Wednesday, 8 August 2012

Trial by combat - it's still legal

If you are ever party to a private prosecution, then you do not have to go through all the palaver of a courtroom trial. You can exercise your right to "trial by combat" instead, and if you survive simply walk away from the field of battle, having won the case. However, in 1819 a squeamish Parliament debated whether to abolish this option -

"The Lord Chancellor moved, that the House should resolve itself into a committee on the bill for the Abolition of Wager of Battle.....With respect, he said, to the first part of this bill, which related to the civil proceeding,  he had never heard any doubt expressed of the propriety of repealing the right of waging battle....."

Trial by combat was abolished the same year, but only in Britain and its colonies. The United States had adopted all existing English laws when it became independent, but it has never since thought to repeal this one. So if you want to settle a score with someone, take them across the Atlantic - you'll be laughed out of court over here.


I've just thought, imagine settling a divorce case this way. It would be just like married life, except that it would be to the death  - and the winner gets to keep the house and the children.

3 comments:

  1. Not true, it was abolished in 1819

    ReplyDelete
  2. Modern law is an ass. Manipulated by the state and big money. Bring back Trial by Combat, with No Quarter.

    ReplyDelete

Keep it clean.....