17 August 2018

BOOK: Pier Giuseppe MONATERI, Dominus Mundi. Political Sublime and World Order (Oxford: Hart, 2018), 210 p. ISBN 9781509911752, 60 GBP

(image source: Hart)

Book abstract:
This monograph makes a seminal contribution to existing literature on the importance of Roman law in the development of political thought in Europe. In particular it examines the expression 'dominus mundi', following it through the texts of the medieval jurists – the Glossators and Post-Glossators – up to the political thought of Hobbes. Understanding the concept of dominus mundi sheds light on how medieval jurists understood ownership of individual things; it is more complex than it might seem; and this book investigates these complexities. The book also offers important new insights into Thomas Hobbes, especially with regard to the end of dominus mundi and the replacement by Leviathan. Finally, the book has important relevance for contemporary political theory. With fading of political diversity Monateri argues “that the actual setting of globalisation represents the reappearance of the Ghost of the Dominus Mundi, a political refoulé – repressed – a reappearance of its sublime nature, and a struggle to restore its universal legitimacy, and take its place.” In making this argument, the book adds an important original vision to current debates in legal and political philosophy
Table of contents
1. Master of the World and the Law of the Sea
I. The Dominus, Carl Schmitt and Beyond
II. The Dominus and Its Several Meanings
III. The Dominus and Its Genealogy
IV. Re-Thinking the Greek Rome
2. The Christian Empire as World Order
I. The Revival of the Dominus
II. Imperial Messianism
III. The Lord of the Flies
3. Political Theology from Satan to Legitimacy
I. Spatiality, Sovereignty and the Geopolitics of Discovery
II. From Justinian in Paradise to Royal Occultism
4. Demonological Inversion and the Birth of the Leviathan
I. James I, the Witches and Bodin
II. Leviathan's Ambiguity
III. The Dominus Mundi and Hobbes's Frontispiece
5. Sublime Dissolution
I. The Collapse of Modernity
II. New Monsters and Good Feelings
III. The Political Refoulé
IV. The Ghost of the Dominus
More information with the publisher.

BOOK: Stewart MOTHA, Archiving Sovereignty - Law, History, Violence (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2018). ISBN 978-0-472-05386-5, $24.95

The University of Michigan Press will publish a book on “how courts repeat historical fictions that maintain sources of colonial power.”


Archiving Sovereignty shows how courts use fiction in their treatment of sovereign violence. Law’s complicity with imperial and neocolonial practices occurs when courts inscribe and repeat the fabulous tales that provide an alibi for archaic sovereign acts that persist in the present. The United Kingdom’s depopulation of islands in the Indian Ocean to serve the United States’ neoimperial interests, Australia’s exile and abandonment of refugees on remote islands, the failure to acknowledge genocidal acts or colonial dispossession, and the memorial work of the South African Constitution after apartheid are all sustained by historical fictions. This history-work of law constitutes an archive where sovereign violence is mediated, dissimulated, and sustained. Stewart Motha extends the concept of the “archive,” as site of origin and source of authority, to signifying what law does in preserving and disavowing the past at the same time.

Sovereignty is often cast as a limit-concept, constituent force, determining the boundary of law. Archiving Sovereignty reverses this to explain how judicial pronouncements inscribe and sustain extravagant claims to exceptionality and sovereign solitude. This wide-ranging, critical work distinguishes between myths that sustain neocolonial orders and fictions that generate new forms of political and ethical life.


Stewart Motha is Professor of Law at the School of Law, Birkbeck, University of London.

More information here

SSRN PAPER: Frank O. BOWMAN III, British Impeachments (1376 – 1787) & the Present American Constitutional Crisis

(image source: Wikimedia Commons)

Impeachment is a British invention. It arose as one of a set of tools employed by Parliament in its long contest with the Crown over the reach of the monarch’s authority. British impeachment practice matters to Americans because the framers and ratifiers of the U.S. Constitution were the conscious heirs of Britain’s political evolution. The founders’ understanding of British history influenced their decision to include impeachment in the American constitution and their conception of how impeachment fit in a balanced system of ostensibly co-equal branches. It also produced two central features of American impeachment: the limitation of remedy to removal from office and the definition of impeachable conduct, particularly the famous phrase “high Crimes and Misdemeanors” adopted directly from British parliamentary language. Therefore, at a moment when impeachment talk is rampant, a reexamination of British impeachments is in order. This Article is the first comprehensive analysis of the entire arc of British impeachments from 1376 to 1787 since Raoul Berger’s classic 1974 study. It gives particular attention to issues raised by the current presidency. The Article traces the evolution of Parliament’s use of impeachment and of the categories of behavior customarily designated as impeachable. These embraced, but were never limited to, indictable crimes, and included: armed rebellion and other overt treasons; common crimes like murder and rape; corruption (particularly the abuse of office for self-enrichment); incompetence, neglect, or maladministration of office; and betrayal of the nation’s foreign policy interests. The last of these categories has not been emphasized in modern American scholarship, but assumes particular salience in the present moment. Finally, and crucially, the Article concludes that, although Parliament sometimes used impeachment for less dramatic ends, its one indispensable function was removal of officials whose behavior threatened the constitutional order by promoting royal/executive absolutism over representative institutions and the rule of law. Critics of the incumbent president may find this thread of British precedent both poignant and potentially useful.
Read more on SSRN.
(source: Legal History Blog)

Stephen SEDLEY, Law and the Whirligig of Time (Oxford, Hart, 2018), ISBN 9781509917099, 304 p. 25 GBP

(image source: Hart)

For over 30 years, first as a QC, then as a judge, and latterly as a visiting professor of law at Oxford, Stephen Sedley has written and lectured about aspects of the law that do not always get the attention they deserve.His first anthology of essays, Ashes and Sparks, was praised in the New York Times by Ian McEwan for its 'exquisite, finely balanced prose, the prickly humour, the knack of artful quotation and an astonishing historical grasp'. 'You could have no interest in the law,' McEwan wrote, 'and read his book for pure intellectual delight.'The present volume contains more recent articles by Stephen Sedley on the law, many of them from the London Review of Books, and lectures given to a variety of audiences.The first part is concerned with law as part of history - Feste's 'whirligig of time'; the second part with law and rights.The third part is a group of biographical and critical pieces on a number of figures from the legal and musical worlds. The final part is more personal, going back to the author's days at the bar, and then forward to some parting reflections.
Table of contents:

History1. Law as History
2. The History of English Law
3. Human Rights and the Whirligig of Time
4. A Glorious Revolution?
5. Judges and Ministers
6. Obscenity and the Margin of Appreciation
7. Does the Separation of Powers Still Work?

Law and Rights
8. The Role of the Judge
9. Anonymity and the Right to Lie
10. Dealing with Strasbourg
11. Speaking in Tongues
12. The Public Interest
13. Judicial Misconduct
14. Recusal: When Should a Judge Not Be a Judge?
15. The Right to Die
16. The Brexit Case
17. The Supreme Court
18. Arbitration
19. Detention without Trial
20. Originalism
21. Colonels in Horsehair
22. The British Constitution
23. A New Constitution?
24. Freedom of Expression
25. The Abuse of Power
26. A Compensation Culture?

27. Rudy Narayan: 1938–1998
29. Lord Diplock: 1907–198530. Lord Scarman: 1911–2004
31. Lord Bingham: 1933–2010
32. Lord Mansfi eld: 1705–1793
33. Sir Thomas More: 1478–1535
34. Lord Denning: 1899–1999
35. Lord Sumption and Public Law
36. Bob Dylan
37. Ewan MacColl: 1915–1989

Occasional Pieces
38. A Commonplace Book
39. Under Milk Wood Lost and Found
40. Getting It Wrong
Afterword: A Different Cat
More information with the publisher.

16 August 2018

BOOK: Markus D. DUBBER & Christopher TOMLINS (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Legal History (Oxford: OUP, 2018), 1200 p. ISBN 9780198794356, 175 USD

(image source: OUP)

Book abstract:
Some of the most exciting and innovative legal scholarship has been driven by historical curiosity. Legal history today comes in a fascinating array of shapes and sizes, from microhistory to global intellectual history. Legal history has expanded beyond traditional parochial boundaries to become increasingly international and comparative in scope and orientation. Drawing on scholarship from around the world, and representing a variety of methodological approaches, areas of expertise, and research agendas, this timely compendium takes stock of legal history and methodology and reflects on the various modes of the historical analysis of law, past, present, and future. Part I explores the relationship between legal history and other disciplinary perspectives including economic, philosophical, comparative, literary, and rhetorical analysis of law. Part II considers various approaches to legal history, including legal history as doctrinal, intellectual, or social history. Part III focuses on the interrelation between legal history and jurisprudence by investigating the role and conception of historical inquiry in various models, schools, and movements of legal thought. Part IV traces the place and pursuit of historical analysis in various legal systems and traditions across time, cultures, and space. Finally, Part V narrows the Handbook>'s focus to explore several examples of legal history in action, including its use in various legal doctrinal contexts.
Table of contents:
Part I Contexts: Locating Legal History
1. Philosophical Analysis and Historical Inquiry: Theorising Normativity, Law and Legal Thought, Maks Del Mar
2. The History and Historical Stance of Law and Economics, Ron Harris
3. Critical Histories of Comparative Law, Gunter Frankenberg
4. Literary Analysis of Law, Simon Stern 5. Rhetoric and the Possibilities of Legal History, Marianne Constable and Samera Esmeir

PART II Approaches: Conceptualizing Legal History
6. Legal History as Legal Scholarship: Doctrinalism, Interdisciplinarity, and Critical Analysis of Law, Markus Dubber
7. Law as Social History, Laura F. Edwards
8. Legal History as Political History, Roy Kreitner
9. The Intellectual History of Law, Assaf Likhovski
10. Legal History as Doctrinal History, Joshua Getzler
11. Historical Method in the Study of Law and Culture, Bryan Wagner
12. Legal History as Economic History, Anne Fleming
13. Femininities and Masculinities: Looking Backward and Moving Forward in Criminal Legal Historical Gender Research, Carolyn Strange
14. Legal history as the History of Legal Texts, Angela Fernandez
15. From Evolutionary Functionalism to Critical Transnationalism: Comparative Legal History, Aristotle to Present, Katharina Isabel Schmidt
16. Archival Legal History: Toward the Ocean as Archive, Renisa Mawani
17. Spelunking, or, Some Meditations on the New Presentism, Elizabeth Dale
18. Legal History: Taking the Long View, Paul D. Halliday
19. Quantitative Legal History, Daniel Klerman

PART III Perspectives: Legal History in Modern Legal Thought
20. Blackstone, John V. Orth
21. Jeremy Bentham, Philip Schofield
22. Historical Jurisprudence, Mathias Reimann
23. Legal Formalism, Michael Lobban
24. Sociological Jurisprudence and the Spirit of the Common Law, Noga Morag-Levine
25. The Return of Legal Realism, Dan Priel
26. &: Law Society in Historical Legal Research, Catherine L. Fisk
27. Legal History and the Material Turn, Tom Johnson
28. Marxist Legal History, Christopher Tomlins
29. Structuralist and Poststructuralist Legal History, Justin Desautels-Stein 30. Sez Who? Critical Legal History without a Privileged Position, John Henry Schlegel
31. Critical Legal Studies: Europe, Emilios Christodoulidis and Johan van der Walt
32. Feminist Historiography of Law: An Exposition and Proposition, Maria Drakopoulou
33. Critical Race Theory and the Political Uses of Legal History, H. Timothy Lovelace, Jr.
34. Queering Law's Empire: Domination and Domain in the Sexing Up of Legal History, David Minto

PART IV Traditions: Tracing Legal History

35. Roman Law, Clifford Ando
36. Medieval Canon Law, Karl Shoemaker
37. The Transformation of the Common Law: Modernism, History, and the Turn to Process, Kunal M. Parker
38. Tracing Legal History in Continental Civil Law, Heikki Pihlajamaki
39. Jewish Law, Steven Wilf
40. Historical Research on Islamic Law, Lena Salaymeh
41. 'By the Light of the Moon': Looking for China's Rich Legal Tradition, Tahirih V. Lee
42. Aboriginal and Indigenous Law in Australia and New Zealand), Shaunnagh Dorsett
43. Indigenous Rights in Latin America, Thomas Duve
44. Indian Law, Mitra Sharafi
45. Governance Histories of International Law, Doreen Lustig
46. Imperial law: the Legal Historian and the Trials and Tribulations of an Imperial Past, Paul McHugh

PART V Illustrations: Doing Things with Legal History
47. A History of Violence: American Constitutional History and the Criminal System, Gerry Leonard
48. Historical Analysis in Property Law, Alfred L. Brophy
49. What Do Contracts Histories Tell Us About Capitalism: From Origins and Distribution, to the Body and the Nation, Anat Rosenberg
50. Historical Analysis in Criminal Law: a Counter-History of Criminal Trial Verdicts, Arlie Loughnan
51. The Historical Method in Public Law, Martin Loughlin
52. Historical Analysis in Environmental Law, David Schorr
53. Redeeming the American Founding?, Norman W. Spaulding
54. Foundings: Europe, Peter Lindseth
55. Adjudication of Indigenous-Settler Relations, R.P. Boast
56. Cultural Genocide: between Law and History, Leora Bilsky and Rachel Klagsbrun
57. Historians' Amicus Briefs: Practice and Prospect, Sam Erman and Nathan Perl-Rosenthal

More information with OUP.

CALL FOR PAPERS: Peace Making after the First World War 1919-1923 (National Archives, FCO Historians, Strathclyde University, LSE, British International History Group) (Kew: National Archives, 27-28 JUN 2019); DEADLINE 1 DEC 2018

(image source: Wikimedia Commons)

The National Archives, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Historians, the University of Strathclyde, the International History Department at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and the British International History Group invite submissions for the upcoming conference ‘Peace making after the First World War 1919 – 1923’.
Taking place from Thursday 27 to Friday 28 June 2019, the first day of the conference will be held at The National Archives and includes a keynote lecture by Professor David Stevenson. The second day of the conference will be hosted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Historians at Lancaster House, and will see a range of experts speak on aspects of the peace making process followed by a round table discussion.
Dr Juliette Desplat, Head of Modern Overseas, Intelligence and Security, at The National Archives said:
‘The conference aims to focus not only on the Treaty of Versailles, but also on the other treaties that marked the formal end of hostilities: Saint-Germain (Austria), Neuilly (Bulgaria), Trianon (Hungary), Sèvres (Ottoman Empire) and Lausanne (Turkey).
‘We are delighted that, as part of this, the conference will include an exhibition of The National Archives’ unique collection of certified copies of all the treaties, alongside a selection of other materials.’
Submissions are invited for 20-minute papers, or panels of three papers, to be presented on the first day of the conference, on any aspect of the peace making process. Abstracts should be submitted by Saturday 1 December. See full details of the call for papers.
Join the conversation on social media #PeaceConf

(source: ESILHIL blog & H-Diplo)

ARTICLE: Athanasios GIOCAS, Canada and Israel in Comparative Constitutional Perspective: The (Sometimes Overlooked) Legal Historical Dimension of Globalization, Global Journal of Comparative Law VII (2018), No. 2, 303-332

(image source: Brill)
Constitutional development in both Canada and Israel abounds with the enduring marks of historical globalization phenomena. For Canada, achieving a unified political formation through confederation related to reconciling French Canadian, British and aboriginal dynamics, each of which possesses its own globalized dimension. Constitutional development in Israel is equally multi-faceted. Not only the population within the state’s effective control was and remains diverse, Israel inherits (not without controversy) the biblically-inspired notion of the Jewish state as well as a religiously-grounded understanding of basic legal categories from another globalized franchise, the Ottoman Empire, all while purporting to maintain an unequivocal commitment to contemporary Western legal culture. In order to better recognize and integrate such phenomena within the broader process of constitutional development in both Canada and Israel, the article explores the viability of a hermeneutical framework based on the underlying moral bases of federalism, as facilitated by the institute of unwritten constitutionalism.
More information here.

BOOK: Massimo BRUTTI & Alessandro SOMMA (eds.), Diritto: Storia e Comparazione. Nuovi propositi per un binomio antico [Global Perspectives on Legal History, 11] (Frankfurt: MPI for European Legal History, 2018), VII + 595 p. ISBN 9783944773209, Open Access

(image source: MPI)

Book abstract:
Comparative law and the history of law are traditionally devoted to expanding the context of legal rules and legal institutions. Comparison involves history, as the well-known motto proclaims, but history also involves comparison. Both disciplines are in fact interested in deepening the space-time coordinates of law as a social phenomenon, which means that they take up a critical approach to their object of study. In recent years, this trait is increasingly coming into conflict with the tendency to present law as a mere technocratic instrument for organizing societies. As a result of the »end of history« discourse, the Western economic and political order has become a definitive point of reference worldwide, with law scholars charged with identifying best practices to enhance their efficiency. A group of comparative lawyers and legal historians critically discuss this assumption from a theoretical point of view as well as from the perspective of their respective fields of research. The result is a multifaceted range of ideas on the significance and possible future of two disciplines that share, in addition to their traditional approach, a crisis of identity.
Table of contents:
 1 Massimo Brutti, Alessandro Somma Introduzione 5 Alfons Aragoneses La memoria del derecho. La construcción del pasado en los discursos jurídicos
31 Eliana Augusti Quale storia del diritto? Vecchi e nuovi scenari narrativi tra comparazione e globalizzazione
49 Massimo Brutti Sulla convergenza tra studio storico e comparazione giuridica
81 Antonello Calore “Cittadinanza” tra storia e comparazione
95 Salvatore Casabona Solidarietà familiare tra mito e realtà: note minime su comparazione giuridica e microanalisi storica
111 Tommaso dalla Massara Sulla comparazione diacronica: brevi appunti di lavoro e un’esemplificazione
149 Thomas Duve Storia giuridica globale e storia giuridica comparata. Osservazioni sul loro rapporto dalla prospettiva della storia giuridica globale
187 Giuseppe Franco Ferrari Law and history: some introductory remarks
207 Tommaso Edoardo Frosini Diritto comparato e diritto globale
219 Mauro Grondona Storia, comparazione e comprensione del diritto: Tullio Ascarelli, “Hobbes e Leibniz e la dogmatica giuridica”. Un esercizio di lettura
249 Luigi Lacchè Sulla Comparative legal history e dintorni
267 Pier Giuseppe Monateri Morfologia, Storia e Comparazione. La nascita dei “sistemi” e la modernità politica
291 Edmondo Mostacci Evoluzione del capitalismo e struttura dell’ordine giuridico: verso lo Stato neoliberale?
323 Matteo Nicolini Insidie “coloniali”, rappresentazione cartografica e processi di delimitazione delle aree geogiuridiche africane
359 Luigi Nuzzo Rethinking eurocentrism. European legal legacy and Western colonialism
379 Giovanni Pascuzzi La comparazione giuridica italiana ha esaurito la sua spinta propulsiva?
389 Giorgia Pavani El papel de la historia del derecho en la formación del “criptotipo centralista” en América latina
419 Giovanni Poggeschi Il rapporto fra lingua e diritto nel prisma della comparazione fra linguistica e teoria del diritto
457 Giorgio Resta La comparazione tra diritto e storia economica: rileggendo Karl Polanyi
477 Roberto Scarciglia Storia e diritto globale. Intersezioni metodologiche e comparazione
491 Mario Serio L’apporto della letteratura alla formazione storica del diritto inglese: l’impareggiabile opera di Charles Dickens
509 Alessandro Somma Comparazione giuridica, fine della storia e spoliticizzazione del diritto
541 Bernardo Sordi Comparative legal history: una combinazione fruttuosa?
551 Emanuele Stolfi Problemi e forme della comparazione nella storiografia sui diritti antichi
575 Vincenzo Zeno-Zencovich Appunti per una “storia giudiziaria contemporanea”
Source: MPI for European Legal History.

BOOK: Christoph GUSY, 100 Jahre Weimarer Verfassung - Eine Gute Verfassung in Schlechter Zeit (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2018). ISBN 978-3-16-155343-1, € 35.00

(Source: Mohr Siebeck)

Möhr Siebeck is publishing a new book on the Weimar constitution at 100.  


Einhundert Jahre nach Gründung der demokratischen Republik in Deutschland kann ein Blick in die Weimarer Verfassung irritieren: Vieles in ihr wirkt in hohem Maße aktuell, anschlussfähig und geradezu modern. Sie ist ganz anders als die Bilder und die Lehren, die ihre Überlieferung prägen. Christoph Gusys Blick zurück nimmt seinen Ausgangspunkt in der Entstehungsgeschichte, in welcher viele Väter und einige Mütter unter widrigen Umständen die demokratischen und rechtsstaatlichen Ideen der Zeit diskutiert, zusammengeführt und in Texte gegossen haben. Die Nationalversammlung wollte eine demokratisch-parlamentarische Republik. Wo sie konnte, hat sie den Reichstag gestärkt und konkurrierende Rechte möglicher »Gegengewichte« eingeschränkt. Doch wurde ihr Konzept schrittweise in eine präsidiale Republik transformiert und ist letztlich als solche untergegangen. Christoph Gusy stellt die Stufen auf diesem Weg, ihre verfassungshistorischen Vorbedingungen, ihre juristische Vorbereitung und Legitimation dar. Die Weimarer Verfassung war eine gute Verfassung in schlechter Zeit. Auch wenn man das Ende schon kennt, können wir von ihr mehr lernen als schlechte Erfahrungen. Zu den Errungenschaften zählen etwa die damals neuen Pluralismuskonzepte und die Einsicht in die Notwendigkeit einer selbstbewussten, wehrhaften Demokratie. Vieles, was in der Republik angelegt wurde, konnte nach 1945 vorausgesetzt und ausgebaut werden.


Christoph Gusy ist Professor für Öffentliches Recht, Staatslehre und Verfassungsgeschichte an der Universität Bielefeld.

More information here

15 August 2018

SEMINAR: Folger Institute Spring Seminar: The Corporation in Early Modern Political Thought (DEADLINE: 4 September 2018 – 7 January 2019)

(Source: Folger Institute)

Via H-Law, we learned of the Spring Semester Seminar sponsored by the Folger Institute Center for the History of British Political Thought

Philip Stern

Spring Semester Seminar

Sponsored by the Folger Institute Center for the History of British Political Thought

The corporation was a foundation of medieval and early modern political, religious, and commercial life and a central feature of early modern European thought about overseas expansion. This seminar will trace the evolution of the corporation as an idea and an institution, particularly in relation to European commerce and empire in Asia, Africa, the Atlantic, and Mediterranean worlds. It will engage with questions about legal and institutional pluralism and the composite nature of imperial sovereignty, the intimate relationship between political economy and political thought, the development of ideas about the distinctions between “public” good and “private” interest, and the ways in which encounters with other Europeans as well as indigenous peoples outside Europe influenced European political and economic thought. Readings will include works by Giovanni Botero, Johannes Althusius, Gerard de Malynes, Thomas Smith, Richard Hakluyt, Hugo Grotius, Thomas Hobbes, Josiah Child, Charles Davenant, Samuel Pufendorf, Adam Smith, and Edmund Burke, as well as various texts—such as administrative records, legal documents, and institutional correspondence—critical to excavating the political thought of corporations in the early modern world.

DirectorPhilip Stern is Gilhuly Family Associate Professor of History at Duke University and the author of The Company-State: Corporate Sovereignty and the Early Modern Foundations of the British Empire in India (2011). He is currently working on two projects, one tracing the history of the colonial corporation and another that explores problems in legal geography in the early modern British Empire.

Schedule: Fridays, 1:00–4:30 p.m., 1 February through 12 April 2019, excluding 15 March and 22 March.

Apply4 September 2018 for admission and grants-in-aid; 7 January 2019 for admission only.

More information here

BOOK: Christopher MAY and Adam WINCHESTER, eds., Handbook on the Rule of Law (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2018). ISBN 9781786432438, £184.50

Edward Elgar Publishing is publishing a Handbook on the Rule of Law later this month, which includes a part on the History of the Rule of Law.


In the last half century, the rule of law has increasingly been appealed to as a common global value. The Handbook on the Rule of Law analyses the appeal of this idea, its context and background through a range of questions about the character, history and global reach of the rule of law, offering readers a definitive understanding of this central global norm.

Original contributions from leading academics explore the rule of law conceptually and historically through its associated institutions, as well as examining detailed cases evaluating how the everyday application of the rule of law impacts society as a whole. Exploring a wide range of research on the social, political and economic dimensions of the rule of law, this Handbook clearly illustrates the link between the rule of law and the global political system.

This informative Handbook will be key reading for postgraduate students of international relations, global politics and law, as well as for legal scholars wanting to build upon their knowledge with a wider account of the rule of law. Researchers in areas impacted by the rule of law will also find this volume to be stimulating reading.



Introduction – The Rule of Law in the Contemporary World
Christopher May and Adam Winchester

Part I: Defining the Rule of Law
1. The advantages of a thin view
Jørgen Møller

2. The Promise of a Thick View
Adriaan Bedner

3. Difficulties with Measuring the Rule of Law
Tom Ginsburg

4. The Rule of Law, Legal Pluralism, and Challenges to a Western-centric View: Some Very Preliminary Observations
Peer Zumbansen

5. Arbitrary Power and the Ideal of the Rule of Law
Martin Krygier with Adam Winchester

6. The Centrality of Predictability to the Rule of Law
Christopher May

7. The Rule of Law in Inter-national Relations: Contestation despite Diffusion - Diffusion through Contestation
Antje Wiener

Part II. The History of the Rule of Law
8. The Rule of Law: An Outline of its Historical Foundations
Pietro Costa

9. Minimising Magna Carta and Modernising Exposition of the Rule of Law in the English Historical Constitution
John Allison

10. Turning the Rule of Law into an English Constitutional Idea
John Allison

11. The Rule of Law and the Rise of Capitalism
Tor Krever

Part III: Institutions of the Rule of Law
12. The Rule of Law and its Application to the United Nations
Clemens Feinäugle

13. Power Rules: The World Bank, Rule of Law Reform, and the World Development Report 2017
Deval Desai

14. The Rule of Law and the European Union
Amichai Magen and Laurent Pech

15. Non-governmental Organisations and the Rule of Law: The Experience of Latin America
Fiona Macaulay

16. Lawyers and the Rule of Law
David Howath

17. The Rule of Law and Legal Education: Do They Still Connect?
John Flood

Part IV: Contextualising The Rule of Law
18. The Rule of Law, New Constitutionalism, and Transnational Legality
Claire Cutler

19. Global Administrative Law
Valentina Vadi

20. The Rule of Law and Feminism. The Dilemma of Differences
Anna Loretoni

21. The Rule of Law and Islam
Jerg Gutmann and Stefan Voigt

22. The Rule of Law and Human Rights
Mona Rishmawi

Part V: Applying the Rule of Law
23. The Rule of Law From a Law and Economics Perspective
Mariana Mota Prado

24. The Rule of Law, Institutions, and Economic Development
Lydia Brashear Tiede

25. The Legal Empowerment of the Poor
Dan Banik

26. The Rule of Law as a Marketing Tool: The International Criminal Court and the Branding of Global Justice
Christine Schwöbel-Patel

27. The Rule of Law and Terrorism
Clive Walker

28. Post-conflict Peacebuilding and the Rule of Law
Teresa Almeida Cravo

29. Rule of Law in Asia: The Case of China
Tom Kellogg

30. Court Development in Timor-Leste: ‘Handover’ and its Long Shadow
Pip Nicholson and Samantha Hinderling


More information here

BOOK: Justin A. JOYCE, Gunslinging Justice: The American Culture of Gun Violence in Westerns and the Law (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2018). ISBN 978-1-5261-2618-4, £90.00

Manchester University Press is publishing a book on the Western genre and American gun rights and legal paradigms later this month.


This book is a cultural history of the interplay between the Western genre and American gun rights and legal paradigms. From muskets in the hands of landed gentry opposing tyrannical government to hidden pistols kept to ward off potential attackers, the historical development of entwined legal and cultural discourses has sanctified the use of gun violence by private citizens and specified the conditions under which such violence may be legally justified. Gunslinging justice explores how the Western genre has imagined new justifications for gun violence which American law seems ever-eager to adopt.


Justin A. Joyce is Research Associate to Provost McBride at Emory University and Managing Editor of the James Baldwin Review


Introduction: the warp, woof, and weave of American gun violence
1 'A kind of wild justice': revenge and constitutional commentary in the Western
2 No retreat: American self-defense doctrine
3 American gun rights: from national defense to self-defense
4 The guns that 'won the Western': firearm iconography in western literature and film
5 Guns and governmentality: normative masculinity and disciplined gun violence
6 Deserve's got [everything] to do with it: property, process, and justice in Unforgiven
7 Old dogs and new tricks: race and justifiable homicide in neoliberalism's Western imagination

More information here

14 August 2018

CALL FOR CONTRIBUTIONS: Towards a History of Files – Vol. 4 of Administory (DEADLINE: 31 August 2018)

(Source: Administory)

We learned of a Call for Contributions from Administory – Zeitschrift für Verwaltungsgeschichte. Here the call: 

Call For Contributions: Towards a History of Files – vol. 4 of Administory
Towards a History of Files

Max Weber famously observed that the modern office is based upon »files«. In his characterization of the »bureau« he went as far as to say that it was composed of the »body of officials actively engaged in a ›public‹ office, along with the respective apparatus of material implements and the files« (Gerth/Wright Mills 1946: 197). In recent years, anthropologists, historians, literary critics and media historians as well as sociologists, have moved beyond reading documents just »as evidence of any kind of historical reality«, but rather as »testimonies of the practices and cultural techniques embodied by them«. (Siegert 2003: 25) Drawing from the study of discourse, materiality, cultural techniques as well as of science and technology, scholarship on bureaucracy increasingly examines the role of documentation processes in the life of institutions.

With respect to processes of administration this body of scholarship revealed that »bureaucracies don’t so much employ documents as they are partly constructed by and out of them« (Gitelman 2014: 5, referring to Hull 2012). Files are connecting administrative acts: »Every file note indirectly contains a command. Reporting the execution of an order triggers the next one. […] An executed command, then, has a double orientation: it generates the next command and notes its own execution.« (Vismann 2008: 8) In other words, records generate files and build a papery organism that embodies and at the same time realizes the logics of law, state, and government.

Based on this observation, we would like to develop the analytical viewpoint by strengthening the historical perspective. This opens several important questions. The first asks what actually is considered to be a file under specific historical circumstances? Some studies understand files chiefly as those administrative objects referred to as »files« in particular bureaucratic settings. More commonly, scholars follow Weber in identifying files as »written documents«. However, we want to attend to files as a particular documentary type, which was and is subject to change both as an integrative written record and as material artefact. Therefore, files belong to a particular genre of documentation and are defined by their relation to other records. Understanding files as artefacts, therefore, allows for an analysis of the historically specific ways through which documents are physically and discursively interrelated.

Related to this is the second questions which focuses on the role of political, medial, or material transformation for the ways in which files gather, organize, articulate, store, and circulate individual documents. Unlike other kinds of documents, whose completeness and temporal finality is essential to their function, files grow and expand unlimitedly. What effects have for example political transformations for this process? Are filing routines interrupted, efforts made to restore a continuity of documentation, to destroy or to hide files? Changes in mediality (e.g. the use typescripts instead of manuscripts, or more ephemeral notes as post-its instead of forms) will affect equally the potential of files for organizing and synthesizing the various kinds of paperwork. Do these changes affect the way in which people, places, things, and processes are transformed into cases and issues.

We invite contributions that explore files that shape or emerging during moments of political, medial, or material transformation. Situations of turbulence highlight specific qualities of files and therefore allow for observing particular qualities. We are looking for contributions dealing with cases outside Europe or North America as well as papers engaging with pre-modern times.

·       discourses dealing with files
·       structures of participation
·       laws, norms, procedures, techniques of production, access, circulation, storage
·       materiality, material media, including electronic media and their impact on files and vice versa
·       interaction of files and administrations, including human and non-human actors
·       material and reality effects of files
·       historical emergence of files
·       the file as a genre and its boundaries (ephemeral notes)
·       speech and writing (catastrophes for administrative writing e.g. destruction of files, telephone, type writer, post-its, email et cetera)

ADMINISTORY aims to foster debate on the history of states and administrations. With its innovative articles and broad methodological and theoretical spectrum, the yearbook is a key interface between historical and cultural science research, and discussions on the state and administration in the social, legal and political sciences. The yearbook publishes original contributions in English and German. On average, our articles contain 9000 words including footnotes.

If you intend to contribute to this volume, please submit a title and a short abstract (max. 2500 characters) by August 31 2018 to We expect an outline sketch (around 10’000 characters) by end of September 2018 and the submission of the final article by end of January 2019.

For more information on the yearbook:

Cited Literature
·       Hans Heinrich Gerth/Charles Wright Mills (eds.), From Max Weber. Essays in Sociology, New York 1946
·       Lisa Gitelman, Paper Knowledge. Toward a Media History of Documents, Durham/London 2014
·       Matthew S. Hull, Government of Paper. The Materiality of Bureaucracy in Urban Pakistan, Berkeley/Los Angeles/London 2012
·       Bernhard Siegert, Passage des Digitalen. Zeichenpraktiken der neuzeitlichen Wissenschaften 1500-1900, Berlin 2003
·       Cornelia Visman, Files. Law and Media Theory, Stanford 2008

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: Fellowship – Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton University (DEADLINE: 1 DECEMBER 2018)

Via the Legal History Blog, we learned of a Call for applications for Fellowships at the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton University. Here the call:

During the 2019-20 academic year, the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies at Princeton University will focus on the topic of “Law & Legalities.”This seminar will bring together visiting scholars working on law in societies around the world and throughout human history, on topics including (but not restricted to) state administration, gender and sexuality, race, religion, property, science, environment, technology, war, migration, commerce, medicine, disability, incarceration, and human rights. How have legal, illegal, quasilegal, and extra-legal forms of social order interacted in different periods and places? We will consider the historical possibilities and predicaments that have emerged within legal and juridical systems (both ‘hard’ and ‘soft’), as well as the conflicts that have arisen from the overlapping jurisdictions of custom, community, religion, nation-state, empire, and international bodies.

Fellowships are awarded to employed scholars who are expected to return to their position. Verification of employment and salary will be requested prior to approval by the Dean of the Faculty. PhD required.

The application for a visiting position is available 

The deadline for receipt of applications and letters of recommendation for fellowships is December 1, 2018, 11:59 p.m. EST. Applicants must apply online and submit a CV, cover letter, research proposal, abstract of proposal, and contact information for three references.
Princeton University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.

Further information is available here.
Angela N. H. Creager
Director, 2016–2020

CONFERENCE: Le traité de Versailles : Regards franco-allemands en droit international à l'occasion du centenaire (Strasbourg), 28-29 September 2018

Via International Law Reporter, we learned of a conference on “The Versailles Treaty: French and German Perspectives in International Law on the Occasion of the Centenary”:

On September 28-29, 2018, the Centre des études internationales et européennes at the Université de Strasbourg will hold a conference on "Le traité de Versailles : Regards franco-allemands en droit international à l'occasion du centenaire / The Versailles Treaty: French and German Perspectives in International Law on the Occasion of the Centenary." The program is here. Preceding the conference, on September 26-27, there will be a Young Researchers Workshop on the subject of "Le principe d’autodétermination un siècle après le traité de Versailles : d’hier à aujourd’hui – et demain ? / Das Selbstbestimmungsprinzip ein Jahrhundert nach dem Versailler Vertrag: Von gestern bis heute - und morgen?" The program is here.

BOOK: Adriano PROSPERI, Justice Blindfolded : The Historical Course of an Image [Catholic Christendom, 1300-1700] (Leiden: Brill, 2018). ISBN 978-90-04-36220-8, €105.00

(Source: Wikipedia)

Brill will publish a book on the history of "justice" and its iconography through the centuries later this month.  


Justice Blindfolded gives an overview of the history of "justice" and its iconography through the centuries. Justice has been portrayed as a woman with scales, or holding a sword, or, since the fiftteenth century, with her eyes bandaged. This last symbol contains the idea that justice is both impartial and blind, reminding indirectly of the bandaged Christ on the cross, a central figure in the Christian idea of fairness and forgiveness.

In this rich and imaginative journey through history and philosophy, Prosperi manages to convey a full account of the ways justice has been described, portrayed and imagined.


Adriano Prosperi, Ph.D (1968), Scuola Normale Superiore, Italy, is Emeritus Professor of Early Modern History. He has published extensively on the Reformation, the Tridentine Council, and the idea of faith in Western Europe. His most recent books are a study of Luther, Lutero. Gli anni della fede e della libertà (Milan 2017) and a history of the death penalty, Crime and Forgiveness: Christianizing Execution in Medieval Europe (Harvard University Press 2018)


Preface to the Italian Edition
Preface to the English Edition Index of Illustrations
Chapter One. Scale and Sword, Eyes and Blindfold: the Attributes of Justice
Chapter Two. Justice, That is to Say God
Chapter Three. The Blindfold
Chapter Four. Jesus, Barabbas and the Good Thief
Chapter Five. Justice and Grace
Chapter Six. Miracles and Salvation
Chapter Seven. The Divine Eye of the Law
Chapter Eight. Changes in Symbols
Chapter Nine. The Veil of Justice and the Risks of the Limelight.

More information here

13 August 2018

CALL FOR PAPERS: IMC Leeds, 1-4 July, 2019 The Materiality of Law Manuscripts (DEADLINE: 1 SEPTEMBER 2018)

(Source: British Library)
We learned of a Call for Papers from “The Transformations of Medieval Law” Project, on the materiality of medieval and early modern law mansuscripts. Here the call: 

In connection with the 2019 congress theme of Materialities, we are seeking papers for sessions on the materiality of medieval and early modern law manuscripts. This session explores the materiality of medieval legal texts at different stages of their use, from their initial production and layout, to binding with other texts, marks made by users, translation, and printing. We are particularly interested in how the materiality of legal manuscripts reflects how they transformed through time as needs of their users changed.

Topics might include but are not limited to:
• the production of law manuscripts
• the layout of law manuscripts
• the compilation of law manuscripts
• user marks in law manuscripts
• the translation of law manuscripts
• multilingual law manuscripts
• the transition from manuscript to printing

We welcome research on manuscripts from any legal tradition and comparative approaches.
Please send abstracts of no more than 250 words including five keywords to Helen F. Leslie-Jacobsen (, no later than the 1st September 2018.

Sponsors: “The Transformations of Medieval Law” Project (Bergen Research Foundation and University of Bergen, Norway)

JOB: Professor for Civil Law and Legal History, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (DEADLINE: September 30, 2018)


We learned of a job application for a Professorship at the Martin Lither University Halle-Wittenberg, to succeed Professor Heiner Lück. Here the job offer:

The Faculty of Law, Economics and Business at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg is looking to appoint a
W3-Professor for Civil Law and Legal History
(to succeed Prof. Lück)
from October 1st, 2019. 

The professor should represent the civil law in its full extent, in particular family and inheritance law, as well as the field of legal history with a focus on German legal history of the Middle Ages and the early modern times in research and teaching. 

Applicants are expected to show a habilitation or an equivalent academic achievement. 
The duties of the position also include all tasks listed in § 34 of the Higher Education Act of the Land of Saxony-Anhalt (Hochschulgesetzes des Landes Sachsen-Anhalt). Thus, applicants must fulfill the appointment requirements for professors in accordance with § 35 of the Higher Education Act of the Land of Saxony-Anhalt. 

Martin Luther University aims to increase the proportion of women in academia and encourages qualified women to apply. The Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg offers excellent opportunities to reconcile work and family.

Severely handicapped applicants are given preference if equally qualified. 

Applications should be received by September 30th, 2018. Applications should be submitted, preferably by e-mail, to: 
Martin-Luther-Universität Halle-Wittenberg
Juristische und Wirtschaftswissenschaftliche Fakultät
Universitätsplatz 10 a
06108 Halle (Saale)

The application should include a curriculum vitae, certificates, an account of the scientific career, a list of publications, a statement of the extent of the previous fund-raising activity and proof of previous teaching. 

The salary is paid within the legal and budgetary conditions. 
Expenses incurred by the application will not be reimbursed.

To learn more about working & living in Germany, please visit:

More information here

CONFERENCE : V Biennial Conference of the Latin American Society of International Law “Dialogues of International Law”, Torcuato Di Tella University (Buenos Aires, Argentina), 24-25 September 2018

Coming September, the Latin American Society of International Law is holding its 4th biennial conference.

The full programme can be found here

Two panels deal with the history of international law on September 25, namely:

11.30 – 13.00: PARALLEL SESSIONS


Chair: Justina Uriburu (Torcuato Di Tella University).
           Amaya  Alvez  (Universidad  de  Concepción)  and  Arnulf  Becker  Lorca  (Brown University): “¿Autodeterminación para los Pueblos Originarios? Los límites de la Consulta Indígena Constituyente en Chile”.
        Sebastián Machado (University of Melbourne): “La historia del derecho internacional
como una herramienta crítica y hermenéutica”.
        Liliana  Obregón  (Harvard  University):  “América  Latina  y  la  Historiografía  del
Derecho Internacional”.

14.30 – 16.00: PARALLEL SESSIONS


Chair: Francisco José Quintana (Torcuato Di Tella University). Speakers:
        José Manuel Barreto (Universidad Externado de Colombia; Universidad Católica de
Colombia): “Las Casas y los Orígenes Coloniales del Derecho Internacional y los
Derechos Humanos”.
        Fabia Fernandes Vecoso (University of Melbourne): “Intervention, sovereign debt,
and the making of spatial order: revisiting the 1902-1903 Venezuelan Blockade”.
           Juan Pablo Scarfi (Universidad Nacional de San Martín): “El Derecho Internacional (Latino)Americano y la no Intervención: La Hegemonía  Estadounidense en América Latina y el Debate (Humanitario) sobre la  Intervención en los Orígenes del Sistema Interamericano”.

 More information about the conference can be found here

BOOK: Bettine BIRGE, Marriage and the Law in the Age of Khubilai Khan - Cases from the Yuan Dianzhang (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2017). ISBN 9780674975514, €49.50

(Source: HUP)

Harvard University Press recently published a book on marriage law during the reign of Khubilai Khan.


The Mongol conquest of China in the thirteenth century and Khubilai Khan’s founding of the Yuan dynasty brought together under one government people of different languages, religions, and social customs. Chinese law evolved rapidly to accommodate these changes, as reflected in the great compendium Yuan dianzhang (Statutes and Precedents of the Yuan Dynasty). The records of legal cases contained in this seminal text, Bettine Birge shows, paint a portrait of medieval Chinese family life—and the conflicts that arose from it—that is unmatched by any other historical source.

Marriage and the Law in the Age of Khubilai Khan reveals the complex, sometimes contradictory inner workings of the Mongol-Yuan legal system, seen through the prism of marriage disputes in chapter eighteen of the Yuan dianzhang, which has never before been translated into another language. Birge’s meticulously annotated translation clarifies the meaning of terms and passages, some in a hybrid Sino-Mongolian language, for specialists and general readers alike. The text includes court testimony—recorded in the vivid vernacular of people from all social classes—in lawsuits over adultery, divorce, rape, wife-selling, marriages of runaway slaves, and other conflicts. It brings us closer than any other source to the actual Mongolian speech of Khubilai and the great khans who succeeded him as they struggled to reconcile very different Mongol, Muslim, and Chinese legal traditions and confront the challenges of ruling a diverse polyethnic empire.


Bettine Birge is Associate Professor in the Department of East Asian Languages and Cultures, with a joint appointment in the Department of History, at the University of Southern California.


Maps, Figures, and Charts*
I. The Age of Khubilai Khan and the Yuan dianzhang
1. The Historical and Social Context of the Yuan dianzhang
2. Yuan Administration and the Legal System
3. Origins, Contents, and Transmission of the Yuan dianzhang
4. Notes on the Translation
II. Chapter 18, “Marriage,” from the Yuan dianzhang: An Annotated Translation
5. Sections 1–2: Marriage Rites and Exchanges; Getting Married
6. Sections 3–5: Marriage between Officials and Commoners; Marriages of Military Personnel; Divorce
7. Sections 6–8: When the Husband Dies; Levirate Marriage Approved; Levirate Marriage Rejected
8. Sections 9–12: Secondary Wives; Marriage between Slaves and Commoners; Marriage of Entertainers; Marriage during the Mourning Period
Appendix A: Translation of Title Page of the Yuan dianzhang
Appendix B: Marriage Cases from Chapter 18 of the Yuan dianzhang in Chronological Order
Appendix C: Marriage Cases from Chapter 18 of the Yuan dianzhang with Dates

More information here