A history of Verona, by A. M. Allen. Edited by Edward Armstrong, with twenty illustrations and three maps. Page: 48 of 493
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THE SELF-GOVERNING COMMUNE 31
The Veronese Podesta, as head of the state, was also the
highest judicial authority. His chief function in this rdle was
the hearing of appeals, for the Lombard Podestas very quickly
regained the appellate jurisdiction which Frederic I. had successfully
claimed for the Imperial officials in 183. To assist
him in these duties the Podesta brought with him three judges,
styled Judges of the Commune, who heard appeals in criminal
cases, in civil cases concerning property worth ten lire and more,
in cases where the sentence through some technicality had been
declared null and void, and in those where it was claimed that
an injustice had been done in the settlement of a dispute by
arbitration. They also heard any other actions specially brought
before their tribunal. They swore to give wise counsel to the
best of their ability to the Podesta, not to betray any official
secret entrusted to them, and to keep one good horse. They
were appointed for a year, and received Ioo lire apiece, paid by
the Podesta from his own salary. Like the Podesta they, too,
had to remain fifteen days in Verona after their year was up,
and to render account of their office to the cercatori.
The ordinary jurisdiction of first instance remained in the
hands of the native judges, the Consuls. These numbered
thirty-two, all told. Twenty-four formed a tribunal for ordinary
civil actions and were known as Consules Rationis. Eight of
the twenty-four were always trained lawyers, who had studied
jurisprudence for at least three years in some other city, the
remaining sixteen might be citizens without any special legal
training. All were bound to attend daily in the Palace of the
Commune, which it will be remembered was begun by Guglielmo
da Osa in I94. The other eight Consuls, the Consules
Justitiae, of whom two were trained lawyers, exercised the
lower criminal jurisdiction, and acted, as well, as an advisory
Council for the Podesta, being bound to attend all meetings
summoned by him, and supervise the elaborate voting arrangements.
The twenty-four Consules Rationis, on the contrary,
were sternly prohibited from being present at any assemblies
but those of the Greater Council.
1Ratio was always used with the meaning of Civil Law. The term for
Criminal Law was yustitia.
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Allen, A. M. A history of Verona, by A. M. Allen. Edited by Edward Armstrong, with twenty illustrations and three maps., book, 1910; New York. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc1025/m1/48/: accessed March 30, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .