The Immunity of the Cinque Ports: Territorial or Personal Law?
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The Immunity of the Cinque Ports: Territorial or Personal Law?
Publication type
Anna Anisimova 
Institute of World History RAS
State Academic University for the Humanities
Address: Russian Federation, Moscow

The article analyses the applicable scope of the right of the Cinque Ports, the Confederation of the ports of southeast England. This right is based on a number of privileges granted to the Confederation and was also recorded in the custumals of its towns-members. Moreover, there was a procedural practice of appeal to this right, and the legal cases were transferred to a special judicial institution — the court of Shepway. However, with time some changes occurred, as the towns-members developed their own courts and increasingly preferred to settle their matters there. In addition, new institutions appeared within the Confederation, such as the general meeting at Brodhall, the court at the Dover castle, and others. An essential role in maintaining and asserting the Cinque Ports’ rights and functioning if its joint administration belonged to the warden of the Cinque Ports, the chief official of the Confederation. At the same time, the right of the Cinque Ports coexisted with other legal systems — royal and seigneurial — on the same territory. The article also raises the question of the legal status of the inhabitants of the towns-members of the Confederation and the right they applied in their daily life.

Confederation of the Cinque Ports, medieval law, medieval immunity, medieval England, medieval town
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