The period between the 11th and 12th centuries is usually indicated as an age of transition from the early to late Middle Ages. The paper aims at focusing on the continuities and discontinuities in this time, and specifically on how the search for new models and new procedures for the administration of justice played a ‘constitutional’ role, just as it would in many other historical eras to follow. From this perspective, the emergence of positiones in the judicial practices and in the ordines iudiciorum provides an interesting point of view in order to investigate, on one hand, whether the parties were more interested to go to trial or to settle their disputes by negotiations, and, on the other hand, to understand the legal policy of the medieval governments between two conflicting interests: to ensure justice ascertaining the truth and to re-establish peace through arbitration procedures and avoid malicious litigation which might slow down the course of justice.


keywords: justice (XIth-XIIth centuries); lombard law; ordines iudiciarii/iudiciorum; arbitration; commune; public justice; negotiated justice.