Connaissez-vous le droit anglais ancien ? Pour vous tester, je vous propose un petit exercice, qui consiste à relier les définitions, dans la colonne de gauche, aux termes correspondants, à droite. Les termes et leurs définitions sont extraits de la deuxième édition du Jowitt’s Dictionary of English Law (1977).
1) An inferior court of record, possessing a very ancient jurisdiction over causes of action arising within the borough of Liverpool.
2) This is commonly said to be the Court of Dusty Feet, but an alternative derivation makes it to be the Court of the Pedlars. It was a court which decided summarily and on the spot disputes which arose in fairs and markets.
3) An ecclesiastical court, so called because it was originally held in the church of St. Mary-Le-Bow, so named from the steeple, which is raised upon pillars, built archwise.
4) A cauldron into which boiling water was poured, in which a criminal plunged his arm up to the elbow and there held it for some time, as an ordeal.
5) A writ whereby all persons were originally summoned to answer in personal actions in the King’s Bench; so called because it was supposed by the writ that the defendant lurked and lay hid, and could not be found (…).
6) Extraordinary commission issued, either in time of open war or in time of peace, after all attemps to procure legal redress had failed, by the Lords of the Admiralty (…), to the commanders of merchant ships, authorising reprisals for reparation of the damages sustained by them through enemies at sea.
7) A public solemnity or overt ceremony which was formerly necessary to convey an immediate estate of freehold in lands or tenements.
8) An instrument formerly used in Scotland for beheading criminals.
9) The judgment for high treason (…) was that the head of the person after death by hanging should be severed from his body, and that the body, divided into four quarters, should be disposed of as the sovereign should think fit.
10) Trespass, with violence, on the forest. It was one of the crimes of which only the king had cognisance.
2) Letters of marque
3) Livery of seisin
4) Court of Arches
6) Court of pie poudre (or of pie-powders)
7) Rape of the forest
9) Court of Passage
10) Quartering traitors
Réponses : 1-9, 2-6, 3-4, 4-1, 5-8, 6-2, 7-3, 8-5, 9-10, 10-7.