Distinction between Dolus and Culpa with reference to Arson in Zakon Sudnyj LJudem, the Vinodol Law and the Statute of Senj

Daniel Haman “St. Cyril and St. Methodius” University of Veliko Tarnovo, Bulgaria

Страници: 142-146
DOI: https://doi.org/10.54664/BCPP7658


The difference between intent (dolus) and negligence (culpa) was rarely emphasized in codified medieval laws and regulations. When compared to the legal statements related to intent, negligence was mentioned even more rarely. However, there are some laws that distinguished between the two concepts in terms of some specific crimes, such as arson. This paper draws attention to three medieval Slavic legal documents – the Zakon Sudnyj LJudem (ZSLJ), the Vinodol Law and the Statute of Senj. They are compared with reference to regulations regarding arson, with the focus being on arson as a crime committed intentionally or out of negligence. The ZSLJ as the oldest known Slavic law in the world shows some similarities with other medieval Slavic legal codes, especially in the field of criminal law, since most of the ZSLJ’s articles are related to criminal law. On the other hand, the Vinodol Law is the oldest preserved Croatian law and it is among the oldest Slavic codes in the world. It was written in 1288 in the Croatian Glagolitic script and in the Croatian Chakavian dialect. The third document – the Statute of Senj – regulated legal matters in the Croatian littoral town of Senj. It was written in 1388 – exactly a century after the Vinodol Law was proclaimed. When comparing the Vinodol Law and the Statute of Senj with the Zakon Sudnyj LJudem, there are clear differences and similarities, particularly in the field of criminal law. Within the framework of criminal offenses, the act of arson is important for making a distinction between intent and negligence. While the ZSLJ regulates different levels of guilt, the Vinodol Law makes no difference between dolus and culpa. On the other hand, the Statute of Senj strictly refers to negligence as a punishable crime. Even though the ZSLJ is almost half a millennium older than the Statute of Senj and around 400 years older than the Vinodol Law, this paper proves that the ZSLJ defines the guilt and the punishment for arson much better than the other two laws.

Ключови думи:

arson, Zakon Sudnyj LJudem, Vinodol Law, Statute of Senj, Bulgaria, Croatia


189 изтегляния от 17.6.2021 г.