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assythmentan obsolete remedy in Scots law. Beginning about the fourteenth century, when a person had killed another as a result of a criminal act, he might be called upon to pay a reasonable sum to the deceased's kin, to buy off criminal penalties. This remedy became known as assythment. It slowly became infused with, and probably replaced by, the principle of compensation for loss wrongfully (including negligently) caused, which did not require a crime to have been committed. Assythment was formally abolished in 1976 and a modern system of compensating different classes of relatives for different losses was established.
Collins Dictionary of Law © W.J. Stewart, 2006
ASSYTHMENT, Scotch law. An indemnification which a criminal is bound to make to the party injured or his executors, though the crime itself should be extinguished by pardon. Ersk. Pr. L. Scot. 4, 3, 13.
A Law Dictionary, Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States. By John Bouvier. Published 1856.