Privileged place of jurisdiction

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A privileged place of jurisdiction , Latin forum privilegiatum , is a legal regulation that certain groups of people may sue and be sued not in the usual place of jurisdiction , but in a special place of jurisdiction . The right to this particular place of jurisdiction was granted as a separate privilege . The granting of this right is called an exemption .

Privileged courts of the nobility

The nobility in particular traditionally had privileged places of jurisdiction. The idea that a low-nobility or even bourgeois judge could judge a nobleman who is above the judge in the hierarchy of the nobility was in clear contradiction to the values ​​of feudalism . Usually, therefore, a lawsuit against nobles in the HRR was not possible in the usual entrance courts. The lawsuit had to be brought before higher courts, such as the court courts or with the ruler himself.

Imperial estates and their members were not subject to the jurisdiction of the individual territories. The privileged place of jurisdiction for these was the Reich Chamber Court or the Reichshofrat .

Similar regulations remained in force in the German Confederation. The German Federal Act regulated in Art. 14 (3), that the landlords had a right to a privileged place of jurisdiction for themselves and their families.

In addition, many national regulations also regulated privileged places of jurisdiction for lower nobles. With the March Revolution of 1848, the privileged places of jurisdiction were largely abolished.

While the privileges of the nobility were abolished in Germany after the November Revolution, they continue to apply in monarchies. The Tribunal Supremo , the highest Spanish court, is the privileged place of jurisdiction for members of the royal family.

Privileged places of jurisdiction for other groups

In addition to the nobles, other groups often had privileged places of jurisdiction. These were e.g. B. State officials, university members, manor owners, foreigners, but also Jews.

In addition, there were separate branches of the courts for individual groups, which were also responsible for civil and criminal litigation. For members of the military these were the military courts , for members of the university the university courts and for members of the clergy the church courts.


  • Erich Wyluda: Lehnrecht und officialdom: studies on the emergence of the Prussian officialdom, ISSN  0582-0553 , 1969, p. 64 ff. Online