Witchcraft was a crime a serious offence that was defined by the law and enforced in courts of law. The question of whether someone was a witch or not was decided, ultimately, by courts of law, and it was these courts that ordered guilty witches to be punished. In most of Europe, courts recognised that witchcraft, or something like it, was a traditional crime. As witch-hunting gained momentum in the sixteenth century, some states did pass new laws against witchcraft, usually attempting to clarify the law rather than change it. These laws could be seen as a consequence rather than as a cause of an increased desire to prosecute witches. The Carolina code made clear that witchcraft was a criminal offence, defining it as harmful magic, and gave some procedural details of how to prosecute witches. In the inquisitorial system, the judge initiated prosecutions, and could prosecute even if there was no complaint from a victim.