legis Aquiliae usually claimed no more than his loss, perhaps already in Ulpian’s time, for certain in Justinian’s. For the sum of condemnation based upon the estimation-clauses of the lex Aquilia would only then exceed his damages, if either the injured object’s value had decreased in the last year or 30 days (Inst. 4,3,9) or the wrongdoer had denied having caused the damage (C. 3,35,4). There is, however, a third reason, which the Roman texts fail to mention: a possible residual value of killed lifestock, wounded slaves, and damaged objects, which benefitted the owner. Only a few later jurists took this into account: in medieval times Jacques de Révigny and Pierre Jacobi, Johann Oldendorp in the Early Modern era. The notion prevailed that the lex Aquilia obliged to pay at least the object’s full value.
When Thomas Craig (c.1538-1608) wrote his great treatise on Scottish feudal practice, the Jus feudale, he devoted a considerable part of the first book to legal origins. This article deals with Craig’s treatment narrative on the origins of feudal law and tenure in the fourth and fifth titles of the first book. By close examination of the text, the detailed formulation of Craig’s argumentation and technique is uncovered as well as the myriad classical, mediaeval and humanist sources upon which his literary project was based. In this way, the deep relationship between Craig – and by extension Scots law – and the historico-legal product of the French legal humanists is explored.