PRIESAIKOS INSTITUTO TAIKYMO BRUOŽAI BIRŽŲ DVARO TEISMO KNYGOSE

The application features of the oath institute in the court books of the Biržai manor

  • Ermina Čižienė Panevėžio kolegija / University of Applied Sciences
  • Vida Rainienė Kauno kolegija / University of Applied Sciences
Keywords: justice, Biržai Manor Court Books, oath

Abstract

Within various time periods, the Biržai Manor Court was called differently: the castle court, the manor court and the economist court, though it’s purpose and activities did not change substantially:it was the administration of justice. All legal means in the administration of justice (evidence, peculiarities of court proceedings, etc.) are recorded in the court books of the Biržai Manor (1620-1745), which provide court decisions and form a rather fragmented picture of the court proceedings of that time. During 14th – 18th centuries, oath was used as one of the most effective means of establishing truth and administering justice in the court of Biržai manor.

After analyzing the judgments contained in the court records of the Biržai Manor, it is clear that the court assessed the validity of the testimony before giving the opportunity to swear. The oath was a confirmation of the veracity and righteousness of the evidence. Only one party, plaintiff or defendant, was allowed to take the oath. The right to take an oath was the right to justice. If the oath was found to be false, it was possible to impose the death penalty. Such application of the oath was in accordance with the legal regulation of the Statute of Lithuania. The oath as autonomous evidence in a particular case was often still supposed to be reinforced, i.e. others who had to be trusted had to swear.

An analysis of the Biržai estate court judgments suggests that the oath as an independent measure of probative value was applied in civil and criminal cases. The most considered cases were the disputes related to the performance of debt obligations (repayment of debt), etc. Oaths were given in court or in the church, according to the customs of their own religion, but the oath's relationship with religion gradually waned. Biržai Manor Court decisions relating to the application of the oath often refer to the Statute of Lithuania; in this way, the exercise of oaths and of justice becomes lawful and justified.

Author Biographies

Ermina Čižienė, Panevėžio kolegija / University of Applied Sciences

lecturer; Panevėžio kolegija / University of Applied Sciences, Lithuania.  Areas of scientific interests:Legal employment relationship, collective agreement.

Vida Rainienė, Kauno kolegija / University of Applied Sciences

lecturer; Kauno kolegija / University of Applied Sciences, Lithuania. Areas of scientific interests: Labour law, criminal law.

Published
2019-12-12
How to Cite
ČižienėE., & RainienėV. (2019). PRIESAIKOS INSTITUTO TAIKYMO BRUOŽAI BIRŽŲ DVARO TEISMO KNYGOSE: The application features of the oath institute in the court books of the Biržai manor. Taikomieji Tyrimai Studijose Ir Praktikoje - Applied Research in Studies and Practice, 15(1), 77-82. Retrieved from https://ojs.panko.lt/index.php/ARSP/article/view/92