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Modernisation through Process

The Rise of the Court of Chancery in the European Perspective

David Harbecke

Cite this publication as

David Harbecke, Modernisation through Process (2018), Vittorio Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main, ISBN: 9783465143314

Tracked since 05/2018



The existence of a parallel equity jurisdiction is a fascinating peculiarity of the legal tradition of common law. For centuries, the Court of Chancery was the most important of the English equity courts. Any investigation of the development of English equity law must therefore start here. Over the years, numerous studies have been written on the historical development of the Court of Chancery, which have, however, failed to adequately explain the peculiarity of its subject. By examining the late medieval sources from the perspective of modern legal theory and classifying the development in a broader European context, this book is intended to provide a better understanding of this at first glance irritating phenomenon.


  • Front Cover
  • Impressum
  • Contents
  • Acknowledgements
  • Chapter I: Introduction
  • Chapter II: A short history of the Court of Chancery
  • II.1 Background
  • II.2 Formation
  • II.3 Expansion
  • II.4 Systematisation
  • II.5 Deterioration
  • II.6 Fusion
  • Chapter III: Literature on the Court of Chancery
  • III.1 The practice-oriented literature
  • III.2 The classical common law legal history
  • III.3 The 20th century institutional accounts
  • III.4 Moral theology and the Court of Chancery
  • III.5 Conclusion
  • Chapter IV: Sources
  • IV.1 Manuscripts
  • IV.2 Editions
  • IV.3 Samples
  • IV.4 Selection of sources
  • IV.5 Year books
  • Chapter V: The Chancery process in the 15th century
  • V.1 Introduction
  • V.2 Bill
  • V.3 Further pleadings
  • V.4 Evidence
  • V.5 Determination
  • Chapter VI: Roman-canon law origins of the Chancery process
  • VI.1 Early modern law of proof
  • VI.2 Denunciato evangelica
  • VI.3 Comparison of Roman-canon law and Chancery procedure
  • VI.4 Conclusion
  • Chapter VII: Functions of the Court of Chancery
  • VII.1 Integration
  • VII.2 Legitimacy
  • VII.3 Modernisation
  • Chapter VIII: The rise of the Court of Chancery in the European Perspective
  • VIII.1 Origins
  • VIII.2 Procedure
  • VIII.3 Jurisdiction
  • VIII.4 Function
  • Chapter IX: Conclusion
  • Bibliography

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