I’m a big Games of Thrones fan and am excited to see how Tyrion’s “trial by combat” works out this week. I therefore could not resist sharing one motorist’s attempt to resolve his case using this ancient Medieval procedure.
Accordingly to Wikipedia: Trial by combat is “a method of Germanic law to settle accusations in the absence of witnesses or a confession in which two parties in dispute fought in single combat; the winner of the fight was proclaimed to be right. In essence, it was a judicially sanctioned duel. It remained in use throughout the European Middle Ages, gradually disappearing in the course of the 16th century.”
I share this historic information because a 60-year motorist from England recently tried to invoked “trial by combat” to resolve a minor traffic ticket. The traffic court rejected Leon Humphreys’s attempt to invoke this ancient right rather than pay a £25 fine. Humphreys adamantly demanded to fight a champion nominated by the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA) to resolve his ticket. He proposed taking on a clerk with “samurai swords, Ghurka knives or heavy hammers”.
Despite his insistence that this dispute-resolution mechanism was still valid under European human rights legislation, the Magistrate fined him £200 with £100 costs. No surprise here.