This chapter will illustrate how the Scottish Reformation occasioned the fragmentation of the “spiritual jurisdiction” of the Roman Catholic church courts between the new Reformed Kirk courts on the one hand, and the system of commissary courts on the other, both being new parts of the Scottish legal system created during the Reformation. The Kirk rejected canon law but still administered a spiritual jurisdiction regarding moral discipline, doctrine, liturgy, and church government. The commissary courts inherited the spiritual jurisdiction over marriage law, benefice law, executry law and slander. The new commissary courts continued largely to administer pre-Tridentine canon law. Despite both systems being recognized parts of the Scottish legal system, their jurisdictions were not clearly defined. This led to jurisdictional conflicts, but also an attempt to reconcile both “spiritual jurisdictions” within the Kirk in the 17th century. This involved the restoration of the commissary courts’ jurisdictions to the revived Scottish episcopate in 1610, notwithstanding the continued superiority of the Court of Session over such courts.
|Title of host publication||A Companion to the Reformation in Scotland, c.1525‒1638|
|Subtitle of host publication||Frameworks of Change and Development|
|Place of Publication||Leiden, The Netherlands|
|Number of pages||23|
|Publication status||Published - 16 Dec 2021|
|Name||Brill's companions to the Christian Tradition|