Regional Court (Austria)

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In the Austrian home lands of the Habsburgs and the archbishopric of Salzburg, regional courts were high courts for the sovereign in the late Middle Ages and early modern times . They are not to be confused with the regional courts in Austria , today's courts of first instance, which are sponsored by the federal government.


The regional courts, which emerged from the medieval county courts in the 13th century, had extensive civil and criminal law competences for all residents of their district in the Austrian home lands of the Habsburgs and the Archbishopric of Salzburg . The lower regional courts exercised jurisdiction over non-knightly populations, the higher classes fell under the jurisdiction of the higher regional courts. Monasteries received exemption from the regional court. In the 15th century the lower regional courts lost their character as sovereign courts and often fell to noble landlords. These were able to acquire regional courts and to be enfeoffed by the respective sovereign with the blood spell . The regional courts in this form existed until the Josephine judicial reform and until the revolution of 1848 .