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In defense of trial by battle.

Red_Dave

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Just in case anyone was bored of listening to/reading people's perspectives on the government shutdown or Milley Cyrus, they may enjoy this defence of the medieval institution of 'trial by battle'

3I argue that judicial combat was sensible and effective. In a feudal world where high transaction costs confounded
the Coase theorem, trial by battle allocated disputed property rights effi-
ciently.
4 Trials by battle were literal fights for property rights. I model these trials
as all-pay auctions. Disputants ‘‘bid’’ for contested property by hiring
champions who fought on their behalf. Better champions were more
expensive and more likely to defeat their adversaries in combat. Since willingness to pay for champions was correlated with how much disputants
valued contested land, trial by combat tended to allocate such land to
the higher-valuing disputant.
5 This ‘‘auction’’ permitted rent seeking. But it encouraged less rent seeking than the obvious alternative: a first-price ascending-bid auction. Further, unlike these auctions, trial by battle converted part of its social cost
into social benefit: judicial combats entertained medieval spectators

http://www.peterleeson.com/Trial_by_Battle.pdf
Enjoy

What I find interesting is how similar this institution was to medieval warfare as a whole in that it was simply a way to make inevitable conflict as organised as possible.
 
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Shadow Serious

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Just in case anyone was bored of listening to/reading people's perspectives on the government shutdown or Milley Cyrus, they may enjoy this defence of the medieval institution of 'trial by battle'



http://www.peterleeson.com/Trial_by_Battle.pdf
Enjoy

What I find interesting is how similar this institution was to medieval warfare as a whole in that it was simply a way to make inevitable conflict as organised as possible.

3. If the issue is high transition costs which would be caused under a midevil scenario by a lord, duke, or king than the problem arises there. Also the Coase Theorem requires well defined property rights which was probably lacking.

4. Sort of like the highest paid lawyer wins system we have now? Euphemisms on higher value to the one who pays the most just means the richest gets the land.

5. I think the alternative where people who wanted the land would have to pay for it to be superior. Also Justice is not meant to be entertaining to the public.
 
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