trial by battle

trial by battle
an ancient form of alternative dispute resolution by which parties fought each other to the death. Champions could be substituted. It was abolished in England after the case of Ashford v. Thornton (1818) 1 B. & Ald. 405. In Scotland, it took longer for a final determination on competency, a ruling on the point being sought only in 1985.

Collins dictionary of law. . 2001.

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  • Trial by Battle — Medieval process of determining guilt, or a dispute, by combat between the accuser and the accused. Sometimes, champions were permitted. The assumption was that God would intervene and decide the case. Officially abolished in Britain in 1819 …   Medieval glossary

  • Trial by combat — [trial by battle] An aspect of Norman law brought to England by the Conquest of 1066. It was believed that right would always triumph, even in physical contests. The practice had largely died out by the late 13c, though examples can be found as… …   Dictionary of Medieval Terms and Phrases

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