1356 – King Casimir the Great establishes a high court in Krakow

The Polish city of Krakow had been granted Magdeburg law by Duke Bolesław V in 1257 in order to induce German settlers to rebuild the city after a Mongol incursion. Such law included the right to obtain legal advice from Magdeburg in contentious legal cases. This meant that a legal relationship evolved between Magdeburg and Krakow. This gave Magdeburg lay judges influence on the legal relationships of the people of Krakow – even those with Polish dukes and kings. In order to counteract this, King Casimir the Great 1356 established a high court of his own in Krakow with the intention of using it to put a stop to inquiries to Magdeburg. Although this course of action did not produce any appreciable success at first, it demonstrates how Magdeburg law and the Magdeburg lay judges’ bench increasingly landed in conflict with sovereigns striving to expand their own power.