Compurgation was an ancient type of defence in a legal trial. An accused person could call a number of people, usually twelve. They swore to their belief in his or her innocence.
In England, it was abolished in common law by the Constitutions of Clarendon of Henry II in 1164. The defence was still permitted in civil actions for debt. Eventually, it was entirely abolished in England in 1833.
References[change | change source]
- Friedman, Lawrence Meir 1975. The legal system: a social science perspective. Russell Sage Foundation, 272.