The Witch, the Sorcerer and the Inquisition

Date: Mar 1, 2023 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

Location: Online

Event Code: I124323

Areas of Law:

Earn up to 2.4 credits! (More Information)




Dana M. Van Leuven, Esq.
NJICLE, New Brunswick


Jamal Allen, Esq.
Special Ethics Counsel, National Labor Relations Board
Kimberly J. Duplechain, Esq.
Littler Mendelson, Washington
Tammy Lynn Farmer, Esq.
National Labor Relations Board
Pablo Godoy, Esq.
Deputy Assistant Counsel, National Labor Relations Board, Washington
Lauren McFerran, Esq.
Chairman, National Labor Relations Board, Washington
David M. Prouty, Esq.
National Labor Relations Board, Washington
James Justin Sledge, Ph.D.
James Justin Sledge, Ph.D.

During an outbreak of heresy in Southern France in the early 13th century the medieval church established a system of investigative tribunals it called "Inquisition." The Inquisition, itself relying on a shift from trial by ordeal to trial by evidence, would grow from a regional body to a European-wide institution by which heterodoxy would be diagnosed and prosecuted.

At the same time, jurists, philosophers and theologians were coming to the conclusion that a new heresy had appeared all across Europe. They held that a new woman-led, heretical sorcery sect had emerged marked by entering into a pact or covenant with the devil and apostacy from Christianity. This pact included sexual relations with the devil and demons and aerial flight for the purpose of attending an assembly presided over by Satan himself. The assembly was followed by incestuous and promiscuous sex, the practice of maleficent magic, the slaughter of fetuses and babies and various means for preventing human procreation, all of which aimed at undermining Christendom as part of the devil’s ongoing war with God.

In fact, by the mid-15th century the theory took on positively apocalyptic dimensions by arguing that the new witch heresy was the final attempt on the part of Satan to forestall his impending doom by sending human beings down a spiral of sin and crime as a final outrage to God. Regardless, the elaborated theory of witchcraft, while it varied from region to region or writer to writer, had more or less coalesced by around 1500 and thus set the stage for the frenzied persecutions which would follow, resulting in the deaths of around 40-60,000 people, mostly women, in the period up to around 1750. Indeed, the early modern European witch trials were truly an international effort with trials stretching from Iceland to Moscow. But how did this happen?

Hear Dr. Justin Sledge, an expert in the history of the occult, discuss:

• The origins and practices of the Inquisition
• The role of torture in Inquisitional jurisprudence
• What was constitutive of evidence for the Inquisition
• The nature of magic and sorcery in medieval law
• The central legal/theological demonological theoreticians
• The central Inquisition and witch hunting literature
• How the sin of sorcery became the heresy of witchcraft
• The important role of appellate courts in the witch trials
• How regional varying in jurisprudence effected execution rates
• The role of witch skepticism in bringing the hunts to an end
• How modern jurisprudence emerged from the witch trials

CLE Credits
NJ CLE:NJ CLE information: This program has been approved by the Board on Continuing Legal Education of the Supreme Court of New Jersey for 2.4 hours of total CLE credit (Full Credits Available: NJ General: 2.4).
NY CLE (t&nt):NY Professional Practice Transitional: 2.0
PA CLE:PA Substantive Credit: 2.0
New: No PACLE fee is required for this program. To earn PA CLE credits, a valid PA Bar ID number must be entered into the CLE form provided after attending the program.

Important Information About Our Events, Meetings, and More:
To secure your spot and receive important updates about our events, meetings, and other gatherings, such as schedule changes, remember to register in advance.

Cancellation and Refund Policy:
If you need to cancel your registration and are not transferring to another program or date, please submit a written request to us at least three business days before the event, meeting, or gathering. You will receive a refund minus a $20.00 cancellation fee. No refunds or registration changes will be issued within three business days of the event, meeting, or gathering.

Stay Informed:
Registered participants will be notified of any schedule changes. For updates regarding inclement weather, please check your email or visit

Media Consent:
By participating in our events, meetings, or other gatherings, you agree to be photographed and/or recorded. Additionally, all media content captured during these gatherings will become the property of NJSBA. This content, including your image and name, may be used in our future promotional materials without additional consent or compensation.

Scholarship & Financial Assistance Policy:
Read our Scholarship & Financial Assistance Policy and submit an Application here:



Founded in 1899, the NJSBA is the largest organization of attorneys, judges and legal professionals in New Jersey. At the core of our mission is improving the lives of our members, advancing the rule of law and serving as the voice of the profession. With 85 sections and committees, the NJSBA allows attorneys to benefit from being part of the most wide-reaching legal association in the state, while still cultivating expertise and building networks within specialized practice areas.



The New Jersey State Bar Association is committed to promoting and fostering a diverse and inclusive bar association. The Association recognizes that the broad concept of diversity includes race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, age and disability. The NJSBA fosters and promotes an inclusive environment that gives value to the unique contributions of diverse individuals and organizations in all aspects of the Association.

Learn More


The NJSBA Legal and  Government Affairs Department serves as the liaison between NJSBA members and the state’s three branches of government.

News and Press Publications

Learn more about the accomplishments of the Association, its members and events from regular news updates, press releases, and our award-winning magazine.



Read the comments, reports, resolutions and Board of Trustee news from the state’s largest organization of lawyers, judges and legal professionals.


Statements and Positions

The NJSBA is the voice of the profession and takes public positions on a range of issues with the legal community and government officials. It also takes positions on legislation and files friend-of-the-court briefs on matters that impact the profession. 

Photo Galleries

Check out photos from recent NJSBA events.

View Photo Albums


The New Jersey Law Center is located at 1 Constitution Sq, New Brunswick, NJ, 08901. Need directions to the Law Center? Click on the button below to get started right away.

Contact NJSBA

NJSBA Contact Us Form
If you're looking for an attorney, click here for help.

If you cannot afford an attorney and have a civil matter, click here for Legal Services of New Jersey.

Looking for information about a specific lawyer? Contact the Lawyer’s Fund for Client Protection at 855-533-3863.

Have a complaint about a lawyer? Visit the Office of Attorney Ethics website. Select “Attorney Discipline” from the navigation bar for discipline of attorneys.

Contact Info

One Constitution Square
New Brunswick, NJ 08901

9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday - Friday

Fax 732-249-2815

Email us

Book Store

Authoritative. Comprehensive. The Industry Standard.

NJICLE legal treatises and books are written for New Jersey attorneys, by New Jersey attorneys. Our comprehensive library of books and treatises form the State’s most inclusive series of regionally focused legal materials. With titles covering virtually every aspect of New Jersey legislation, NJICLE is proud to be the professional development resource for the legal community.

You do not have permission to view this form.