oa Fundamina : A Journal of Legal History - Een erfrechtelijk geschil binnen de familie Haller von Hallerstein (1595-1603) : van eenheid naar verscheidenheid binnen het West-Europese recht

Special issue 2
  • ISSN : 1021-545X
  • E-ISSN: 2411-7870



In 1595, in a contentious procedure, in which the executors mentioned below were the defendants, papal judges decided that the monastic vows taken by Loijsa Haller von Hallerstein, a Cistercian nun, were null and void. Accordingly, she was capable of entering into matrimony and taking the half to which she was entitled of the goods of her deceased parents. These goods were located in Brussels and Nuremberg, the Hallers' home. Loijsa applied to the Council of Brabant in Brussels to compel the testamentary executors in the estate of her deceased brother Carl, who were the same executors who had administered the parents' estates, to cooperate in complying with the order. The Council requested legal assistance from the Municipal Council of Nuremberg, which had jurisdiction in the matter, but the Council neglected to carry out the order. It allowed the executors to summon Loijsa under the and, subsequently, to appeal to the Imperial Chamber Court against the Court's sentence. Loijsa - by now married to Alberto Struzzi, counselor of Archdukes Albert and Isabella - successfully complained about this injustice to Emperor Rudolph II. As from August 1598, imperial warrants were issued against the Council of Nuremberg, in order to make it take action, but without result. Only when Loijsa and Alberto challenged another delaying measure from Nuremberg before the Aulic Council, was there progress. The Nuremberg opponents reached an agreement with Loijsa, which the Emperor approved in March 1603. Consequently the former nun from Brussels eventually obtained her money, although the dispute with her relatives was never resolved in a secular court. The outcome corresponded to the traditions of the Council of Brabant. For centuries, the Council tried to settle lawsuits between residents of the duchy of Brabant and non-Brabantine 'foreigners' completely within the borders of the duchy. The judges pursued a policy of circumventing the application of the rule and, until the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire, the German Emperors tolerated this breach of the rights of neighbouring principalities and imperial cities inside the Empire.

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