Juristische Wahrheit. Eine Studie zum richterlichen Tatsachenwissen im 19. Jahrhundert
Studien zur europäischen Rechtsgeschichte 325
Frankfurt am Main: Klostermann. VIII, 260 p.
Having dominated German procedural law into the second half of the 19th century, the mechanics of the ‘legal theory of evidence’ aimed at rendering the truth of a to be proven circumstance calculable by means of legal rigour and arithmetic consistency. How can we retrospectively explain the seemingly abrupt replacement of this method by the judge’s ‘free consideration of evidence’ centred around the now familiar subjective conviction? Does this indicate a fundamental shift in the nature and significance of the judge’s knowledge of facts? Did a post-Kantian understanding of truth, together with an altered conception of social knowledge, play a role in this important process in judicial history? By examining both civil- and criminal jurisdictions, this study examines these questions in its search for ‘legal truth’ and, in doing so, outlines a history of knowledge concerning evidence in the 19th century.