Die sächsische Läuterung

Entstehung, Wandel und Werdegang bis ins 17. Jahrhundert

December 02, 2019

In addition to the appeal, the Läuterung (clarification review) was a further ordinary legal remedy of civil proceedings in early modern Saxony. The over 500-year history of this legal institute only came to an end with the enactment of the Reichsjustizgesetze (Reich Justice Laws) 1877/1879 and then was promptly forgotten. Given the fragmentary state of research, Volker Unverfehrt reconstructs – closely based on the sources – the development of this legal instrument in his book and shows that earlier forms of leuteratio in medieval German legal practice point to their use as a mere clarification of judgement. Later, the institution of Läuterung became established in the layman's verdicts (used to decide interpretational disputes regarding a first verdict) before it transformed into a clarification review against court rulings on the same jurisdictional level toward the end of the 15th century. This work examines the reasons for both the change and longevity of Läuterung from the 14th to the 17th century and represents a stimulating contribution to the history of the Saxon legal space (Rechtsraum).

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