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The Great Council of Malines in the 18th century

An Aging Court in a Changing World?


Part of the Studies in the History of Law and Justice book series (SHLJ, volume 3)

Table of contents

About this book


This work studies the Great Council of Malines as an institution. It analyzes the Council’s internal organization and staff policy, its position within the broader society of the Austrian Netherlands, the volume and nature of litigation at the Council, and its final years and ultimate demise in the late 18th and early 19th century. By means of this institutional study, this volume provides insight into the role played by the Great Council in the process of state-building in the 18th century Austrian Netherlands. While superior courts were once considered to be the prime agencies of change in the Early Modern Period, tools par excellence for the sovereigns’ striving towards centralization and superiority, their position in the 18th century has so far been barely touched upon. This work focuses specifically on the 18th century supreme court of the Austrian Netherlands, and provides a broad overview with attention to other aspects of the tribunal's functioning and to its role in 18th century attempts at state formation.


18th Century Members Of The Great Council Administering Justice Composite state Councilors of the 18th century Distribution Records of the 18th century Great Council Early modern provincial and central courts Great Council as an administrative body Great Council of Malines Great Council’s caseload Great Council’s inner workings Great Council’s jurisdiction Institutional history Jurisdiction as first instance tribunal Jurisdiction in appeal Legal history Nature of Litigation Privy Council Role of superior courts and the administration of justice State formation State versus the Church Types of Civil Litigation Un corps si fort audessus d’eux Volume of Litigation droit de terne l’oeil et le bras du Roi

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Department of HistoryKatholieke Universiteit LeuvenLeuvenBelgium

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