Volume of Litigation

The number of enrollments helps ascertain the usage of the law, but in an uncertain manner. The relatively low level of litigation around 1200 was socially very important. The numbers in the late fourteenth century have to be considered in the context of a drastically reduced population. The decline in the fifteenth century is partly a result of common law success in development of mechanisms to structure society without litigation in each social situation and partly the result of the development of Chancery. All enrollment statistics are subject to considerations of whether the individual case was continued only term to term or could achieve a second stage of process in the same term (and thus have two enrollments in one term). The primary conclusion is that usage of the common law increased dramatically in the late thirteenth century, in the late fourteenth century (adjusted for population decline), and in the late sixteenth century.

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