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The importance of the 14th century for the development of English law has long been recognized. The shocks and challenges of that period, the murder of the incompetent Edward II, Edward III's ever escalating military demands for the war in France, and the unparalleled disaster of the Black Death gave English society a trauma that found its ultimate expression in Lollardy and the Peasants' Revolt. Out of this ferment came the evolution of a system of justice still substantially recognizable today. The aim of this text is to present the main outline of the debate and the different schools of thought, and to suggest the best ways by which students can understand a crucial subject, and how this should help illuminate many other aspects of English society during the reigns of Edward II, Edward III and Richard II.