Assise sur la Ligece

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The Assise sur la ligece (roughly, "Assize on liege-homage") is an important piece of legislation passed by the Haute Cour of Jerusalem, the feudal court of the crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem, in an unknown year, but probably in the 1170s under Amalric I of Jerusalem. The Assise formally prohibited the illegal confiscation of fiefs and required all of the king's vassals to ally against any lord who did so. Such a lord would not be given a trial, but would instead be stripped of his land or exiled. The king could now legally confiscate a fief if a vassal refused to pay homage to him; this had been done in the past but was technically illegal before this Assise. The Assise was apparently created after a dispute between Gerard, Lord of Sidon, and King Amalric; Gerard had dispossessed one of his rear-vassals and refused to return the land even when Amalric stepped in. Open warfare was just barely avoided. The Assise also made all nobles direct vassals of the king, eliminating the previous distinction between higher and lesser nobles. This distinction still existed in reality, and although they theoretically had an equal voice in the Haute Cour, lesser nobles could only appeal to the high court when their own baronial courts refused to hear their complaints. In any case, the more powerful barons refused to be tried by lesser lords who were not their peers, and the higher nobles were still able to judge the less powerful lords themselves. There were about 600 men eligible to vote in the Court according to the Assise.
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