Political Issues: Justice

  • W. M. Ormrod
Part of the British History in Perspective book series (BHP)


Recent scholarship has come more and more to appreciate that justice lay at the very heart of political life in the later Middle Ages. Because so much attention has been given to the study of crime in medieval society, we are perhaps too inclined to think of the politics of justice simply in terms of a debate on public order. In fact, the notion of justice encompassed — as it still encompasses — a much wider range of issues concerning the stability of society, the preservation of public morality, and the sanctity of property: in other words, the principles by which governance was justified and legitimately implemented. The late medieval debate on justice was therefore a discourse upon the very way in which the polity regulated itself and ran the kingdom.1


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© W. M. Ormrod 1995

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