The Early Period of Lawmaking in Medieval Hungary
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The beginnings of the Hungarian legal system – more precisely written law, ius scriptum – can be traced back to the lawmaking activity of our first king, St Stephen, founder of the state. It is a fact beyond doubt that his laws are independent legislative work rather than the results of borrowing some alien legal system. However, special attention should be paid to the issue what European sources were used in making the decreta of King Stephen I, i.e., the laws of what areas were considered by the founder of the state and his environment well versed in law an example that was worth taking into account, relying on. Analysis of these issues can be conducive to better understanding to what extent our law at the age of the foundation of the state was embedded in European legislation. This chapter searches for answers and raises further questions to what extent and at what points Lex Baiuvariorum influenced/might have influenced the lawmaking, the first and second decretum of King Stephen I, the founder of our state. After outlining the tradition and the texts left to us and the main characteristics of the legislation of King Stephen I we deal with the issues of continuity and discontinuity in foundation of the Hungarian State and lawmaking, and the most important fields of regulation in the decreta. Finally, focusing on alien impacts, we analyse the issue of possible eastern and western impacts with respects to the laws that constitute the starting point of the Hungarian legal system.
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