Property Rights in Celtic Irish Law
“Property Rights in Celtic Irish Law”
by Joseph R. Peden
“Honor price was also essential in the workings of the surety system by which means all judgments of the brehons’ courts were enforced. Since law enforcement was not a function of the state or king in the Irish tuath, it was entirely dependent upon each party in an action or suit providing himself with sureties who would guarantee that the judgment of the brehon’s court would be honored. If a person was about to bring suit, he sought sureties to help him in persuading the defendant to submit to peaceful adjudication of the dispute; this might involve applying the law of distraint in which the plaintiff seized some movable property of the defendant and impounded it under lawful procedures until the defendant gave surety that he would submit to adjudication. If he refused to do so, the community would consider him an outlaw – and he and his property would lose the protection of the law.”
Dedicated to my friend Darian Worden, who introduced me to the joys of pagan folk metal.