Castle courts

Castle courts (zamkovi sudy). Criminal courts in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania presided over by a single judge—by the vicegerent or the starosta in county cities and the voivode in provincial cities. Castle courts were introduced after the Bilske diet of 1564, when the lords, under the pressure of the gentry in general, renounced their judicial privileges. The castle courts had jurisdiction over the entire gentry, the burghers under the Magdeburg law, the lords' peasants in respect to serious criminal offenses, the burghers of small cities, and the peasants belonging to grand dukes in respect to all criminal matters. The castle courts corresponded to city courts in Poland.




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