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Contumacy , from Latin contumacy, is the tenacity and hardness to persist in a error. The term is used in the right linked to rebellion, when a defendant refuses to appear in a judgment .

The defendant, therefore, incurs in the contumacia when it does not assist the court to acquit those charges that are formulated in a instruction . Contumacia requires the imputation of a crime and that the accused has knowledge of his prosecution: by disobeying the judicial mandate and not attending the court, he becomes contumaz.

Contumacia can be understood as the willingness of the accused to move away from the judicial process , which prevents its effective judgment. Before this attitude , the court can decree the contumacia of the accused, who from that moment can be arrested with the objective that he be returned to the process.

The qualification of contumaz to a defendant implies an attitude assumed by him before the judicial process. Its absence implies a behavior that transmits an opposition to the realization of the implicit steps in any process faced by the Justice .

The judges, however, must analyze the causes that cause the absence of the accused to confirm if the contumacia has occurred or if the absence is linked to other reasons.

In the processes of the Inquisition , it was known as contumacia or Contumatia to the condition of the one who fled or was not present when the court I required it. For inquisitorial law, contumacia proved the culpability of processing.

Contumacia was one of the many concepts related to inquisitorial law, which was characterized by applying the legal principle of informality, which allowed the judge or the court to actively participate in the process, adding their own claims and allegations before issuing a judgment; At present, the contradictory principle is used (also called a device or accusatory), which guarantees that each part of the legal body fulfills different functions and does not overlap.

A person accused of witchcraft or heresy was not necessarily condemned to burn at the stake, although this did not mean that there was no consequence to the persecution of the Inquisition. According to his position in the error Inquisitorial, a Christian could occupy one of the following categories: abiuratio, protestatio, relapsia, purgatio, contumatia (contumacia) and pertinatia. Let's see below what each one consisted of:

* protestatio: for certain historians, it is the first legal institution to anticipate the inquisition. When delivering a literary work to a printing press, for example, the writers included a preventive self-criticism, the Protestant, which was composed of the professio fidei, the captive and the declaration. In summary, the authors expressed belonging to the Catholic Church and following their mandates, declaring to ignore if part of their works were missing from the precepts of the religion and accepted the potential consequences of their mistakes (such as correcting part of their texts);

* purgatio: it was a public oath originating in Rome that was carried out in front of witnesses who shared the same social status and that arose as a direct consequence of a complaint (the diffamatio) and the consequent suspicion of the inquisitor (the suspicion): when the defamed person was not purged, he was excommunicated and considered contumacious;

* abiuratio: when the accused person recognized his lack and declared herself repentant or publicly rejected the commission of heresy;

* relapsia: the condition of the one who committed a heresy, which ended without exception in a death sentence;

* pertinatia: If the accused person insisted on the error, on heresy, it was considered persistent and, as was the case with relapsia, the death sentence was inevitable.

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