Haute Cour of Jerusalem

Haute Cour Of Jerusalem

Haute Cour of Jerusalem

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The Haute Cour (High Court) was the feudal council of the kingdom of Jerusalem. It was sometimes also called the curia generalis, the curia regis, or, rarely, the parlement.

Composition of the court

The Haute Cour was a combination of legislative and judicial powers. It had its basis in medieval parliamentarian ideals: a sovereign desired the consent of his subjects in certain matters, such as taxation and obligations to conduct military service.

The court developed gradually during the early 12th century AD, along with the kingdom itself, in the aftermath of the First Crusade. Technically all vassals of the king which were subject to its decisions had the right to sit and vote, but in practice only the more wealthy noble did so; certain nobles attended regularly and tended to serve as presiding judges when necessary. This developed into a system of higher nobles (direct vassals of the king) and lesser nobles (indirect vassals, who owed service to the higher nobles), with different privileges depending on idiosyncratic circumstances. Anyone who had committed perjury or had broken an oath (whether a higher or lesser noble) forfeited his right to speak and vote. Only four votes (the king and any three vassals) were required to form a quorum.

The court could meet wherever necessary, not solely in Jerusalem. After around 1120 the court also included bishops, and according to tradition new crusaders were entitled to sit and vote; the first time this occurred was the Council of......
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