18 April 2024

JOURNAL: Journal of the History of International Law/Revue d'histoire du droit international XXV (2023), 3 (Oct)


(image source: Brill)

Spotlight Interview 2022: Annabel Brett, Use, War, and Commercial Society. Changing Paradigms of Human Relations with Animals in the Early Modern Law of Nature and of Nations (JHIL 1/2022) (Raphael Schäfer & Maren Körsmeier) [OPEN ACCESS]
DOI 10.1163/15718050-12340222

JHIL’s editorial board chose as its 2022 Spotlight, the article ‘Use, War, and Commercial Society. Changing Paradigms of Human Relations with Animals in the Early Modern Law of Nature and of Nations’ by Annabel Brett (Journal of the History of International Law 24(1) (2022), 1–35). In the following interview, we take a closer look at the article ‘under the spotlight’, the motivations of its author and the research carried out. The interview was conducted by the managing editor of the JHIL, Raphael Schäfer, and JHIL’s student assistant, Maren Körsmeier.

The Historical School and German International Legal Thought in the 19th Century (Jochen von Bernstorff & Max Mayer)
DOI 10.1163/15718050-bja10088

This article traces the influence of the German Historical School of Law around Friedrich Carl von Savigny has had on various fundamental concepts of international law during the 19th and into the beginning of the 20th century in a detailed manner. During this time, the Historical School’s radical reformulation of the notion of law as a peoples’ spiritual essence unfolding through its habitual social action allowed 19th century scholars to redefine international law as customary law and, together with notably Hegelian teleological thought, laid conceptual groundwork for the integration of themes of European cultural superiority into the doctrines and philosophy of international law. Its conceptual legacy can further be traced in the later German positivism à la Jellinek or Oppenheim with its theories on ‘common civilised consent’ as foundation of international law.

Past and Present? Greece in International Arbitration in the Twentieth Century (Despina-Georgia Konstantinakou)
DOI 10.1163/15718050-bja10087

During the twentieth century, international arbitration became an integral part of interstate dispute resolution. Greece, a small state with no particular influence, also rushed to utilize arbitration to pursue its interests, resolve intense disputes and ultimately stabilize its position in the international system. This article will discuss if and how lower-level settlement procedures can impact smaller countries’ higher political strategy, exploring Greece’s recourse before the Mixed Arbitral Tribunals, the League of Nations and the Permanent Court of International Justice. Athens’ efforts to pursue its citizens’ war claims against West Germany after World War II will be examined, along with the role international arbitration could potentially play today in resolving Greece’s war claims against the Federal Republic of Germany, which Athens raised immediately after the 1990 reunification and continue to encumber bilateral relations. Ultimately, Greece’s experience will exemplify the direct impact arbitration procedures can have on international relations.
Tears of the Olive Trees: Mandatory Palestine, the UK, and Reparations for Colonialism in International Law (Ralph Wilde)
DOI 10.1163/15718050-12340216

The Palestinian people seek a reckoning for the failure of the UK to enable their self- determination during the League of Nations Mandate period and in 1948. The common view of international lawyers is that the law of self-determination only became applicable to colonial peoples in the second half of the 20th Century. Consequently, the UK, and the League Council, had a free hand on the question of the status of the Palestine Mandate. This is mistaken. The special clause of the League Covenant applicable to Palestine, providing for provisional independence, could not be lawfully bypassed. The UK’s failure to comply with this was a violation of international law with ongoing consequences, thereby serving as a basis for contemporary accountability. This case study reveals the existence and potential of legal avenues for colonial reparations rooted in not generally-applicable legal norms but sui generis rules specific to the case at hand.

Writing a Transnational (Global?) History of Extradition Law in the Short Twentieth Century: Beyond Western-Centric Approaches (Pablo del Hierro & Lucas Lixinski)
DOI 10.1163/15718050-bja10082

The article examines the history of extradition in the twentieth century, to call for a broader engagement with extradition law not only as an under-explored chapter in international law in its own right, but also as a pathway to think more deeply about world-ruling projects. Extradition law, normally thought of as primarily bilateral, in fact has a long and rich history of multilateral engagement. This tension between multilateralism and bilateralism, we argue, showcases the role of technique to hide political projects in international law-making, as well as showcasing the need to include more non-Eurocentric voices in our narratives about the design of international law instruments and institutions. European nations in the period we survey were more invested in bilateral efforts, claiming the impossibility of multilateral treaty-making in extradition law; yet, Latin American states successfully undertook multiple initiatives in this realm, which are often excluded from mainstream narratives, at the cost of buying into a biased narrative of bilateral treaties that neglects how extradition law has been used to shape and hide key political tensions. In light of these findings, the article puts forth a research agenda that takes extradition more seriously into our accounts of the evolution of international law.

Book review
L’ordre des circulations. L’Institut de Droit international et la régulation des migrations (1870–1920), written by Philippe Rygiel (Vincent Genin)

Read the issue here.


17 April 2024

OPEN ACCESS: Recueils de la Société Jean Bodin pour l'Histoire Comparative des Institutions (KULeuven: Faculty of Law and Criminology Library)

The library of the Faculty of Law and Criminology at the University of Leuven has made the digital version of the Recueils de la Société Jean Bodin pour l'Histoire Comparative des Institutions freely accessible. This important collection contains the acta of international (European and extra-European) thematic conferences (women - the city - peace - monocracy - governments and governed - the child...) held between 1936 and 2000.

Discover the series here.

16 April 2024

JOB: 7 PhD positions “historical and cultural studies” and “social sciences“ (Vienna: Universität Wien, DEADLINE 26 APR 2024)


(Image source: HNet)

University of Vienna, Research Center for the History of Transformations (RECET)

EXTENDED DEADLINE: 7 PhD Positions "Historical and Cultural Studies" and "Social Sciences" (RECET, Univ. of Vienna)

Institution Type:  College / University
Location:  Austria
Position:  Doctoral Fellow

The University of Vienna is looking to hire 7 PhD researchers for 3+1 years (the fourth year is contingent on the positive evaluation of submitted work) within the framework of the new interdisciplinary FWF doc.funds program "The Dynamics of Change and the Logics of Transformation: State, Society, and Economy at Critical Junctures", starting on 1 September 2024. The doc.funds program is integrated the Doctoral School of Historical and Cultural Studies (DSHCS) and the Vienna Doctoral School of Social Sciences (ViDSS). The researchers will also be affiliated with the Research Center for the History of Transformations (RECET) and the Research Platform “Transformations and Eastern Europe."


In this doctoral program, we build on and critically engage with Karl Polanyi’s theory of social, economic, and political change to understand transformation processes in both past and present and work towards a comprehensive theory of social transformation. This approach allows us to analyze multilevel transformation processes of the state, society and the economy in different times and geographical contexts.

Your future tasks:
Your main task is to complete the dissertation. Doctoral students will enjoy structured and interdisciplinary doctoral training in the two doctoral schools, with
- coursework concentrated in the first 12 months,
- a research paper due after the first year,
- and chapter submissions based on ongoing research after the second and third years, which determine the possible extension of the contract to a fourth year.
You are expected to participate in events organized by RECET, the Platform and the doctoral schools. You can also take part in the colloquia, workshops etc. at the respective institutes or departments of the PIs.
You present your research results at conferences and publish in peer-reviewed journals.
You actively shape the profile of the doctoral program by initiating workshops, conferences or other activities.

General requirements:
- By the beginning of the project (1 September 2024), applicants need to hold a Master’s degree (or equivalent) in a relevant discipline for the respective project that qualifies them for doctoral studies.
- High level of motivation and commitment to successfully complete your doctoral studies within the anticipated time frame
- Collaborative, team-minded and pro-active attitude
- High level of written and oral communication skills
- The working language of the doc.funds program will be English (level C1 or English-language degree required upon project start); knowledge of German is not a precondition for admission, though of course advantageous in order to integrate well at the University of Vienna. Other language requirements are specific for each project.

We seek to fill seven positions in different fields which require the following specializations and skills:
The seven doctoral projects we envision are situated in a field defined by interlocking key themes: the transformation of statehood & sovereignty, of labor, of mobility, and of rights. They focus on Central & Eastern Europe, with important transnational and global extensions. The objective is to combine insights from history and social sciences to study transformations in the wake of major ruptures during the 20th and 21st centuries.
Each project is associated with one of the seven faculty members associated with the program (for a full description of the projects and their specific requirements see:

1. Transformations of Free Movement: Central and Eastern Europe 1972-2004 (Jannis Panagiotidis)
The project works from the hypothesis that Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) and the western (former) Soviet republics constitute a migration space with its own history that can be studied across the caesura of 1989 to investigate the transformations of mobility and migration under different mobility regimes. Applicants should suggest suitable case studies, which ideally combine both “top-down” and “bottom-up” perspectives to assess both the making and the experience of mobility in the region. They should be familiar with concepts of migration history and/or transnational history and possess relevant language skills for the case studies they choose.

2. Transformation of Mobility: The League of Nations and post-1918 border and Travel Regimes (Peter Becker)
The management of mobility of people provides an excellent focus to unravel the complex, multi-level decision making and implementation processes resulting in a new international mobility regime after the First World War. We invite candidates to propose a research project based on the analysis of archival documentation generated by the League of Nations and the successor states together with contemporary media coverage to study the regulation of individual mobility in the post-Habsburg lands at both LoN and national levels. Suitable candidates will be familiar with international history and have relevant language skills in at least two languages of the region.

3. The Transformation of Imperial Ecology and Labor Relations after the Fall of the Habsburg Empire (Eva-Maria Muschik)
This project will investigate how the Great Transformation affected forests as well as those in charge of and employed in them in the territory of the (former) Habsburg empire. How did the formal end of empire in 1918 affect the imperial ecology and labor relations of the Habsburg timber industry? How did government officials, Austrian timber businesses, and (migrant) laborers negotiate the transformation of the forest sector after the fall of the Habsburg empire and after critical junctures since? Suitable candidates should be familiar with (Habsburg) imperial, environmental and labor history and have some archival research experience. Knowledge of an Eastern European language is a plus.

4. Transforming Rights: Entangled Debates about Gender Equality during and after the Cold War (1975-1993) (Claudia Kraft)
The doctoral candidate working on this project should be interested in the transformation of women’s rights since the 1970s. The project’s focus should be on debating, formulating, and balancing of individual and group rights in transnationally intertwined debates on gender equality, which took place at the level of both UN expert bodies and social movements. Candidates should take an interest in knowledge production in international organizations and social movements, be familiar with concepts of gender history and transnational/entangled history, and ideally have knowledge of an Eastern European language.

5. A New Great Transformation? East-Central European Capitalism after the Great Financial Crisis (Dorothee Bohle)
The doctoral candidate will be working on a comparative feminist political economy of East Central Europe since the Great Financial Crisis of 2008-2010. Possible research questions could include, for instance, how social reproduction and care, the division of labor within households, or conservative gender norms interact with processes of industrial production, or financialization, and how these interactions play out differently in different countries. Suitable candidates should have some familiarity with debates in comparative political economy and/or feminist political economy, should be familiar with comparative methods, and be interested in East Central European processes of transformation.

6. Transforming the State through Social Work (Tatjana Thelen)
This ethnographic project takes social work as a diagnostic entry point to explore state transformation. Leading questions are how renegotiations of needs, obligations and deservingness reshape the contours and boundaries of the state, with a focus on social workers-in-training as central actors of state transformation. Suitable candidates should be familiar with ethnographic methods and theory building, be interested in the anthropology of the state, and should have language skills in the field of the intended research.

7. The Global Transformation of Shipbuilding since the 1970s with a Focus on East Asia (Philipp Ther)
The PhD-thesis is supposed to deal with the transformation of global industrial production and labour practices in ship-building. A focus on Korea or China (or Japan) would be desirable. The project is inspired by a combination of Polanyian-based research on global business history with a micro-analysis of labor history on the shopfloor level (which would require language competences for conducting oral history interviews). You can combine these foci or choose one of them. For the purpose of comparative research and for showing the multiple connections between shipbuilding in East Asia and Europe, the project can build upon the source and database of a previous study written by Brunnbauer, Ther et. al. on shipbuilding in Poland and Yugoslavia/Croatia . If you have a very original proposal for industries closely connected to ship-building (e.g. steel, or more recently global finance), please feel encouraged to apply as well.

What we offer:
We provide a pre-doctoral work contract (75%, 30h/week, employment group B1,
The employment duration is 3 years. Initially limited to 1.5 years, the employment relationship is automatically extended to 3 years if the employer does not terminate it within the first 12 months by submitting a declaration of non-extension. With appropriate work progress, an extension to a total maximum of 4 years is possible.
PhD students will be provided with office space and integrated into a vibrant research environment at RECET, the Platform, the doctoral schools, and the departments of their respective supervisors.

How to Apply:
Applications must be written in English and must include:
- a cover letter
- a current CV
- a writing sample (e.g. MA thesis, published article or similar in English, German or other languages relevant to the respective topic)
- a project proposal of no more than 5 pp., indicating the topic you would like to apply for
- scans of your university diplomas
- Please also document language competences if needed for the single project.

Deadline for submissions is 26 April 2024.

Please submit your application as one PDF file here:

Potential candidates will be interviewed online at the end of April/beginning of May 2024. Starting date will be 1 September 2024.

For additional questions please contact:

The University of Vienna has an anti-discriminatory employment policy and attaches great importance to equal opportunities, the advancement of women and diversity. We lay special emphasis on increasing the number of women in senior and in academic positions among the academic and general university staff and therefore expressly encourage qualified women to apply. Given equal qualifications, preference will be given to female candidates

(Source: HNet)

SYMPOSIUM: Bien commun ou bien d’utilité publique ? Archéologie d’une notion et d’une pratique au Moyen Âge (Namur: Université de Namur, 7 MAY 2024)

(Image source: site PraME - UNINAMUR)

S’il est une notion qui a fait couler beaucoup d’encre et dont le sens continue pourtant à nous échapper en grande partie, c’est bien celle de bien commun. Ce concept éminemment actuel, ne cesse de susciter l’intérêt, tant au sein du milieu académique qu’auprès des acteurs du monde politique, économique, agricole, ou humanitaire. Dans son acception éthique, le bien commun semble toutefois de plus en plus considéré comme un idéal utopique, d’où le déplacement de la focale sur la notion de biens communs et de communs, dans la lignée des travaux d’Elinor Ostrom.  

Au Moyen Âge, le bonum commune,compris comme fin ultime de tout individu inscrit au sein d’une communauté, fonde toute la grammaire politique, et plus particulièrement à partir de la seconde moitié du XIIIe siècle, sous l’impulsion de la redécouverte du corpus politique aristotélicien. Quoiqu’omniprésente, la notion est comprise et utilisée de manière extrêmement diverse, selon des finalités qui semblent souvent incompatibles avec l’universalité même qui sous-tend l’idée de « commun ».

Plusieurs travaux récents ont mis en lumière le caractère extrêmement vague et ambigu de la définition même du bonum commune ; dans l’œuvre de Thomas d’Aquin, pour ne citer que lui, le concept est mobilisé à maintes et maintes reprises, dans un sens qui est loin d’être univoque, équivocité renforcée par l’absence de toute tentative définitoire par le docteur angélique. Cette polysémie, qui ne va pas sans une certaine plasticité, explique les usages extrêmement variés voire parfois opposés de la notion de bien commun au Moyen Âge, tantôt utilisée comme fer de lance de l’absolutisme pontifical, tantôt pour justifier l’existence d’institutions contraignantes censées empêcher l’avènement d’un gouvernement tyrannique. Cette journée d’étude cherche à réinterroger la notion même de bonum commune en s’intéressant aux conditions dans lesquelles celle-ci se voit mobilisée, en s’intéressant aux éventuels conflits qui surgissent dans sa confrontation avec le réel historique, tout en guettant les solutions proposées par les auteurs pour concilier théorie et pratique du bien commun, dans une approche comparable à l’analogie théologico-politique proposée par l’Aquinate. 


  • 9h   Nicolas Michel et Laura Rizzerio (Université de Namur) – Introduction

Session 1 : Présidence Xavier Hermand (Université de Namur)

  • 9h30  Sumi Shimahara, (Université Paris IV) — Le Bien commun dans le haut Moyen Age (Ve-XIe s.).
  • 10h15 Corinne Leveleux-Teixeira (Université d’Orléans) — Biens communs et nécessité dans la pensée canonique médiévale.
  • 11h15 Julien Le Mauff (Université de Lille) — « Chescun cure d’une chose en tant comme elle luy touche ». Quel bien, pour quel commun ?.
  • 12h Carole Mabboux (Université Paris 8) — Bien commun et bien de la Commune. Normes légales et didactiques (Italie, XIIIe-XIVe siècles).

Session 2 : Présidence Laura Rizzerio (Université de Namur)

  • 14h Paolo Evangelisti (Archivio storico della Camera dei deputati) — Money and markets: where trust might be expected. Architectures of creditworthiness in Franciscan economic pedagogy.
  • 14h45 Matthias Nebel (Universidad Popular Autónoma del Estado de Puebla) — Schola d’arte vénitienne: le travail comme un bien commun.
  • 15h45 Antonio Petagine (Université Roma Tre) — Thomas d’Aquin a-t-il soutenu la doctrine de la primauté du bien commun ?
  • 16h30 Alban Grandjean (Université Libre de Bruxelles) — Le Bien Commun dans la pensée de Jean d’Anneux. Un idéal politique à l’épreuve des prétentions matérielles des princes au XIVe siècle.

More information can be found here.

15 April 2024

SEMINAR: Autorité judiciaire ou Pouvoir judiciaire? Conférence de Julien Boudon (Rome: Università Roma Tre, 22 APR 2024)

CONFERENCE: ONLINE LECTURE, Prof. Gerald KOHL, Judicial independence in Austria from Pre- March to the 21 st century (25 APR , 4:30 pm, online)

The oldest Polish journal of legal history, Czasopismo Prawno-Historyczne (CPH; Legal History Journal), published by the Faculty of Law and Administration at AMU since 1948, is organizing a series of online lectures. The editor-in-chief of CPH, Dr. Hab. Maksymilian Stanulewicz, a professor at AMU, warmly invites all interested scholars and students to participate in our online lectures and to submit papers to CPH. The series is organized by the Editorial Secretary of CPH, Dr. Piotr Alexandrowicz (

For more information on the series, please visit the website


Title: Judicial independence in Austria from Pre-March to the 21st century

Speaker: prof. Gerald Kohl

Date: April 25th, 4:30 pm CEST

Link to the online meeting:meeting link

Abstract: Judicial independence in Austria was achieved step-by-step. The development did not proceed in the sense of a straightforward, continuous “progress”, but was characterized by several setbacks. And even today, judicial independence has to be fought for anew every day. The presentation will give an overview of two centuries of legal development and highlight current challenges.

CV: Born 1965; 1993 Dr. iuris; 2005 “Habilitation“ for the subjects “Austrian and European Legal History, including Constitutional History of the Modern Age“ and “European Private Law Development“ (“Privatdozent”); 2006 Associate Professor (public servant, tenured); 2009 appointed Deputy Head, Department of Legal and Constitutional History (Univ. Vienna). 2015 elected Treasurer of the „International Commission for the History of Representative and Parliamentary Institutions“; 2018 appointed member of the „Kommission für Rechtsgeschichte Österreichs“ [Commission for Austrian Legal History] of the Austrian Academy of Sciences; various other functions and memberships. Co-editor and co-author of the leading Austrian textbook “Manual Rechts- und Verfassungsgeschichte” (6th edition 2022). Main areas of work: Austrian constitutional history, esp. 19th and 20th cent.; History of private law, esp. property law, land registry, agrarian communities, housing laws; History of justice (collected volumes on judges, state attorneys, laypersons); Popular legal literature; Law and Language.

Read more here:website

Chair: Prof. Wojciech Piątek (Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznań)

12 April 2024

BOOK: Didier LETT, Crimes, genre et châtiments au Moyen Âge. Hommes et femmes face à la justice au Moyen Âge (Paris: Armand Colin, 2024). ISBN: 9782200635657

(Image source: Dunod)


Ce livre étudie les crimes, les procès et les châtiments des femmes et des hommes dans l’Occident des quatre derniers siècles médiévaux. Dans les sources judiciaires, la présence des femmes est toujours inférieure à celles des hommes. Le délit n’est pas déterminé par l’appartenance sexuée, mais il prend des formes masculines ou féminines. La forte hiérarchie des peines est la même pour les deux sexes, de la peine pécuniaire à la peine capitale. Lorsqu’elles commettent des petits délits, les femmes sont parfois punies « à moitié de peine », mais cette mansuétude disparaît pour les crimes les plus graves. Elles sont exceptionnellement pendues ou décapitées mais périssent sur le bûcher, sont noyées ou enfouies vivantes.

En prenant au sérieux les régimes de genre des sociétés de la fin du Moyen Âge, cet ouvrage propose donc une histoire de la justice à hauteur de femme et d’homme.


Didier Lett est professeur émérite d’histoire médiévale à l’université Paris Cité et membre senior honoraire de l’Institut universitaire de France. Il est spécialiste de l’enfance, la famille, la parenté et le genre et de la documentation italienne tardo-médiévale.


Des petits délits aux crimes graves. Les injures verbales, gestuelles et corporelles – Le vol et les atteintes aux biens d’autrui –  L’adultère, le concubinage et la bigamie –  La prostitution illégale et le proxénétisme –  Le viol des femmes et des filles –  Le vice sodomite –  Les homicides –  Les crimes contre Dieu et le pouvoir souverain.

Entre le crime et le châtiments : de la dénonciation à la torture. Régler les conflits en dehors des tribunaux –  La dénonciation et la comparution –  Prouver, se défendre et témoigner –  La prison : d’une détention préventive à une peine –  L’aveu par la force : la torture.

Des peines pécuniaires aux peines infernales. Les peines pécuniaires –  Les peines infamantes –  Les peines mutilantes –  Le bannissement : une « mort sociale » –  La peine capitale –  Les grâces, les repentances et les peines éternelles.

More information can be found here.

10 April 2024

BOOK: Francesco DI CHIARA (ed.), Tra diritto e religione. Dialoghi e influenze nella storia giuridica [Collana di Studi di storia del diritto medievale e moderno, eds. Paolo ALVAZZI DEL FRATE, Giovanni ROSSI & Elio TAVILA; 11] (Roma: Historia et Ius, 2023), 282 p. ISBN 979-12-81621-02-2 [OPEN ACCESS]


(image source: historia et ius)

First paragraph (preface by Emanuele Conte):
In traduzione inglese, una parte di questo testo machiavelliano compare in epigrafe di un capitolo di un libro scientifico destinato a un pubblico vasto, che si inserisce nel filone di studi divulgativi che, a partire dal successo di pubblico riscontrato dai best-seller di Juval Noah Harari e Jared Diamond, ha proposto di reinterpretare le strutture sociali e le istituzioni alla luce del sapere antropologico, storico ed economico, integrato ora da quello biologico, neurologico, psicologico. Una interdisciplinarità “presa sul serio”, si direbbe, per offrire teorie nuove per spiegare il mondo.

Read the full book here in open access. 

09 April 2024

BOOK: Ignacio CZEGUHN & Jan THIESSEN (eds.), Dictatorship, Democracy, and Transitional Justice in Global Legal History [Schriften zur Rechtsgeschichte; 219] (Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, 2023), 214 p., ISBN 978-3-428-18579-5

Cover: Dictatorship, Democracy, and Transitional Justice in Global Legal History

Book abstract:

The anthology presents the lectures given on the symposium »From Dictatorship to democracy« at the House of the Wannsee Conference on 13–14 September 2021. The aim of the organizers was to show what problems existed during the transition from dictatorship to democracy in several countries around the world. They all enacted laws or other measures to ensure that fundamental rights and the rule of law would resist anti-democratic ideologies, anti-Semitism, racism, and war crimes in the future. However, the legal system and law in these countries themselves often had their origins in dictatorship. Thus, there were and are obvious and hidden anti-democratic continuities that influence law and the legal system up to the present. Scientifics and jurists from Italy, Japan, Poland, Spain, South Africa, and Germany examine these continuities in their contributions.

Table of contents:

Ignacio Czeguhn and Jan Thiessen

Ignacio Czeguhn
The Berlin Administration of Justice after 1945 – Factual and Personnel Continuities with the Nazi Justice System. Presentation of the Project and State of Research

Vittoria Calabrò
Continuità e discontinuità nel passaggio dalla dittatura alla democrazia: la vicenda del giurista

Gaspare Ambrosini
Bronisław Sitek and Albert Pielak: From Sovietization to Democratization of Justice in Poland (1944–1997)

Miho Mitsunari
Wartime Sexual Violence and War Responsibility: The »Comfort Women Issue« in Japan

José Antonio Pérez Juan
The Amnesty Measures of the Spanish Transition

Antonio Sánchez Aranda
Franco’s Regime. From Totalitarism to Authoritarism in its Repressive Model (April 1936–November 1975)

Ramón M. Orza Linares
La transición a la democracia en los países de América Central

Gerhard Kemp
From Dictatorship to Democracy in South Africa

Claudia Vanoni
Drei Jahre Antisemitismusbeauftragte der Generalstaatsanwaltschaft Berlin – ein Erfahrungsbericht

Samuel Salzborn
Kontinuität, Tradierung und Transformation des Antisemitismus

Jan Thiessen
The Treatment of the Nazi Past in Contemporary German Legal Education

Benjamin Lahusen
Learning from History? Current Developments in the Restitution of Nazi-Confiscated Property

Read more here


08 April 2024

JOURNAL COMPARATIVE LEGAL HISTORY: Reappointment of Agustín PARISE (Maastricht) as Editor-in-chief (2024-2028)

The Executive Council of the European Society for Comparative Legal History hereby, 5 April 2024, decides to reappoint Agustín Parise (Associate Professor of Law and Chair of the Faculty Council at the Faculty of Law of Maastricht University) as Editor-in-Chief of the Society’s Journal, Comparative Legal History, for a second and final term, from the last day of his first term in 2024 by four years precisely, into 2028.

BOOK: Anna BRINKMAN, Balancing Strategy Sea Power, Neutrality, and Prize Law in the Seven Years' War (Cambridge: University press, 2024). ISBN: 9781009425599, £ 85.00

(Source: CUP)


What is the relationship between seapower, law, and strategy? Anna Brinkman uses in-depth analysis of cases brought before the Court of Prize Appeal during the Seven Years' War to explore how Britain worked to shape maritime international law to its strategic advantage. Within the court, government officials and naval and legal minds came together to shape legal decisions from the perspectives of both legal philosophy and maritime strategic aims. As a result, neutrality and the negotiation of rights became critical to maritime warfare. Balancing Strategy unpicks a complex web of competing priorities: deals struck with the Dutch Republic and Spain; imperial rivalry; mercantilism; colonial trade; and the relationships between metropoles and colonies, trade, and the navy. Ultimately, influencing and shaping international law of the sea allows a nation to create the norms and rules that constrain or enable the use of seapower during war.


Dr. Anna Brinkman is a Lecturer in the Defence Studies Department at King's College London and co-director of the Corbett Centre for Maritime Policy Studies. She is a historian of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century maritime strategy and international law.

REMINDER JOB OFFERS: Three PhD students for the newly established research group “The Hidden Heritage of the European Union: the Legacy of the Law of the League of Nations” (Frankfurt/Main, Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory) [DEADLINE: 1 May 2024]

We are looking to recruit from July 2024 onwards

Three PhD students (m/f/div)

for the newly established research group
“The Hidden Heritage of the European Union: the Legacy of the Law of the League of Nations”
directed by Dr. Michel Erpelding.

The research group

Conventional accounts of European integration have often insisted on the novelty of the supranational law developed in that context, asserting its ‘sui generis’ character and highlighting its differences with earlier forms of international and regional integration. However, recent scholarship has questioned this view, noting that forms of supranational law and institutions already existed during the interwar period. This was the case within the League of Nations and its broader context, which included international(ized) institutions both in Europe (e.g. Danzig, Saar, Upper Silesia…) and in (semi-)colonial settings (e.g. League mandates, international cities, protectorates…). The research group’s central aim will be to identify the continuities and discontinuities between the law of these interwar institutions and the law developed within the context of European integration. To do so, it will not only look at the relevant institutions and the norms they generated, but also at the actors that developed and used these norms, whether as legal professionals or as ‘subaltern’ individuals or groups.

Possible research themes, which, ideally, should cover both the interwar period and the early stages of European integration, include:

  • the law and practice of/before/vis-à-vis supranational institutions (including courts);
  • the protection and representation of labour;
  • the role of the International Chamber of Commerce;
  • the relation between regional integration and global trade liberalization.

Job description

Your key responsibility is to develop and complete a doctoral dissertation within the confines of the research group’s central aim, possibly (but not exclusively) in relation to one of the abovementioned research themes. You are also expected to publish and disseminate your research findings in close co-operation with the other members of the research group, including by contributing data to an online repository.

Your profil

A university degree in law, humanities or social sciences that has been completed with above-average success is required. You have an excellent command of English, both spoken and written and are proficient in either French or German. Knowledge of other languages relevant to the project (e.g. Arabic, Italian, Polish, Spanish…) is not a requirement but will be considered as an asset.

Your curriculum vitae shows the potential to conduct research at an internationally high level. You work meticulously and are able to handle deadlines. You work independently and have a strong interest in interdisciplinary, archival and comparative work. You have the ability to play an active collaborative role in the research group.

Our offer

We offer an attractive and international work environment with an unparalleled research infrastructure and a good working atmosphere. The payment is currently 3,000 € per month (gross), which equals approximately 2,045 € after taxes, depending on family circumstances, plus a special annual payment. The job is a full time position (currently 39 hours per week). While you will be based in Frankfurt/Main, there are generous opportunities for mobile working (at present, up to 40 per cent per month). The position is a fixed-term appointment for three years, with the possibility of renewal for a further year in exceptional circumstances. There is no obligation or expectation to teach, although we encourage you to take up limited teaching assignments if you wish to do so.

You will have unlimited access to our world leading library and a multitude of databases. You will be provided with a work space and will receive extensive academic and administrative support. There are generous grants for research trips to archives and libraries, as well as for attending conferences. A variety of personal and career development opportunities is available, including funding for German language classes.

The Max Planck Society is committed to increasing the number of individuals with disabilities in its workforce and therefore encourages applications from such individuals. Furthermore, the Max Planck Society seeks to increase the number of women in those areas where they are underrepresented and therefore explicitly encourages women to apply.

The Max Planck Society strives for gender equality and diversity. We welcome applications from all backgrounds.

05 April 2024

JOURNAL: Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte: Romanistische Abteilung CXL (2023), No. 1

(image source: DeGruyter)

L’irripetibilità del processo criminale nell’esperienza giuridica romana (Umberto Laffi)
DOI /10.1515/zrgr-2023-0001


The prohibition of double trial for one and the same fact is a principle that we find theorized and applied in the legal experience of the Romans above all in the field of civil procedural law. Hence modern Romanistic legal science concentrated on this area of law. There are only few specific studies devoted to this subject with reference to criminal procedural law. The problem deserves to be taken up and studied in depth. First of all the author defines the scope of the preclusive effects produced by the judgement as it results from an exhaustive analysis of the epigraphic Lex repetundarum (linn. 1–4, 5, 56). On a more general level, the sources show that the principle of the non-repeatability of criminal prosecutions found substantial application both in the late republican and imperial ages, albeit with the limits and the exceptions that the author highlights. In addition to jurisprudence, the subject of the unrepeatability of the trial lent itself to being dealt with in schools of rhetoric.

Il testamentum militis alla luce delle epigrafi funerarie (Francesco Castagnino)
DOI 10.1515/zrgr-2023-0002


This study proposes a different analysis of the Roman military testament by focusing on the information obtained from soldiers’ funerary inscriptions. It aims above all to verify the application of the rules of testamentum militis in practice. On the other hand, it intends to explain some testamentary practices used by the soldiers serving in different territories and to define some problems of military testamentary law, for example, that of the testamenti factio activa of the soldiers without Roman citizenship.

The actio utilis in case of pignus nominis (A.J.H. Smit) [OPEN ACCESS]
DOI 10.1515/zrgr-2023-0003

In Roman law, a creditor could establish a security right by pledging his claim (nomen) against a third person. In case of pignus nominis, the praetor granted the pledgee an actio utilis, which he could use to demand performance from the debtor of the claim that had been pledged to him. The prevailing doctrine with regard to the actio utilis in case of pignus nominis is that this action was formulated after the example of the actio Serviana. Smit explains that in her opinion the praetor did not shape the actio utilis after the actio Serviana, but after the action that the pledgor would have had against his debtor if he himself would have demanded performance from his debtor. Smit discusses the technique the praetor used, compares pignus nominis with assignment and proposes a reconstruction of the formula of the actio utilis that was given in case of pignus nominis.

Nascitur ex contumelia: What did contumelia in the actio iniuriarum really mean? (Janek Dreviskovsky)
DOI  10.1515/zrgr-2023-0004


Contumelia, which for the jurists was the definition of the delict iniuria, has been poorly understood by most modern scholarship. The term does not mean ‘contempt’ or any other attitude of the mind; instead, examination of all instances of the word contumelia predating 300 CE demonstrates that, in both lay and legal literature, it meant a kind of degradation or insult which, when judged against Roman rubrics of status and hierarchy, derogated from the honour of a free citizen. In juristic writings on iniuria, contumelia had an objective function, describing the typical fact-patterns proscribed by the praetorian edicts and rationalising those edicts’ piecemeal approach under one convenient lay concept. Contumelia was not iniuria’s mental requirement and, since it did not mean contempt, the delict was simply uninterested in whether a defendant had demonstrated a contemptuous or belittling attitude towards his victim.

De principis salute consulere: Zur Praxis der hochverräterischen Erforschung der Lebenserwartung des Kaisers oder des Namens seines Nachfolgers (Ulrich Manthe)
DOI 10.1515/zrgr-2023-0005


De principis salute consulere: The practice of highly treasonable exploration of the emperor’s life expectance or of his successor’s name. The article introduces two procedures of the fortune-telling exploration mentioned in Coll. 15,2,3, until now not described in detail in legal historical papers. The first procedure was an algorithm for determining the reigning emperor’s life expectance described in a 4th century magical papyrus, having a Chinese parallel text of the 3th or 4th century; though the Chinese algorithm was made for another use, there was a remarkably structural similarity to the papyrus algorithm. The second procedure was performed in 371 A. D. for determining the name of the still reigning emperor’s successor, imitating the Delphic oracle ritual; it was sometimes mentioned by Byzantine historians.

Zur Legitimität gentiler Fürsten bei ihren römischen Bürgern (Detlef Liebs) 
DOI 10.1515/zrgr-2023-0006


This article addresses the extent to which the Romans living in regions of the Roman Empire conquered by gentile people since the 5th century, regarded their rule by gentile princes as legitimate. The Romans there were generally willing to not just accept them as military victors but also to acknowledge their princes as their masters. In fact many representatives of the upper classes served their new rulers, while the lower classes benefited from a considerably lower tax burden. But resistance occurred when the Vandals attempted to convert their catholic Romans by force to their Arianism.

Berechtigende Verträge zugunsten Dritter im griechischen Recht? (Wolfgang Kaiser)
DOI 10.1515/zrgr-2023-0007


Contract in favour of a third party in Greek law. The article deals with the question of whether Greek law knew a contract in favour of a third party. For this purpose, inscriptions, literary sources and deeds from Greco-Roman Egypt are examined, which are presented in the literature as evidence for the existence of a contract in favour of a third party. The article comes to the conclusion that there is no reliable evidence for the existence of an entitling contract in favour of third parties in Greek law.

La versión griega de la constitución Imperatoriam en el manuscrito Parisinus gr. 1366 (Fernando Reinoso-Barero)
DOI 10.1515/zrgr-2023-0008


Examination of the Greek version of the constitution Imperatoriam (Βασιλικῆς) from the perspective of the seven manuscripts containing it, especially the most important of them, the Parisinus gr. 1366 which, inexplicably, was not used by the last editors of that text (Groningen 2010). We now transcribe the unpublished contents of this manuscript which demonstrate that (1.) the Βασιλικῆς was translated by Theophilus, and (2.) he included it as an introductory lesson within the first book of his Paraphrase. We also show here that the five manuscripts which have not preserved the Βασιλικῆς, nevertheless had it originally.


Zur Textkritik von D. 2,14,37 (Papir. 2 const.) (Bastian Zahn)
DOI 10.1515/zrgr-2023-0009


D. 2,14,37 (Papir. 2 const.) records a rescript by Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus prohibiting the relief of debts owed to the colony of Philippi. As preserved in the Codex Florentinus this text is corrupt, but it can be restored, based on the Vulgate manuscripts, the Basilica, and the scholia thereto.

Der praetor, der iudex und die Solidarobligationen (Philipp Schmieder)
DOI 10.1515/zrgr-2023-0010


Praetor, iudex and solidary obligations. In broad terms, in a classical Roman lawsuit the praetor took care of the law, the iudex saw to the evidence and facts. On a closer look, things are not that clear-cut. In some cases, it was up to the iudex to discern the ius civile, and some questions cross the distinction between law and fact. This study concentrates on the realms of the praetor and the iudex by the example of solidary obligations. It turns out that there were inconsistencies both in the delimitation of competences and the results: Some questions were dealt with by the praetor in one action, by the iudex in another, and answered differently.

Bekanntes und Neues zum römischen Vereinsrecht (Ulrike Babusiaux) [OPEN ACCESS]
DOI 10.1515/zrgr-2023-0011


Old and new insights regarding the Roman law of associations. In a new monograph, B. Zahn, Si quid universitati debetur. Forderungen und Schulden privater Personenvereinigungen im römischen Recht, 2021, argues that associations had no legal personality under Roman law. He thus challenges a well-accepted view of the term corpus as referring to legal personality of associations. The article retraces the arguments of the study with a special attention to the rich epigraphic evidence, and verifies their validity. Whereas most results of the author turn out to be well-founded, the paper attempts to deepen the interpretations of some inscriptions with regard to stipulations, fideicommissa and modus.

Pro Calatoria Themide Prozess der Iusta und Lebensbedingungen der Freigelassenen (Mariko Igimi)
DOI 10.1515/zrgr-2023-0012


Pro Calatoria Themide. Iusta Case and the Living Conditions of Freed Slaves. The Iusta Case has always been understood as a dispute in which Iusta was claiming her freeborn status (ingenua). Under this conception, however, some unsolved mysteries remain. The author tries to reconstruct the case from the perspective that Iusta was claiming to be a beneficiary of the fideicommissio of Stephanus as one of his freed slaves, by drawing a parallel with D. 34,16,1. Based on this understanding, the documents found in Casa del Bicentenario are, in accordance with Themis’ defence strategy, all in support of Stephanus’ widow who refused to pay the maintenance of the young Iusta for the rest of her life.

Die Autobiographie Gustav Hänels in einer Handschrift der Leipziger Universitätsbibliothek – Edition und Kommentar (Daniela Schulz & Dominik Trump)
DOI 10.1515/zrgr-2023-0013


The Autobiography of Gustav Hänel in a Manuscript from the Leipzig University Library – Edition and Commentary. Gustav Hänel (1792–1878) was a law professor in Leipzig, and is still famous for his numerous editions of early medieval Roman law texts. Besides a huge corpus of letters, there is also a handwritten autobiography kept in the Leipzig University Library (Cod. Haen. 58) as part of Hänel’s estate today. This autobiography not only contains personal information, but bears witness to 19th century Europe (and beyond). Since the document has hitherto scarcely been considered by research, an edition is provided here for the first time ever.

Klaus Hallof und die Berliner Inscriptiones Graecae (Gerhard Thür) 
DOI 10.1515/zrgr-2023-0014


Klaus Hallof and the Berlin Inscriptiones Graecae. This contribution is a review of two volumes of the Berlin edition of the Corpus of the Ancient Greek Inscriptions. Especially one of them, number XII 4 (the islands Kos and Kalymna), has luckily come to an end after more than one century’s work. Klaus Hallof, who has overseen the ‘Arbeitsstelle’ of the IG at the Berlin Brandenburg Academy of Sciences since 1990, gave a final report of the problems in publishing that volume, the political and the objective ones. The paper is resuming these problems as far as legal historians are concerned. The technical problems of IG X 2,1s2 (Thessaloniki) are mentioned too.


  • Gregor Albers, Perpetuatio obligationis. Leistungspflicht trotz Unmöglichkeit im klassischen Recht (= Forschungen zum römischen Recht 61) (Peter Gröschler)
  • Raffaele d’Alessio, „Quasi sine tempore“. La dimensione atemporale nel diritto privato romano (Jörg Domisch)
  • Laura D’Amati, Dis Manibus (Sacrum). La sepoltura nel diritto della Roma pagana (Ulrike Babusiaux) [OPEN ACCESS]
  • Pamela Barmash, The Laws of Hammurabi. At the Confluence of Royal and Scribal Traditions (Guido Pfeifer)
  • René Brouwer, Law and philosophy in the late Roman republic (Roberto Fiori)
  • Capital, Investment, and Innovation in the Roman World, hg. von Paul Erdkamp/ Koenraad Verboven/Arjan Zuiderhoek (Constantin Willems)
  • Massimo Brutti, Iulius Paulus. Decretorum libri tres. Imperialium sententiarum in cognitionibus prolatarum libri sex (= Scriptores Iuris Romani 6) (Elsemieke Daalder)
  • Philipp Deeg, Der Kaiser und diPhilipp Deeg, Der Kaiser und die Katastrophe. Untersuchungen zum politischen Umgang mit Umweltkatastrophen im Prinzipat Iole Fargnolie Katastrophe. Untersuchungen zum politischen Umgang mit Umweltkatastrophen im Prinzipat (Iole Fargnoli)
  • Il diritto alla sepoltura nel Mediterraneo antico (Jörg Domisch)
  • Konstantinos Kapparis, Women in the Law Courts of Classical Athens (Alberto Maffi)
  • Legal engagement – The reception of Roman law and tribunals by Jews and other inhabitants of the empire (Doris Forster)
  • Scintilla de libro legum. Römisches Vulgarrecht unter den Merowingern. Die Fuldaer Epitome der Lex Romana Visigothorum, rekonstruiert, übersetzt und kommentiert von Detlef Liebs mit einem Beitrag von Gerhard Schmitz (Sebastian Scholz) [OPEN ACCESS]
  • Die Staatsverträge des Altertums. Vierter Band: Die Verträge der griechisch-römischen Welt von ca. 200 (Philipp Scheibelreiter)
  • The Oxford Handbook of Latin Palaeography (Serena Ammirati)
  • Leonardo Costantini, Apuleius Madaurensis, Metamorphoses, Book III: Text, Introduction, Translation, and Commentary (Islème Sassi) [OPEN ACCESS]
  • Sven Gunkel, §§ 1149, 1229 BGB als Ausgangspunkt [sic] für ein allgemeines Rechtsprinzip des Verfallverbots – Eine rechtshistorische, dogmatische und ökonomische Analyse der lex commissoria (Wolfgang Ernst)
  • Maria Miceli/Laura Solidoro, In tema di proprietà: Il modello romano nella tradizione giuridica (Martin Schermaier)
  • Edoardo Volterra, Senatus Consulta. A cura di Pierangelo Buongiorno/ Annarosa Gallo/Salvatore Marino (J. Michael Rainer)
  • Eingelangte Schriften und Neuerscheinungen (W. K.)
Im memoriam
  • Tycho Q. Mrsich (15. September 1925-22. August 2022) (Alfons Bürge)

Read the full issue here.

04 April 2024

JOURNAL: American Journal of Legal History LXIII (2023), No. 4 (Dec)


(image source: OUP)

The Abolition of the Right to Trial by Jury in Civil Cases in England (Charles S. Bullock)
DOI 10.1093/ajlh/njad028


Prior to 1854, jury trial was the exclusive mode of resolving cases involving disputed facts at common law. By 1935, the civil jury trial had been virtually eliminated in all but a few obscure types of tort action. This article consists of a detailed examination, based primarily on legislative sources and contemporary legal periodicals, of how the right to trial by jury in civil cases was abolished. The first concrete step towards jury abolition occurred in 1854, when litigants in high court cases were empowered to waive their right to jury trial in favour of trial by judge alone. Thereafter, a series of legislative acts and judicial rules incrementally transferred the power to choose the mode of trial in particular types of cases from litigants to trial judges, who routinely chose trial by judge alone.

Brave New World? Care and Custody of Cildren at the Court for Divorce and Matrimonial Causes in Mid-Victorian England (Penelope Russell)
DOI 10.1093/ajlh/njad029


This article considers the accessibility and impact of the mid-Victorian divorce court’s new custody powers, by tracing the children of those who petitioned the court within the first two years of the court’s establishment and contrasting this with court pleadings and orders. Focusing on the care of children by location as revealed by the census and other sources, this study then deals in more detail with individual cases to illustrate the experience of parties in divorce court processes for child custody. This study generates an original data set to find that, whereas the majority of resident female petitioners sought a custody order in the petition, only a minority ended up with an order. Three broad issues are addressed: the gendered nature of rights in respect of children on marital breakdown, the implications of legal remedies being accessed through male gatekeepers, and the exercise of discretion at the newly opened divorce court.

Banking Law in Italian Legal Consulting between the Fourteenth and the Fifteenth Centuries (Mario Conetti)
DOI 10.1093/ajlh/njad027


Banking operations in northern and central Italy between late fourteenth and early fifteenth century were very sophisticated and often gave rise to disputes involving the expertise only law professors could provide. To provide solutions which were at the same time viable and grounded in legal culture, lawyers went beyond merely practical considerations to work out legal institutions as a framework to banking activities. In doing so, they developed a proper banking law, a peculiar legal system.

In forma pauperis: Indentured Servitude, the Right to Counsel, and White Citizenship in the Seventeenth-Century Chesapeake (Anna Suranyi)
DOI 10.1093/ajlh/njad024


Indentured servitude was an exploitative form of coerced labor in England’s American colonies, but indentured servants were expected to join settler society after completing their terms of indenture, and they possessed clearly defined legal rights and protections in both English and colonial laws, even during their period of servitude. The masters and mistresses of indentured servants sometimes engaged in physical abuse and contractual fraud, but servants could sue their masters or mistresses in court without owing fees, a status termed in forma pauperis. Courts facilitated servant lawsuits and heeded procedural fairness, bringing in compensated witnesses, searching archival records, and even providing pro bono lawyers. It appears that most servants won their cases against their masters and mistresses, obtaining their freedom, their withheld freedom dues, or reimbursement for overlong terms of servitude. Indentured servants’ lawyers affirmed that their clients were rights-bearing members of society, persuasively utilizing terms such as ‘justice’ and ‘equity’ to represent their cases. The access of servants to legal recourse, the courts’ commitment to ensure due process and legal representation, and the frequent victories of servants over their masters demonstrated that indentured servants were regarded as valued members of colonial society in the Chesapeake, and in other colonial regions. Unlike enslaved people, who possessed neither legal rights nor access to the courts, white indentured servants possessed inherent, though limited, rights of freeborn subjects, even if from disenfranchised groups, such as women, children, or those of Irish origin. The legal and social distinctions between servitude and slavery began arising half a century before Bacon’s Rebellion in the 1670s, which is conventionally assumed to be a watershed event in the division between indentured servitude and slavery. The affirmation of the rights of indentured servants developed in parallel with the growth of slavery, and contributed to developing ideals of white citizenship.

Justice Kennedy’s Jurisprudence of Dignity: From Sovereign Immunity to Gay Rights
DOI 10.1093/ajlh/njad026


Although this article uses Obergefell v Hodges (2015) as its frame, it aims to bring out some distinctive features of Justice Kennedy’s jurisprudence of dignity more broadly. There are two reasons why such an investigation is important. The first is important to those interested in the legal case. Indeed, in Dobbs v Jackson Women’s Health (2022), the Court now argues that the relevant ‘test’ for determining whether a right is protected under the Due Process Clause is whether the right is found to be ‘deeply rooted’ in the nation’s history and tradition. This article aims to critique this decision, as well as originalist approaches to constitutional interpretation more broadly, and seeks to resurrect and reconstruct Kennedy’s jurisprudence of dignity that has undergirded (sometimes quietly) the expansion of civil rights protections to the LGBTQ+ community. The second reason this investigation is important is of interest to philosophers and legal historians. Dignity is a notoriously elusive concept, and much ink has been spilt trying to sort out the precise nature of its content and its boundaries. This article brings together the many (seemingly disparate) uses of dignity found across cases involving gay rights, abortion, and foreign sovereign immunity, and argues Kennedy effectively weaves these uses together in ways that may sharpen our understanding of dignity in both the philosophical and legal literatures.

Hoist by the Colonizer’s Own Device? Law Reporting in Mandatory Palestine (Yair Sagy & Eyal Katvan)
DOI  10.1093/ajlh/njad014


This article tells the history of the Palestine Law Reports series (PLR), introduced in 1934 to Mandate-ruled Palestine. It unearths discussions that preceded the PLR’s publications following a campaign for authorized law reporting launched by lawyers in Palestine in the 1920s to 1930s. Canvassing a broad institutional context for the emergence of the PLR, we argue that in launching the campaign local lawyers sought not only to render Palestinian common law more predictable and amenable to professional handling, but also to approximate the role granted in the metropole and the common law tradition to practicing lawyers in propagating binding precedents. Local lawyers wanted to have a slice of the action of creating a local common law and in designing the Palestinian legal landscape. Unsurprisingly, they were met with the opposition of Chief Justice McDonnell, who sought to control the PLR enterprise, resisting non-judicial involvement in its editing and production. Finally, the article argues that, regardless of McDonnell’s motivations, from an institutional point of view, his achievement in laying down a foundational institution for the generation of a local common law is momentous. He therefore emerges from our analysis as one of the chief architects of the common law in Palestine, and—to this day—in Israel.

International Legacies of a Century and a Half of the Case Method (Han-Ru Zhou)
DOI 10.1093/ajlh/njad025


Save the Constitution, the United States’s most famous legal export may well be the case method. This article pieces together the story of how CC Langdell’s brainchild was brought to the rest of the common law world in treading the momentous events and geopolitics of the last century and a half, and reflects on the lessons from this global experiment for the present and future of the case method. After initially attracting little attention overseas, the rise of the case method encountered its watershed in the post-war period. From then on, the method’s further expansion branched into two narratives: one in the Western world and the other in the former British African, Asian, and Caribbean colonies. The overseas experiments with the case method yielded some durable successes and cast a light on its singular ability to adapt to widely different environments. But mostly the picture is one of mixed results, especially outside the Western world, owing to a failure to devise an educational program adapted to the varying local circumstances. As with law itself, the teaching of law is inextricably tied to local idiosyncrasies and world politics, thus making the future of the case method as difficult to predict as it would have been for Langdell and his contemporaries. Today’s different national and international contexts from that of 1945 represent an opportunity to reassess the merits of the case method in our more mature legal and educational environments, freed from colonial and neocolonial agendas.

 Read the full issue here.