We have said above that peoples who do not till the land enjoyed great freedom. This was the case for the Germans. Tacitus says that they gave their kings or chefs only very limited power,  and Cæsar that they had no common magistrate in peacetime, but that in each village the princes dispensed justice among their subjects.  Indeed, the Franks in Germania had no king, as Gregory of Tours proves quite well. 
“The princes,” says Tacitus, “deliberate on the petty things, and the whole nation on the great ones, in such a way, however, that the affairs of which the people become informed are likewise taken before the princes.”  This practice was maintained after the conquest, as we see in all the records. 
Tacitus says that capital crimes could be taken before the assembly.  The same was true after the conquest, and the great vassals were judged there.