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The Criminal Proceedings Initiated Ex Offi cio in Ragusan Court Practice of the Eighteenth Century

Hrvoje Baričević ; Hrvatski državni arhiv, Zagreb, Hrvatska
Ruža Radoš ; Hrvatski institut za povijest, Zagreb, Hrvatska
Nella Lonza orcid id orcid.org/0000-0002-6387-1036 ; Zavod za povijesne znanosti HAZU, Dubrovnik, Hrvatska


Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 554 Kb

str. 195-239

preuzimanja: 776

citiraj


Sažetak

On the ground of 9,349 criminal cases tried by the Criminal Court of Dubrovnik in the periods 1711/20, 1751/60 and 1791/1800, the article examines the modes of initiation of the criminal proceedings. While the evolution of the criminal procedure on the European Continent lead to the predominance of the inquisitorial matrix and officialization of the prosecution, especially in the setting of absolute monarchies, in eighteenth-century Dubrovnik the criminal proceedings initiated ex officio were exceptional (4.45%). Future research might shed more light on the question whether infrequency of the official prosecution was a constant feature of Ragusan court practice throughout the centuries, and confirm or reject a tentative conclusion that the consensual ideology of Republicanism and deeply entrenched traditionalism influenced the preference to private prosecution in Dubrovnik. A drop in the share of official prosecution during the eighteenth century from 9.68 down to 2.22% might be influenced by the malfunctioning of the Criminal Court in the period of crises, but is chiefly determined by the expansion of petty crimes brought to court—especially light physical violence and verbal insults— which have been prosecuted by the accusation of the victim. The analyses showed frequent official prosecution of serious theft, but also the state’s increasing interest to prosecute cases related to morality and all sorts of socially deviant behaviour. On the most serious cases of physical violence the Court decided upon official prosecution on the ground of the surgeon’s report, and in other cases relied on the information gathered by various formal and informal circuits, one of them being anonymous denunciation. The policy of official prosecution was also shaped by consideration of personal nature regarding the perpetrator or the victim. In majority of the ex officio cases the Court promptly reacted to crime, but the general inefficiency of the judiciary harmed its positive effect. In the examination of evidence no significant difference is detected between the private and official prosecution, as in both the Court had the liberty of summoning the witnesses, arranging the examination of the body, etc. With petty crimes the Court tended, even by official prosecution, to leave the case open for a long time and to give much space to out-of-court settlements. With serious crimes, however, the official prosecution could make a difference: with the cases of the kind, the chance of having the sentence delivered was four times greater than with the ones initiated privately. The list of the reference works present in the Court Room included some most popular penal treaties. They could help in some particular issues, but they could not be applied to guide the Court through the proceedings, as they all promoted the genuine inquisitorial matrix. In a way, the criticism of the authors of the Enlightenment—well presented in the private libraries of Ragusan patricians—met the traditionalism of the Republic which remained reserved towards the official prosecution.

Ključne riječi

Dubrovnik, 18th century, criminal procedure, official prosecution, ex officio, private prosecution, inquisitorial procedure

Hrčak ID:

137822

URI

https://hrcak.srce.hr/137822

Podaci na drugim jezicima: hrvatski

Posjeta: 1.728 *