Friday, 8 November 2013

Clause 3 and The Law Against Double Jeopardy

non enim iudicat deus bis in idipsum

In his description of the proceedings of the Council of Westminster which took place October 1163 as related by Anonymous of Lambeth  [In Thomas Becket (1845). Vita s. Thomæ Cantuariensis archiepiscopi et martyris, ab auctoribus contemporaneis, ed. ab I.A. Giles. p. 88] Becket is reported as stating, in response to the king Henry II's suggestion that clerics should be indicted for felonies in the king's court, after having been degraded in an ecclesiastical court.

"Dicit enim Naum propheta, Non judicabit Deus bis in idipsum."
Indeed Nahum, the prophet, said that God does not judge the same case twice.
which is found in Gratian's Decretals as the canonical axiom

[C. XXXIX.] Item Leo Papa in sermone: "Inter omnia".

"Sceleratior omnibus, Iuda, et infelicior extitisti; quem
non penitencia reuocauit ad Dominum, sed desperatio traxit ad
laqueum. Expectasses consummationem criminis tui, et donec
sanguis Christi pro peccatoribus funderetur, informis lethi
suspendium distulisses."
IX. Pars. [Gratian.] His auctoritatibus, que sit uera,
que falsa penitencia ostenditur, et falsae nulla indulgentia dari
probatur; in quo illorum sentencia destruitur, qua eum, qui pluribus
irretitus fuerit, asseritur unius delicti penitencia eiusdem
ueniam a Domino consequi sine alterius criminis penitencia.
Quod etiam multorum auctoritatibus probare conantur. Quarum
prima est illa Naum prophethae: "Non iudicabit Deus
bis in idipsum." Sed quem sacerdos iudicat Deus iudicat, cuius
personam in ecclesia gerit. Qui ergo a sacerdote semel pro
peccato punitur, non iterum pro eodem peccato a Deo iudicabitur.

which derives in essence from St Jerome's commentary on Nahum 1:9 (KJV)

You should answer thus: “as Lazarus in his lifetime received evil things so will I now gladly suffer torments that future glory may be laid up for me.” For “affliction shall not rise up the second time.”    Nahum 1:9

[9] Quid cogitatis contra Dominum? Consummationem ipse faciet: non consurget duplex tribulatio, 

St Jerome's Commentary on Prophecy of Nahum
solus symmachus, cum nostra interpretatione consentiens, ait: et in diluuio transeunte, consummationem faciet loci eius. quidam de nostris, consurgentes et inimicos, marcionem et omnes ueteres haereticos interpretantur, qui aduersum creatorem disputant. quid cogitatis contra dominum? consummationem ipse faciet; non consurget duplex tribulatio. lxx: quid cogitatis contra dominum? consummationem ipse faciet, non uindicabit bis in idipsum in tribulatione. symmachus apertius: non sustinebunt impetum secundae angustiae; theodotio: non consurget secunda tribulatio


Biblia Sacra Vulgata (VULGATE) Nahum 1:9
quid cogitatis contra Dominum consummationem ipse faciet non consurget duplex tribulatio

and also effectively in the legal maxim which is derived from Greek and Roman civil law 

Nemo debet bis vexari pro eadem causa
No one should be called on to answer to the same complaint twice.

King Henry's motive was this, or so it is reported that he stated.

That in order to allow for the prosecution of those clerics who have been accused of committing public crimes, he wanted to bring back those practices which were in force in the courts in the time of his grandfather.
[This is questionable as many modern historians have commented that clause 3 was legally something completely new, and that no such law appertained in the time of Henry I. And if it did it was much weaker in essence.]

Henry's argument was this:

For such persons who have been caught and who have been convicted or have confessed, and have subsequently been degraded, they should thus be received for public punishment as if they were lay persons, and subject to seizure. 
[Possibly reasonable, but Becket argued that this was completely contrary to the Canon Law of his time and the principle that no one should be tried for the same crime twice.]

Clause 3 was problematic. Its wording was ambiguous, perhaps deliberately so. Maitland has commented, that there were not really two trials. The first trial in the ecclesiastical court was where the cleric confessed to him crime, and as a consequence lost his place in the Church, lost his clerical status. and for this, he was defrocked, an insufficient punishment in Henry's mind for the commission of a felony, which was a kind of feudal treason. Maitland argued that Henry saw that the trial that was held in the ecclesiastical court was only a kind of preliminary hearing.  The real trial of the now former cleric could now take place in the king's court, as he no longer had the Church's protection and it was in the king's court where the former cleric could receive a proper and fitting punishment for the crime he has committed. All Henry was arguing was that the Church should not protect clerics who commit felonies.

But Becket insisted that the trials of clerics which take place in ecclesiastical court are full and real trials, and the punishments or penances they receive there are fit and proper. Becket argued that clerics who have committed crimes and have been thus tried, should not suffer a second trial for the same crime in another court, as this was contrary to Canon Law.

But who or where do you make an appeal to for a resolution on this point of law? Becket decided that it was the Pope and his Curia who had the proper authority to make a decision on this matter. But he was formally disallowed by English customary law from communicating with and making an appeal to the Pope without the king's consent. He was also disallowed from travelling abroad. In Henry's mind it was the king who formed the highest level of appeal in England. He was sovereign in his country. He had been given full authority to administer justice in England by his coronation. He was only answerable to God for his acts, not the Pope.  It was thus that the quarrel between Becket and Henry erupted into a major controversy, which took many years to reach a kind of resolution, and which involved Becket attempting to go abroad, his trial for treason, following which he escaped into exile in France, and the years of negotiation which followed. The Pope did condemn clause 3.


Catholic Church (1879). Corpus Iuris Canonici: Editio Lipsiensis Secunda - Post Aemilii Ludouici Richteri [1879]. The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd. pp. 537. ISBN 978-1-58477-088-6.

Migne JP   Patrologia Latina   Volume XXV
Hieronymus - Commentariorum In Naum Prophetam Liber Unus [0347-0420]
vers 9 col 1238 Link

Wikipedia: Ne bis in idem,
Wikipedia: Double jeopardy,
Wikipedia: Jerome
Wikipedia: Vulgate

F.W. Maitland: Henry II and the Criminous Clerks English Historical Review (1892) VII (XXVI): 224-234
"Henry II and the Criminous Clerks"The Collected Papers of Frederic William Maitland. Cambridge University Press. pp. 232–. ISBN 978-1-107-63161-8.

Z.N. BrookeThe English Church and the Papacy: From the Conquest to the Reign of John. Cambridge University Press. pp. 205–. ISBN 978-0-521-36687-8.

David Knowles (January 1951). Episcopal Colleagues. Cambridge University Press. pp. 144–. ISBN 978-0-521-05493-5.

Frank Barlow (1990). Thomas Becket. University of California Press. pp. 103–. ISBN 978-0-520-07175-9.

Zachary N. Brooke; Zachary Nugent Brooke (13 July 1989). The English Church and the Papacy: From the Conquest to the Reign of John. Cambridge University Press. pp. 205–. ISBN 978-0-521-36687-8.

Harold Joseph Berman (1983). Law and Revolution: The Formation of the Western Legal Tradition. Harvard University Press. pp. 259–. ISBN 978-0-674-02085-6.

Anders Winroth (2000). The Making of Gratian's Decretum. Chapter 3: Obedience or Contempt Causa 11 Questio 3 Cambridge University Press. pp. 77–. ISBN 978-1-139-42585-8.

Laws, Lawyers and Texts: Studies in Medieval Legal History in Honour of Paul Brand. John Hudson: Constitutions of Clarendon Clause 3: BRILL. 22 June 2012. pp. 1–. ISBN 978-90-04-23257-0.

"Constitutions of Clarendon, Clause 3, and Henry II's Reforms of Law and Administration" 

Laws, Lawyers and Texts: Studies in Medieval Legal History in Honour of Paul Brand. John Hudson Constitufions of Clarendon Clause 3: BRILL. 22 June 2012. pp. 1–. ISBN 978-90-04-23257-0.

R. H. Helmholz (1 May 2010). The Spirit of Classical Canon Law. University of Georgia Press. pp. 287–. ISBN 978-0-8203-3463-9.

 Charles Homer Haskins . Norman Institutions. The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd. pp. 173–. ISBN 978-1-58477-710-6.

Anne Duggan (29 October 2004). Thomas Becket. Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 48–58. ISBN 978-0-340-74138-2.

Robert Patterson ed. (2003). The Haskins Society Journal Studies in Medieval History. Volume 2: Paul Brand - 'Multis Vigiliis Excogitatam et Inventam' : Henry II and the Creation of the English Common Law. pp. 197–222. ISBN 978-1-85285-059-3.

Paul Brand (1992). The making of the common law. Hambledon Press. pp. 197–222. ISBN 978-1-85285-070-8.

Christopher Harper-Bill; Nicholas Vincent (2007). Henry II: New Interpretations. Boydell Press. pp. 215–. ISBN 978-1-84383-340-6.

Christopher Harper-Bill; Nicholas Vincent (2007). Henry II: New Interpretations. Boydell Press. pp. 171–. ISBN 978-1-84383-340-6.

The Punishment of Felonous Clerks
by C.R. Cheney
English Historical Review (1936) LI (CCII): 215-236

Chapter II: Church, State and Decretals pp 51-99.
Chapter IV: Henry II and the Criminous Clerks pp 132-47.

The Becket Dispute and the Criminous Clerks
by Charles Duggan
Historical Research
Volume 35, Issue 91, pages 1–28, May 1962

Charles Cantrell, Double Jeopardy and Multiple Punishment: An Historical and Constitutional Analysis,
24 South Texas Law Journal 735-772 (1983).

John Hudson (2012). The Oxford History of the Laws of England Volume II: 871-1216. Oxford University Press. pp. 768–72. ISBN 978-0-19-163003-3.

Michael Staunton (7 December 2001). The Lives of Thomas Becket. Manchester University Press. pp. 79–83. ISBN 978-0-7190-5455-6.

Richard M. Fraher, The Becket dispute and two decretist traditions: the Bolognese masters revisited and some new Anglo-Norman texts, Journal of Medieval History, Volume 4, Issue 4, December 1978, Pages 347-368, ISSN 0304-4181,
Beryl Smalley (1973). The Becket conflict and the schools: a study of intellectuals in politics. Rowman and Littlefield. ISBN 978-0-87471-172-1.

A History of Double Jeopardy by Jay A. Sigler The American Journal of Legal History Vol. 7, No. 4 (Oct., 1963), pp. 283-309 

The development of the rule against double jeopardy by Jill Hunter The Journal of Legal History Volume 5, Issue 1, 1984

K. N. Chandrasekharan Pillai (1988). Double Jeopardy Protection: A Comparative Overview. Mittal Publications. pp. 1–. ISBN 978-81-7099-058-1

George Conner Thomas (1998). Double Jeopardy: The History, the Law. NYU Press. pp. 71–. ISBN 978-0-8147-8233-0.

R. H. Helmholz (2010). The Spirit of Classical Canon Law. Chapter 11 Criminal Procedure - The Law of Double Jeopardy: University of Georgia Press. pp. 284–. ISBN 978-0-8203-3463-9.

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Author(s): John F. Wirenius
Source: Journal of Law and Religion, Vol. 27, No. 2 (2011-12), pp. 423-494
Published by: Journal of Law and Religion, Inc.

Stable URL:


Raymonde Foreville writes in a footnote

Raymonde Foreville (1943). L'église et la royauté en Angleterre sous Henri II Plantagenet (1154-1189). Bloud & Gay. p. 144.

D'après Guillaume de Poitiers, Willelmi conquestoris Gesta (édit. A. Duchesne, Historiae Normannorum scriptores antiqui, p. 194; P. L., t. CXLIX, 1241),
[The Gesta Guillelmi of William of Poitiers]

[William] the Conqueror was accustomed to intervene when for a serious crime the sentence of the Christian court seemed to be too lenient and to keep the defendant in jail until after a further review of the case had taken place.

André Du Chesne (1619). Historiae Normannorum scriptores antiqui, apud Robertum Foüet. pp. 194–.

(1241C) Quoties eius edicto et hortatu convenere praesules, metropolitanus cum suffraganeis, de statu religionis,clericorum, monachorum atque laicorum acturi, synodis his arbitrum se deesse nolebat, cum ut praesentia sua studiosisadderet studium, cautionem cautis, tum ne alieno testimonio discere indigeret qualiter fuissent acta, quae cunctarationabiliter, ordinate et sancte acta fuisse desiderabat. Delato forte suas ad auras immani alicuius crimine, quodepiscopus aut archidiaconus iusto dementius vindicaverit, reum maiestatis aeternae teneri iussit incarceratum,quousque causa Domini aequitate districta decerneretur, episcopum aut archidiaconum veluti adversarios divinae partiscriminans in iudicium devocandos, feriendos gravi sententia. (1241D) Clerici, sive monachi, cuius professione vitamnon discrepare testimonio probabili comperit, charam habebat collocutionem, precatui totam voluntatem inclinabat. Ediverso neque amici oculi respectu dignabatur infamem ob enormitatem vitae.

But Foreville continues

R. Génestal, The Privilegium fori  Volume. II, p. 100, asserts without evidence to support that the custom of France and Normandy was then in line with the procedure described in Article III of Clarendon. We think not. For Normandy at least we can get an idea of how clerical criminals were treated from a case described by Arnulf of Lisieux probably prior to 1166 This concerns a counterfeiter from Bayeux imprisoned by the king's officers, who was released through the efforts of the ordinary [bishop], and subject to leave the duchy after degradation (Patrologia Latina, Volume CCI, Letters of Arnulf of Lisieux 144 edited by F. Barlow. p. 176-177, in Simon Bishop of Meaux, quoted by Haskins, op. cit., p. 171). In our opinion, this does not mean that the cleric in question appeared in the court of the king, but that he was under the threat of such an appearance if the ordinary had claimed it in time; he seems to have benefited from a compromise negotiated by the bishop, while the justices of Henry II tried to assert justly that the case belonged in the ducal court, if not for this but for other crimes which clerics were also guilty (the penalty for counterfeiters was mutilation).



Arnulf (of Lisieux) (1939) [ed Frank Barlow]. The letters of Arnulf of Lisieux. Epistola 114: To the Bishop of Meaux: Offices of the Royal Historical Society. pp. 176–7.

Est apud uos Henricus quidam, qui, de terra et episcopatu meo ortus, ab alieno episcopo inordinate ad ordines, quos habuit, promotus est. Postmodum autem, procedente tempore, multis  flagitiis inuolutus, de falsa publice moneta conuictus est et confessus,  quam per totam ciuitatem Baiocensem publice non timebat expendere, et incautos detestabili malitia defraudare. Captus est, et a regiis apparitoribus retrusus in carcerem, et ferreis nimirum conpedibus alligatus. Tandem uero magno studio et labore per episco­pum ciuitatis liberatus est, abiurata nimirum in perpetuum tota prouincia Normannorum, at que ad archiepiscopum perductus est; a quo, rupto corone circulo, reuolutis a capite sacerdotalibus indumentis, exordinatus est, et de tota terra [in]continenter eiectus.
There is a certain Henry dwelling amongst you who is from the land and episcopacy of my birth. He was promoted irregularly into holy orders by a foreign bishop who happened to be there. But later on, after the passage of time, he was involved in many crimes, confessing to counterfeiting for which he was publicly convicted, of the manufacture of false coins which he had not been afraid to circulate throughout the whole city of Bayeaux, and with which evily to defraud the unwary. He was arrestedand thrown into prison by the king's most noble officers where, of course, his legs were bound with iron fetters.

At length, however, after considerable effort and labour by the bishop of the city he was  delivered from this,  on pain of banishment in perpetuity from the whole of the province of Normandy. And of course he was brought before the archbishop whence the circle of the tonsure around his head was broken, his priestly garments torn from him, degraded he was cast out from whole land [of Normandy] forever.


Historical Essays in Honour of James Tait. Manchester University Press. pp. 244–. 

Historical Essays in Honour of James Tait. Manchester University Press. pp. 239–. 

Charles Homer Haskins. Norman Institutions. The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd. pp. 171–. ISBN 978-1-58477-710-6.

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