Protection of human rights and criminal law system in the Frankopan era

Interpretation Centre Bribir

"The Statute of Vinodol, in which Bribir is mentioned for the first as one of the Frankopan fortified towns in Vinodol, was adopted on 6th January 1288. It is the oldest, not only Croatian, but also South Slavic, law, written in the Glagolitic script, and by the progressiveness of the legislation in many ways it was superior to the European legal practices of the time."

It covers the inhabitants of nine of the Vinodol municipalities: Novi Vinodolski, Ledenice, Bribir, Grižane, Drivenik, Hreljin, Bakar, Trsat, Grobnik, who had elected representatives for the purpose of the protection of their rights not only to write down the people’s legal traditions but to also consider them within the new circumstances of feudalism. In the promotion of the spirit of justice, the Statute is still topical and educational even today. It is not only a dictate of the ruling class to its subjects but also an example of a social contract. Although Vinodol came under the government of Krk’s nobility via a donation deed from the Andrew II King of Hungary and Croatia in 1225, the free peasants did not want to become serfs, so the Statute was a true piece of compromise. On one hand, the people of Vinodol acknowledged the authority of the island counts, yet at the same time, the counts also made concessions to them. The fines which resulted from the provisions of the Vinodol Statute were mostly monetary, which also speaks about the degree of the economic development of the society in that time, as well as the lack of evidential means, so-called God’s judgement and torture, which made the Statute itself and surroundings very progressive for its time. The Statute recognised the real danger of the corruption of public officials and presented a whole series of provisions with which their autocracy was limited. A special value of the Statute of Vinodol is the attention dedicated to women, their personal, moral protection and integrity