Giroie V. Montgomery Case Study

785 Words 4 Pages
Case I: Giroie v. Montgomery (1030-1093, France):
This case could exist under a mixture of law systems and mentalities. If the case was to interpreted as occurring after 1080, elements of Corpus Iuris Civilis, Justinian 's rediscovered law codes could come into play. Given the prevalence of vendetta and the ordeal, however, this is unlikely. This case is primarily viewed through the lens of Germanic “barbaric” law, since the deeds are viewed as private wrongs, rather than public crimes, as”the laws of the barbarian codes contain very little in the way of public or constitutional law [...] and are overwhelmingly private law” (Shaffern 103).
The prosecution is the Montgomery clan. The defendant is William Pantulf.
Pantulf is suspected by
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It becomes clear upon first glance that this case most assuredly did not occur during a time of an organized legal system, such as the Romans. The case reads more like a disjointed memory told to one by a friend, rather than a legal document. Numerous parties and deeds are described within the text, making it somewhat difficult to decipher what is truly going on. Firstly, it is odd that it is William Pantulf that appears to be the one on trial, as he did not actually commit the murder (of Mabel) for which her family is seeking vengeance and self-help. In this chaotic system of barbarian law, “the Burgundian code reminded relatives of murder victims that ‘no one can be pursued excepted the killer’ ” (Shaffern 103). This departure from typical procedure on the part of the Montgomery clan could be in an attempt to both satisfy their feud and cleanse …show more content…
An emphasis is placed both on the importance of property (“pro compensatione patrimonii”) and vendetta throughout this case, further indicating that it occurred under the rule of barbarian law. “Inheritance law, family law, and torts were addressed in accord with the unwritten customs handed down from generation to generation of the people” (Shaffern 102). In this honor culture of customary law, it is essentially mandatory for the sons of Giroie to avenge the loss of their inheritance, for the Montgomery clan to avenge the murder of Mabel, and for William Pantulf to avenge this attack on his honor by attempting to clear his name through the act of compurgation. Though the timeframe of the case is somewhat ambiguous, it is more likely to be earlier, as the case does not demonstrate many of the concepts that can be drawn from Justinian’s Institutes, which were rediscovered in year 1080. There is no demonstration that an applicable actus reus and mens rea (“they could produce no convincing evidence of guilt”) are both present, which would have been unacceptable in Roman law.

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