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Law and Long-Term Economic ChangeA Eurasian Perspective$
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Debin Ma and Jan Luiten van Zanden

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780804772730

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804772730.001.0001

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The Portuguese Judicial System in the Nineteenth Century

The Portuguese Judicial System in the Nineteenth Century

Rules, Risks, and Judges

(p.277) Chapter Thirteen The Portuguese Judicial System in the Nineteenth Century
Law and Long-Term Economic Change
Jaime Reis
Stanford University Press

This chapter presents an innovative statistical method to address the quality of legal courts in nineteenth-century Portugal. It uses data on interest rates on mortgages to assess the efficiency of the Portuguese judicial system in the nineteenth century and confirms the existence there of a low level of protection for creditor rights, resulting in relatively high interest rates on mortgages. It also sheds light on the poor performance of the Portuguese courts of law. Furthermore, it argues that the root cause lies in the political configuration of the regime, a parliamentary monarchy that allowed political influence to override the autonomy of both the court and legal professionals.

Keywords:   nineteenth-century Portugal, Portuguese judicial system, mortgage interest rates, creditor rights, parliamentary monarchy

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