14 November 2018

CALL FOR PAPERS: MPI for European Legal History - 6th Colloquium on Crime and Criminal Justice in Early Modern and Modern Times, 23-25 September 2019 (DEADLINE: 1 May 2019)

The Max Planck Institute for European Legal History launched a call for papers for its 6th Colloquium on Crime and Criminal Justice in Early Modern and Modern Times. Here the call:

The 6th colloquium focuses on elites in a political, economic, social or cultural context, their role in the administration of justice and the legal system as well as specific forms of deviance and delinquency of such groups.

While recent studies have addressed violent crime of elites (e.g. feuds and duels) or the involvement of elites in white-collar crimes, the conference aims to also address further potential fields of research in order to gain comparative perspectives on the role and function of elites in the history of crime and criminal justice.

Please send a one-page abstract (max 300 words, German or English) with the title of the presentation and a brief summary of the content along with a short CV (one page) in one PDF file. In the case of panel proposals please send an abstract of the panel topic (max 200 words) together with abstracts of the individual presentations (max 300 words) and the corresponding short CVs in one PDF file as well. The presentations should not exceed 20 minutes and can be given in German or English.

The deadline for proposals is 1st May 2019.

For further information, please see Call 2019.

More information here

BOOK: Shiferaw BEKELE, Uoldelul Chelati DIRAR, Alessandro VOLTERRA & Massimo ZACCARIA (eds.), The First World War from Tripoli to Addis Ababa (1911-1924) [Corne de l'Afrique contemporaine/Contemporary Horn of Africa, vol. 6] (Addis Abeba: Centre français des études éthiopiennes, 2018), ISBN 9791036523786

(image source: openedition)

Book abstract:
For a long time now it has been common understanding that Africa played only a marginal role in the First World War. Its reduced theatre of operations appeared irrelevant to the strategic balance of the major powers. This volume is a contribution to the growing body of historical literature that explores the global and social history of the First World War. It questions the supposedly marginal role of Africa during the Great War with a special focus on Northeast Africa. In fact, between 1911 and 1924 a series of influential political and social upheavals took place in the vast expanse between Tripoli and Addis Ababa. The First World War was to profoundly change the local balance of power. This volume consists of fifteen chapters divided into three sections. The essays examine the social, political and operational course of the war and assess its consequences in a region straddling Africa and the Middle East. The relationship between local events and global processes is explored, together with the regional protagonists and their agency. Contrary to the myth still prevailing, the First World War did have both immediate and long-term effects on the region. This book highlights some of the significant aspects associated with it.
Table of contents:

  •  Introduction (Shiferaw Bekele, Uoldelul Chelati Dirar, Alessandro Volterra & Massimo Zaccaria)

    International and Regional Politics/Developments
  • Great War Intrigues in the Horn of Africa (Patrick Gilkes & Martin Plaut)
  • WWI in the Middle East and Africa: Nationalist Movements in a Formative Age (Haggai Erlich)
  • Aftershocks of the First World War in the Nile Valley (Anne-Claire de Gayffier-Bonneville)
  • Transnationalism from Below after the First World War: The Case of the 1924 Revolution in Anglo-Egyptian Sudan (Elena Vezzadini)
  • Ethiopia, International Law and the First World War. Considerations of Neutrality and Foreign Policy by the European Powers, 1840-1919 (Jakob Zollmann)

    Colonial Policies
  • Why did the Italians go to Libya? (Andrea Ungari)
  • Askaris and the Great War. Colonial Troops Recruited in Libya for the War but Never Sent to the Austrian Front (Alessandro Volterra)
  • Feeding the War: Canned Meat Production in the Horn of Africa and the Italian Front (Massimo Zaccaria)
  • The First World War Seen from Djibouti: Controlling, Recruiting, Enlisting (Laurent Jolly)
  • Living the War Far Away from the Front: Creating Territories around Djibouti (Simon Imbert-Vier)

    Local Agencies and the War
  • Claiming Islamic Authenticity. The Ḫatmīya Sufi order confronting WWI (Silvia Bruzzi)
  • “Our delight is for the amir of the English”: a Bornoan history of the First World War (North-Eastern Nigeria) (Rémi Dexière & Vincent Hiribarren)
  • World War I and the Perspective of a Hashemite Order in Yemen. Study of the Chronicle of Ismā‛īl b. Muḥammad al-Washalī (Juliette Honvault)
  • Writing WWI with African Gazes. The Great War Through the Writing of Tigrinya Speaking Expatriates (Uoldelul Chelati Dirar)
  • The Italian community of Tunisia: From Libyan Colonial Ambitions to the First World War (Gabriele Montalbano)
The book is available in open access (HTML-version). The PDF and print versions are dependent on library subscriptions to the openedition-platform.

More information here.

(source: ESILHIL-blog)

13 November 2018

SUMMER SCHOOL: Max Planck Summer Academy for Legal History, 5-16 August 2019 (DEADLINE: 31 January 2019)

The Max Planck Institute for European Legal History launched a call for applications for its annual summer school PhD candidates.

Since 2014, the Institute has organised the annual Max Planck Summer Academy for Legal History. Its aim is to provide roughly 20 early-stage researchers, usually PhD students, from all over the world with an in-depth introduction to basic approaches and methods of research in legal history.

The Summer Academy is intended to develop the ability of its participants to transfer legal terminologies and theories across linguistic and cultural contexts, thus providing a basis to build and consolidate international research networks.

It addresses highly motivated early-stage researchers, usually PhD candidates, with an interest in the basic research of historical formation and transformations of law and other normative orders.
The Summer Academy consists of two parts. The first part provides an introduction to the study of sources, methodological principles, as well as theoretical models and controversial research debates on basic research fields of legal history. In the second part, the participants discuss the special research theme and develop their own approach to the topic.

The next course takes place from 5 August 2019 - 16 August 2019 at the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.


Researchers and fellows of the Institute alongside invited guest speakers give introductions to the manifold facets, sources, theoretical foundations, research perspectives and methodologies of the different subfields of Legal History.

  • Antiquity and Roman Law
  • Ius Commune - Legists
  • Ius Commune - Canonists
  • History of Private Law
  • History of Common Law
  • History of Criminal Law
  • Constitutional History
  • Legal History of Ibero-America
  • Legal Transfer in the Common Law World
  • Contemporary Legal History
  • History of International Law
  • History of European Union Law
  • Legal Theory
As a summer academy should not consist of academic activities only, a variety of extra-curricular activities, such as visits to nearby historical sites and several get-togethers in the evenings are offered.

This years's theme: Law in Texts and Contexts

Written texts represent the largest part of the sources of legal history. Obviously, they cannot be understood without their respective historical contexts. In recent decades, however, there has been a growing awareness that they must also be read with specific attention to their mediality and their interrelation with visual and oral sources as well as objects and artifacts. Historians, but also legal theorist, are reflecting more intensively about textuality and normativity, and digital humanities seem to hold great opportunities for legal historical research. What do this developments mean for legal historical research, and its specific task?

Applicants to the 2019 Summer Academy are encouraged to present research projects that give special consideration to the connection between normativity and textuality.


5 August -16 August 2019


Applications are to be sent by 31 January 2019.

Eligilibity Requirements

  • Early-stage graduates, usually PhD candidates
  • Working knowledge of English is required; German is not a prerequisite

Required documents for the application are a CV, a project summary (approx. 10 pages) and a letter of motivation.


There is no participation fee. Accommodation will be provided by the organisers. Participants, however, will be responsible for covering their travel expenses. There will be a limited number of scholarships available.

More information here

12 November 2018

CALL FOR PAPERS: Fourth Illinois-Bologna conference on Constitutional History: Comparative Perspectives, Chicago 29-30 April 2019 (DEADLINE: 15 December 2018)

Via the Legalscholarshipblog, we learned of a CFP for the 4th Illinois-Bologna conference on Constitutional History. Here the call:

Paper proposals are invited for the Fourth Illinois-Bologna conference on Constitutional History: Comparative Perspectives. The conference will be held in Chicago on April 29 & 30, 2019. The conference is sponsored by University of Illinois College of LawUniversity of Bologna School of Law, and Johns Hopkins Center for Constitutional Studies and Democratic Development.

The full call can be found here. Proposals are due by December 15, 2018.

BOOK: William A. SCHABAS, The Trial of the Kaiser (Oxford University Press, 2018). ISBN 9780198833857, $34.95

(Source: OUP)

Oxford University Press is publishing a book on the failed attempts to bring Kaiser Wilhelm II to justice in the aftermath of World War I.


In the immediate aftermath of the armistice that ended the First World War, the Allied nations of Britain, France, and Italy agreed to put the fallen German Emperor Kaiser Wilhelm II on trial, in what would be the first ever international criminal tribunal. In Britain, Lloyd George campaigned for re-election on the slogan 'hang the Kaiser', but the Italians had only lukewarm support for a trial, and there was outright resistance from the United States. 

During the Peace Conference, international lawyers gathered for the first time to debate international criminal justice. They recommended trial of the Kaiser by an international tribunal for war crimes, and the Americans relented, agreeing to a trial for a 'supreme offence against international morality'. However, the Kaiser had fled to the Netherlands where he obtained asylum, and though the Allies threatened a range of measures if the former Emperor was not surrendered, the Dutch refused and the demands were dropped in March 1920.

This book, from renowned legal scholar William A. Schabas, sheds light on perhaps the most important international trial that never was. Schabas draws on numerous primary sources hitherto unexamined in published work, including transcripts which vividly illuminate this period of international law making. As such, he has written a book which constitutes a history of the very beginnings of international criminal justice, a history which has never before been fully told.


William A. SchabasProfessor of International Law, Middlesex University in London

William A. Schabas is professor of international law at Middlesex University in London. He is also professor of international human law and human rights at Leiden University, distinguished visiting faculty at Sciences Po in Paris, and honorary chairman of the Irish Centre for Human Rights. Professor Schabas holds BA and MA degrees in history from the University of Toronto and LLB, LLM and LLD degrees from the University of Montreal, as well as several honorary doctorates. He is the author of more than twenty books in the fields of human rights and international criminal law. Professor Schabas drafted the 2010 and 2015 United Nations quinquennial reports on the death penalty. He was a member of the Sierra Leone Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Professor Schabas is an Officer of the Order of Canada and a member of the Royal Irish Academy since 2007.


1. The Power of the Beaten Path
2. 'Hang the Kaiser'
3. Kaiserdammerung
4. Making the Case in International Law
5. Britain, France, and Italy Agree to Try the Kaiser
6. The Dutch are Divided
7. Aborted Kidnap
8. The Commission on Responsibilities
9. Prosecuting Crimes Against Peace
10. International Law and War Crimes
11. An International Criminal Court
12. The Council of Virgins
13. Finalising the Treaty of Versailles
14. Implementing Article 227
15. Readying the Case for Trial
16. The Kaiser in Limbo
17. Demand for Surrender
18. Was he Guilty?

More information here

09 November 2018

YOUTUBE: Inaugural Lecture by Paul J. DuPlessis (Edinburgh), "Reflections on the Future Past" (OCT 2018)

Lecture abstract:
As one of the most sophisticated legal cultures of the ancient Mediterranean, Roman law has been an enduring source of intellectual influence upon legal scholars across the ages. Much like the art, architecture, literature, and languages of the Greco-Roman world, the Romans and their culture feel strangely familiar even in 2018. This sense of familiarity is not the product of historical chance. It forms part of an evolving narrative concerning the medieval origins of law teaching in the universities of Northern Italy during the eleventh century. Since then, as the cornerstone of legal education for more than a millennium, the study of Roman law has fulfilled many different functions, whether as a component of the medieval European ius commune, the foundations of natural law in the early-modern period or a repository of positivist rules in the late nineteenth century. Moreover, although one might expect such a narrative to be thoroughly researched and utterly stable after such a length of time, the past changes frequently as discoveries come to light, and as new interpretations of the significance of historical events are put forward. Much work remains to be done, therefore, on the broader historical narrative, the ideologies as well as the societal forces (economic, social, political and otherwise), that drove the adoption or rejection of particular Roman legal rules in the past. But the study of Roman law is not merely an exercise in legal archaeology. Although the events of the twentieth century have affected the relationship between Roman law and modern law, history did not end with codification, and Roman law continues to exert a powerful influence on contemporary legal development. This lecture aims to assess the scope and function of this influence against the backdrop of contemporary debates about the nature of Scots law and the role of history in the development of law more generally.

CALL FOR PAPERS: 2019 John Locke Conference, Helsinki 29-31 July 2019 (DEADLINE: December 31, 2018)

We learned of a Call for Papers for the 2019 John Locke Conference at the University of Helsinki.

2019 John Locke Conference, University of Helsinki, July 2019


University of Helsinki, Finland
July 29-31, 2019


The aim of the second official conference of the John Locke Society (JLS) is to foster interactions among Locke scholars from different disciplines and encourage the development of new scholarship on Locke’s works. Abstracts (of no more than 750 words) on any topic pertaining to Locke are due by DECEMBER 31, 2018 and can be sent to Final papers should be no longer than 5000 words. The full program will be made available in February 2019. Further information regarding the conference, accommodation options, and other practical matters will be available at that time.

Or­gan­iz­ing com­mit­tee:

Vili Lähteenmäki (University of Helsinki)
Douglas Casson (St. Olaf College)
Antonia Lolordo (University of Virginia)
Shelley Weinberg (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)

More information here

BOOK: Jaakko HUSA, Advanced Introduction to Law and Globalisation [Elgar Advanced Introductions series] (Cheltenham; E. Elgar, 2018), 192 p. ISBN 9781788974158, 12,76 GBP

(Image source: Elgar)

Book abstract:
This Advanced Introduction offers a fresh critical analysis of various dimensions of law and globalisation, drawing on historical, normative, theoretical, and linguistic methodologies. Its comprehensive and multidisciplinary approach spans the fields of global legal pluralism, comparative legal studies, and international law.
1. Defining law and globalisation
2. Globalisations in time
3. Comparative law and global law
4. Globalising legalities
5. Theorising globally
6. Methodological views
7. Educating lawyers
8. Language of law and legal globalisation
9. Conclusion Index 
More information with the publisher.

08 November 2018

JOURNAL: Revue historique de droit français et étranger 2018/2

(image source: IHD)

The Revue historique de droit français et étranger published its second issue of 2018.

Table of contents:
Axel Degoy, "Lumineux Moyen Âge. Les avocats au parlement de Paris et la légalité pénale à l’époque de Charles VI et d’Henri VI de Lancastre (1380-1436)"
Rafel Ramis-Barcelo, "El concepto de sapientia civilis en el siglo XVI"
Nicole Dyonet, " Delamare : du paradigme au concept de police"
Jean-Paul Andrieux, " Les couleurs du droit (I/II). Note de lecture"
Comptes-rendus de lecture
Full table of contents here.

BOOK: Matt DYSON & Benjamin VOGEL, The Limits of Criminal Law. Anglo-German Concepts and Principles (Cambridge/Antwerp: Intersentia, 2018), XXXII + 598 p. ISBN 9781780686615, € 99

(image source: Intersentia)

Book abstract:
The Limits of Criminal Law shines light from the outer edges of the criminal law in to better understand its core. From a framework of core principles, different borders are explored to test out where criminal law’s normative or performative limits are, in particular, the borders of crime with tort, non-criminal enforcement, medical law, business regulation, administrative sanctions, counter-terrorism and intelligence law. The volume carefully juxtaposes and compares English and German law on each of these borders, drawing out underlying concepts and key comparative lessons. Each country offers insights beyond their own laws. This double perspective sharpens readers’ critical understanding of the criminal law, and at the same time produces insights that go beyond the perspective of one legal tradition. The book does not promote a single normative view of the limits of criminal law, but builds a detailed picture of the limits that exist now and why they exist now. This evidence-led approach is particularly important in an ever more interconnected world in which different perceptions of criminal law can lead to profound misunderstandings between countries. The Limits of Criminal Law builds picture of what shapes the criminal law, where those limits come from, and what might motivate legal systems to strain, ignore or strengthen those limits. Some of the most interesting insights come out of the comparison between German systematic approach and doctrinal limits with English law’s focus on process and judgment on individual questions.
On the authors:
Matthew Dyson is an Associate Professor in the Faculty of Law, University of Oxford. He is an associate member of 6KBW College Hill Chambers, a Research Fellow of the Utrecht Centre for Accountability and Liability Law and Vice President of the European Society for Comparative Legal History. Benjamin Vogel is Senior Research Fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Criminal Law in Freiburg, Germany. He is Assistant Editor of the Foreign Review of the Zeitschrift für die gesamte Straf-rechtswissenschaft. 
A free preview of the table of contents and preliminary pages is accessible here.

More information with the publisher.

BOOK: Christine HAYES, Our Friends the Enemies. The Occupation of France after Napoleon (Cambridge (Mass.): Harvard UP, 2018), 416 p. ISBN 9780674972315, € 36

(image source: HUP)

Book abstract:
The Napoleonic wars did not end with Waterloo. That famous battle was just the beginning of a long, complex transition to peace. After a massive invasion of France by more than a million soldiers from across Europe, the Allied powers insisted on a long-term occupation of the country to guarantee that the defeated nation rebuild itself and pay substantial reparations to its conquerors. Our Friends the Enemies provides the first comprehensive history of the post-Napoleonic occupation of France and its innovative approach to peacemaking. From 1815 to 1818, a multinational force of 150,000 men under the command of the Duke of Wellington occupied northeastern France. From military, political, and cultural perspectives, Christine Haynes reconstructs the experience of the occupiers and the occupied in Paris and across the French countryside. The occupation involved some violence, but it also promoted considerable exchange and reconciliation between the French and their former enemies. By forcing the restored monarchy to undertake reforms to meet its financial obligations, this early peacekeeping operation played a pivotal role in the economic and political reconstruction of France after twenty-five years of revolution and war. Transforming former European enemies into allies, the mission established Paris as a cosmopolitan capital and foreshadowed efforts at postwar reconstruction in the twentieth century.
 On the author:
Christine Haynes is Associate Professor of History, University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Table of contents here.

(more information at Harvard UP)
(source: ESILHIL Blog)

BOOKS IN OPEN ACCESS: Book Series "Etudes et rencontres", Ecole Nationale des Chartes (Paris) on

(image source: openedition)

The Ecole Nationale des Chartes publishes its book series Etudes et rencontres on The text can be read for free in html. PDF-versions are accessible after paying a (modest) sum.

An example of this is the volume Une histoire de la mémoire judiciaire (edited by Olivier Poncet; DOI 10.4000/books.enc.1556).

Book abstract:
Si dans la mythologie grecque Clio est bien fille de Mémoire, une histoire de la mémoire judiciaire procède, à l’inverse, de la mémoire à son histoire, de l’Antiquité à nos jours. Associant archivistes, historiens, historiens du droit et juristes, ce volume met l’accent sur les questions d’enregistrement et de mémoire directement induites par l’activité des juges et des tribunaux. De l’écriture aux hommes qui tiennent la plume, de la production des actes aux lieux et aux aléas de leur conservation, de la mémoire judiciaire à ses usages ou à son utilité, trois points de vue convergents sont ainsi privilégiés pour explorer une question aux fortes implications contemporaines : la mise par écrit des actes de la vie judiciaire, la conservation pour « mémoire » des actes, enfin l’exploitation de cette mémoire institutionnelle pour l’écriture de l’histoire et l’apparition éventuelle d’autres formes, parallèles ou concurrentes, de mémoire de la vie judiciaire.
More information here.

(source: RBMLF)

BOOK REVIEW: Michael GEYER (Chicago) reviews Jennifer PITTS, Boundaries of the International (H-Net)

Michael Geyer (Chicago) reviewed Jennifer Pitt's Boundaries of the International, announced earlier on this blog.

First paragraph:
It is a categorical error to conceive of the global society of nations as a European system of states writ large. The world is not Europe; it never has been and never will be. Neither does the world follow Europe’s model; not even Europe follows its own purported model. Jennifer Pitts’s remarkable study, The Boundaries of the International, calls this categorical fallacy “parochial universalism” and demonstrates that it has deep roots in European thought.[1]
Read further here.

BOOK: Augusto ZIMMERMANN, Christian Foundations of the Common Law, Volume 3: Australia (Brisbane: Connor Court Publishing, 2018). ISBN 9781925826159, $29.95

(Source: Pellowe Talk)

Connor Court Publishing has just published the 3rd volume of a 3 volume-work by Professor Augusto Zimmermann on Christian Foundations of the Common Law. Volume I (on England) can be found here, Volume II (on the United States) can be found here. The current volume deals with Australia.


“In his latest tome, ‘Christian Foundations of the Common Law’, Dr Augusto Zimmermann rediscovers the Christian roots of the English, American and Australian legal systems. With scholarly acuity, this work skilfully uncovers how great thinkers in Western Civilization understood the cultural importance of these self-evident truths to society and good governance under the rule of law. At a time when perhaps we need it most, Zimmermann shows how Christian ideas like ‘natural law’, ‘natural rights’ and ‘natural justice’, contributed to the development of the common law. In doing so, Dr Zimmermann’s work convincingly confirms for us that ideas informed by the Bible influenced in important ways the development of the Common Law, and indeed, the preservation of freedom and justice. Woven through the very readable chapters of this book is a profound understanding of an ancient sacred premise: God revealed moral absolutes in His Word, and placed these truths on the human heart”.–William Wagner, Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Law, Western Michigan University, U.S.A., Former U.S. Federal Judge & U.S. Diplomat, President, Salt & Light Global

“Professor Zimmermann’s book is striking in its depth and breadth.  Not since Harold Berman’s volumes on Law and Revolution has such a mammoth task been undertaken.  Berman’s positive influence is clear in the way Zimmermann systematically and incontrovertibly demonstrates the Christian roots of the common law in Australia, England and the US.  Yet Zimmermann goes further than Berman in at least two respects.  First, he delves deeply into three particular jurisdictions and focuses on influential political figures in an enlightening way.  Second, Zimmermann skilfully takes into account recent developments in Western politics and culture and a broad range of contemporary scholarship in theology, legal theory and history, philosophy and constitutional law.  This book is therefore informative for scholars and laity alike, and essential reading for a legal community which seems content to drift ever further from its Christian origins.  I highly recommend it.” — Dr Alex Deagon FHEA, Senior Lecturer in Law, Queensland University of Technology, Author of ‘From Violence to Peace: Theology, Law and Community’

“Professor Augusto Zimmermann has produced an extremely helpful book in which he carefully demonstrates the indissociable Christian origins of the common law. This is a most timely publication, particularly in the context of contemporary discourse that attempts to relativise religious influence. Professor Zimmermann traces how many of our current freedoms within a broad, plural, public square can be attributed to a rich seam of Christian philosophical influence that has evidently infused the development of the common law in different jurisdictions. In my view, this is essential reading for students and scholars alike who seek a fuller appreciation as to the origins of the common law.” — Simon McCrossan LL.M, Barrister, UK, Head of Public Policy, Evangelical Alliance UK

“If we forget our history we are destined to repeat mistakes of the past. If we are not truthful about our history we cannot understand our present. It is popular today to attempt to whitewash the positive influence of religion not only from the present but also from the past. The idea that law is morally neutral and that religion generally and Christianity, in particular, is a force of evil and not good has become popular in Australia’s mainstream press and embraced by politicians and academics. In this excellent book, Dr Zimmermann carefully lays out for the reader an easily digestible and highly readable account of the Christian roots of the common law in England, the United States and Australia. His book is a very valuable addition to Australian works on legal history and will assist not only lawyers and law students but all interested readers to better understand why our legal system is as it is. The work also provides an understanding of the dangers of forgetting the common laws roots in Christianity and in particular in the use of reason grounded in faith. It demands publication”. — Michael Quinlan, Dean & Professor of Law, The University of Notre Dame Australia, (Sydney)

“I very much enjoyed reading this book by Dr Augusto Zimmermann. I think the book has the great potential to have a timeless impact and its historical overview of the Christian foundations of the common law and the laws of the U.S. and Australia is thorough, important and timely. In sum, this is an excellent and timely work, for which I deeply commend its author”. — Michael V. Hernandez, Dean & Professor of Law, Regent University School of Law, U.S.A.

“Awareness of history is the most serious casualty of our age. If it is taught at all, it is too often restricted to topical issues and current events in isolation from their larger context. In the legal profession, for example, few practitioners fully appreciate the huge dependence of the Common Law on Christian principles; Christian moral theology and philosophy lie at the very heart of western jurisprudence.  Professor Zimmermann’s wonderful book outlines these connections, confidently ranging over an enormous and ambitious body of material and setting them out with lucidity and grace.  Such a book is a treasure, much needed and long overdue”. — David Daintree AM, Director, The Christopher Dawson Centre for Cultural Studies (Tasmania), Author of ‘Soul of the West: Christianity and the Great Tradition’

“This is an eminently readable book which should be read by law students, legal academics, practising lawyers and the judiciary. I also recommend the book to those who, although they may not have been trained in the rigorous discussion of legal and moral issues, are nevertheless interested in understanding the legal, philosophical and Christian roots of our legal system. Hence, it is with pleasure that I recommend this book to the widest possible readership. This book is erudite, informative, well-written and researched and most importantly, it is a timely reminder of the Christian heritage of the Common Law that has served us so well for many centuries”. — Gabriël A. Moens, Emeritus Professor of Law, The University of Queensland, Former Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Law Dean, Murdoch University

“Attempts to limit the scope of public discourse to the strictly secular are pushing Christianity and its conception of the “good life” to the margins of society. At a time when religious belief is increasingly cast as a matter of private opinion that can have no bearing on the shaping of policy, Augusto Zimmermann issues a timely reminder that one of our foundational institutions – the Common Law – is deeply rooted in Christianity. This important book is both a scholarly account of those roots and a warning of the threats the Common Law tradition will face if Western civilisation slips its Christian moorings”. — Peter Kurti, Research Fellow, Religion and Civil Society Program, The Centre for Independent Studies (Sydney)

“In an age of cynicism, apathy and despair Professor Zimmermann’s book comes as a fresh and timely reminder to not neglect the legal and parliamentary Christian foundations of our nation. With well researched material, this book documents how the history of Common Law is intrinsically intertwined with the Christian faith. It is a very enlightening, inspiring and encouraging contribution, documenting this important aspect of Australia’s Christian heritage. Every Australian needs to read it to appreciate our heritage of freedom, which one hundred thousand Australians sacrificed their lives to defend in two world wars”. — Dr Graham McLennan, Chairman, National Alliance of Christian Leaders (NACL), Joint Founder, Christian History Research website (

“From the perspective of a practitioner whose daily routine is arguing in court, Augusto Zimmermann’s Christian Foundations of the Common Law, with its encyclopaedic English, American and Australian perspective, is an elegant commentary on the relation between the law and ideas, both theological and philosophical. The part devoted to the United States is particularly significant for the rest of the common law world whose law is so much influenced by that country. This is a must read book for anyone who wishes to understand where we are and where we came from.” — Michael McAuley, President, St Thomas More Society (Australia), Barrister, Selborne Chambers (Sydney)

“We are indebted to Augusto Zimmermann for his magnificent account of the role played by Christian philosophy in the development of the legal systems of England, the U.S. and Australia. This is a highly significant and original work, written with great clarity and directness yet displaying profound historical and theological scholarship. It is especially relevant in our times when scant attention is paid to the contribution of Christian values and beliefs to human life. This book will enrich the understanding of many, but it will also challenge and irritate that realm of secularist thought that sees Christianity as a dark and sinister presence on the human condition” — Michael Mc Mahon OMI, Department of Religious Education and English, Mazenod College, Perth

“Professor Zimmermann’s book is outstanding in its breadth and depth. The Christian influence on the legal institutions that have come to define the West is proven beyond doubt in this work. Zimmermann’s study brings together not just the best historical, legal, and philosophical analyses on the question of the origins and evolution of the West’s legal traditions, but also offers original insights of its own. More and more, in spite of the declarations of secularist triumphalists, we are discovering that the institutions that have brought so much freedom and stability to the West are indeed a result of a complex set of historical traditions and practices evolving in dialogue with Christian institutions and ideas. If it is perilous for a civilisation to forget the traditions that have nourished and animated its most successful and valuable institutions, then Zimmermann’s book is not merely a fascinating read but also indispensable for the task of preserving modern liberties against various creeping totalitarianisms, secularist and religious.” — Dr Stephen Chavura B.A. (Hons. I), Ph.D. (UNE), Senior Research Associate, Department of Modern History and Politics, Macquarie University, Sydney.

“At a time when Christianity is being pushed out of the public square, Dr Zimmermann’s latest book is a timely and important antidote to the modern myth that our common law rights emerged from thin air or was a gift from international bodies like the United Nations. In fact, as Dr Zimmermann’s historical analysis reveals, the reason we have a public square is that of early English legal developments driven by theologians and Christian jurists. Dr Zimmermann has yet again made an important contribution to the legal literature which should be required reading by all first year law students (as well as the lecturers!)”. –Morgan Begg, Research Fellow, Institute of Public Affairs (Melbourne)

“Christianity, history and law all get a bad rap nowadays. They are ignored, denounced or misrepresented. Yet all three are vital to modern democracies, and all three are closely related as Dr Zimmerman so brilliantly demonstrates in this important volume. This exceedingly thorough, well-researched, and well-written book is essential reading for those who would see faith and freedom retain their much-needed role in Western society”. — Bill Muehlenberg, CultureWatch, Author of ‘Modern Conservative Thought’

More information here

BOOK: Katie BARCLAY, Men on Trial : Performing Emotion, Embodiment and Identity in Ireland, 1800-45 (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2018). ISBN 978-1-5261-3292-5, £75.00

Manchester University Press is publishing a book on the “performance of 'the self' within the early nineteenth-century courtroom and its implications for law, society and nation”


Men on trial explores how the Irish perform 'the self' within the early nineteenth-century courtroom and its implications for law, society and nation. Drawing on new methodologies from the history of emotion, as well as theories of performativity and performative space, it emphasises that manliness was not simply a cultural ideal, but something practised, felt and embodied. Men on trial explores how gender could be a creative dynamic in productions of power. Targeted at scholars in Irish history, law and gender studies, this book argues that justice was not simply determined through weighing evidence, but through weighing men, their bodies, behaviours, and emotions. Moreover, in a context where the processes of justice were publicised in the press for the nation and the world, manliness and its role in the creation of justice became implicated in the making of national identity.


Katie Barclay is a Senior Lecturer in the ARC Centre for Excellence in the History of Emotions and Department of History, University of Adelaide


Opening speeches: an introduction
1. Law and lawyers: 'the prerogative of the wig'
2. The stage: 'the court presented a very imposing spectacle'
3. Bodies in court: 'Hogarth would have admired him forever'
4. Speech, sympathy and eloquence: 'it is a voice full of manly melody'
5. The cross-examination: 'he's putting me in such a doldrum'
6. Storytelling: 'quoting the poet'
7. On character: 'you see McDonnell the value of a good character'
Closing arguments: a conclusion
Select Bibliography

More information here

BOOK: Philippa BYRNE, Justice and Mercy: Moral Theology and the Exercise of Law in Twelfth-Century England (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 2018). ISBN 978-1-5261-2536-1, £90.00

Manchester University Press is publishing a new book on 12th century law in England


This book examines one of the most fundamental issues in twelfth-century English politics: justice. It demonstrates that during the foundational period for the common law, the question of judgement and judicial ethics was a topic of heated debate – a common problem with multiple different answers. How to be a judge, and how to judge well, was a concern shared by humble and high, keeping both kings and parish priests awake at night. Using theological texts, sermons, legal treatises and letter collections, the book explores how moralists attempted to provide guidance for uncertain judges. It argues that mercy was always the most difficult challenge for a judge, fitting uncomfortably within the law and of disputed value. Shining a new light on English legal history, Justice and mercy reveals the moral dilemmas created by the establishment of the common law.


Philippa Byrne is British Academy Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Oxford


Prologue: the vanishing adulteress
1 Introduction
2 The problem with mercy: theology
3 The problem with mercy: law
4 Twelfth-century models of justice and mercy
5 Who should be merciful?
6 Judgement in practice: the church
7 Histories of justice: the crown, persuasion and lordship
8 Love your enemies? Popular mercy in a vengeance culture
9 Conclusion

More information here

JOB: Postdoctoral Researcher (University of Helsinki: Centre of Excellence in Law, Identity and the European Narratives)

(image source: Tripadvisor)
The University of Helsinki is the oldest and largest institution of academic education in Finland, an international scientific community of 40,000 students and researchers. In international university rankings, the University of Helsinki typically ranks among the top 100. The University of Helsinki seeks solutions for global challenges and creates new ways of thinking for the best of humanity.
The Faculty of Arts ( of the University of Helsinki is Finland’s oldest institution for teaching and research in the humanities and the largest in terms of the structure and range of disciplines. It is also a significant international community fostering research, education and cultural interaction.
The Faculty of Arts invites applications for the position of
for a four-year fixed term period from 1 January 2019 onwards (or as agreed) to contribute to the subproject Migration and the narrative of Europe as an “Area of freedom, security and justice” of the Centre of Excellence (CoE) in Law, Identity and the European Narratives (EuroStorie,
The CoE is a part of the Centre of European Studies at the Department of Political and Economic Studies of the Faculty of Social Sciences. The purpose of the CoE is to launch a new, third generation inquiry that critically explores the emergence of narratives of Europe as responses to the crises of the twentieth century and how these narratives have shaped the ideas of justice and community in Europe. It studies the foundational stories that underlie the contested idea of a shared European heritage in law and culture, such as the ideas of rule of law, equality, tolerance, pluralism and the rejection of totalitarianism, and their relevance for current debates on identity and history.
The subproject Migration and the narrative of Europe as an “Area of freedom, security and justice” constitutes one of three subprojects of the CoE. The subproject tackles such topics as the role of broadly understood forced displacement in the production of the idea of Europe and, on more abstract level, in generating scientific knowledge and cultural and political ideas; the idea of Europe and European democracy, human rights and the rule of law, emerging from the experience of historical and contemporary exiles, refugees and asylum seekers; the idea of Europe developed under the conditions of forced displacement in relation to the official narratives of the policy papers produced under the auspices of the Council of Europe and the European Union.
An appointee to the position must hold a doctoral degree in one of disciplines relevant to the project theme (including but not limited to international human rights law, anthropology, human geography), the ability to conduct independent scientific research and possess the teaching skills required for the position. The candidate should preferably have strong experience in ethnographic and post-colonial methodologies. The period following the completion of doctoral degree must not exceed five years, excluding family leave and equivalent periods of absence. An appointee must be able to provide a clear contribution to the theme of the CoE and to its general development, together with full-time researchers, postdocs, visiting faculty, Ph.D. students, and graduate students working as research assistants. To fulfil the research requirements of the position, the applicant chosen is expected to be physically present on a regular basis and actively participate in the research and teaching activities of the CoE. An appointee is expected to contribute 2-5 months of the annual work time to joint projects at the CoE, develop her/his own and our common research agenda, and contribute to collective academic tasks such as teaching, seminars and joint academic papers.
Annual gross salary for a postdoctoral researcher varies between 41,000 and 50,000 euros, depending on the appointee’s qualifications and experience. There is a six-month trial period for the position.
Health care services and standard Finnish pension benefits are provided for the University employees.
Please submit your application, together with the required attachments, through the University of Helsinki Recruitment System via the Apply for the position button below. Applicants who are employees of the University of Helsinki are requested to leave their application via the SAP HR portal.
Applicants are requested to enclose with their applications the following documents in English as a single pdf file:
1) A curriculum vitae (max 4 pages).
2) A numbered list of publications on which the applicant has marked in bold her or his five key publications to be considered during the review.
3) A statement (max 2 pages) outlining how the applicant’s expertise could contribute both to research conducted at the CoE and to this specific subproject.
4) A summary (max 2 pages) on the applicant’s scholarly activities including original research at an international level, international academic networks, local co-operation, success in obtaining research funding, experience in research management.
Instructions to applicants for teaching and research positions, please
Further information on the position, and about research theme Migration and the narrative of Europe as an “Area of freedom, security and justice” may be obtained from Dr. Magdalena Kmak, Further information about the recruitment process can be obtained from HR Specialist Anni Kauppinen, Technical support for using the University’s electronic recruitment system or the SAP HR portal:
More information here. The application did not contain any specific deadline, but was posted on Monday 29 October 2018.
(source: ESILHIL Blog)

07 November 2018

BOOK: Jon ELSTER, Roberto GARGARELLA, Vatsal NARESH & Bjorn Erik RASCH (eds.), Constituent Assemblies [Comparative Constitutional Law and Policy] (Cambridge: CUP, 2018), ISBN 9781108427524, 85 GBP

(image source: CUP)

Book abstract:
Comparative constitutional law has a long pedigree, but the comparative study of constitution-making has emerged and taken form only in the last quarter-century. While much of the initial impetus came from the study of the American and French constituent assemblies in the late eighteenth century, this volume exemplifies the large comparative scope of current research. The contributors discuss constituent assemblies in South East Asia, North Africa and the Middle East, Latin America, and in Nordic countries. Among the new insights they provide is a better understanding of how constituent assemblies may fail, either by not producing a document at all or by adopting a constitution that fails to serve as a neutral framework for ordinary politics. In a theoretical afterword, Jon Elster, an inspirational thinker on the current topic, offers an analysis of the micro-foundations of constitution-making, with special emphasis on the role of crises-generated passions.
Table of contents:
 1. Introduction Jon Elster, Roberto Gargarella, Vatsal Naresh and Bjørn Erik Rasch
2. Constitution-making in the context of plural societies: The 'accumulation strategy' Roberto Gargarella
3. Constituent assemblies in democratic regimes: the problem of a legally limited convention Gabriel L. Negretto
4. Constituent assemblies and political continuity in divided societies Hanna Lerner
5. Constituent assembly failure in Pakistan and Nepal Mara Malagodi
6. Precautions in a democratic experiment: the nexus between political power and competence Udit Bhatia
7. A race against time: the making of the Norwegian Constitution of 1814 Jon Elster
8. Chain of legitimacy: constitution-making in Iceland Thorvaldur Gylfason
9. Constitution-making and legislative involvement in government formation Cristina Bucur, José Antonio Cheibub, Shane Martin and Bjørn Erik Rasch
10. The political psychology of constitution-making Jon Elster
More information here.
(source: Legal History Blog)

REMINDER: CALL FOR PAPERS: “The History of Legal Aid in the Premodern and Modern World” – 18-19 March 2019, University of Turku (DEADLINE 18 November 2018)

We learned of a call for papers for a conference on legal aid in the premodern and modern world at the University of Turku. Here the call: 

The idea of providing legal assistance to the poor has long roots. In the medieval world, it was often linked to theological notions of charitas and was one form of aiding personae miserabilis. The topic of legal aid was discussed in many writings since the early Middle Ages, and distinctions were made e.g. between deserving and undeserving poor. Many ecclesiastical and secular rulers felt the need for providing such assistance officially and positions of advocate for the poor (advocatus pauperum) were established.

In the modern world, new challenges, such as industrialisation and urbanisation, emerged creating an ever-growing demand for legal aid and its proper organisation. In France, legislation on legal aid (l’assistance judiciaire) was passed in 1851, with many other countries reforming legal aid in the following decades, as well. However, the actual organisation of legal assistance to the poor took varying forms from country to country. Some made it the charitable responsibility of lawyers to provide legal aid pro bono, others created special legal aid offices, while elsewhere the state or the communality paid lawyers to take on legal aid cases, and sometimes legal aid was created through the initiatives of women’s associations, religious organisations or trade unions. In many places, the 1970s witnessed another surge of legal aid reform.

This conference aims to bring together the various aspects of legal aid around the world and throughout history, highlighting common features and individual particularities.

Papers could discuss e.g.:
-the discussion of legal aid in jurisprudence
-what the rationale for providing legal aid was
-how and at who’s initiative legal aid was organised
-who legal aid lawyers were
-the relations between legal aid lawyers and other lawyers
-the participation of laymen in legal aid offices
-legal aid given by others than lawyers, e.g. social workers
-notions of access to justice
-what qualifications applied to those eligible for legal aid
-what kind of cases were handled
-developments in legislation
-legal advice given in newspapers and magazines

Confirmed keynote lectures will be given by Prof. Felice Batlan (Chicago-Kent College of Law, Illinois Institute of Technology) and Dr. Hiroki Kawamura (University of Frankfurt).

Deadline for paper proposals with abstracts (max. 400 words) is 18 November 2018. For further information, as well as sending paper proposals, please contact Dr. Marianne Vasara-Aaltonen (marianne.vasara-aaltonen[at]