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Anali Pravnog fakulteta u Beogradu
2013, vol. 61, iss. 2, pp. 230-244
article language: Serbian
document type: Paper
published on: 20/03/2014
Measures against corruption in Serbian medieval law
University of Belgrade, Faculty of Law

e-mail: nina.krsljanin@ius.bg.ac.rs

Abstract

The paper analyses the regulations of medieval Serbian law that were directed against various forms of behaviour that could be considered as corruption. The majority of these rules is to be found in church law, mostly in the canon regulations of the Nomocanon of Saint Sava and the Abbreviated Syntagma of Matthew Blastares - both of which acts were comprised of legal transplants from the Rhomean (Byzantine) Empire, containing mostly canon rules of the holy fathers of the Church and of the Ecumenical Councils - and are mostly (though not exclusively) directed against the sin of simony. Still, Serbian rulers have also brought regulations on this subject, expanding upon the canon law regulations in their charters and Dushan's Code. Regulations against corruption of the secular officials are present no sooner than Dushan's codification. They are mostly focused on punishing the corruption of judges and court officials (pristavs), but being unsusceptible to bribery is also pointed out by the law as one of the necessary qualities that all government officials should possess. Finally, the manner in which corruption of secular power is regulated (no rules before Dushan's time, mostly focusing on the newly introduced general judges, sometimes prohibited with what seems like a lex imperfecta) implies that the matter was previously addressed by customary law, the contents of which, regretably, remain unknown today.

Keywords

Charters; Corruption; Customary law; Dushan s code; The Nomocanon of Saint Sava

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