24 September 2020

WEBINAR: Asian Legal History Seminar Series (12 October, University of Hong Kong)


(Source: Twitter)

We learned that the University of Hong Kong is organizing an Asian Legal History Seminar series. The first event of 12 October is the book launch of Dr. Yahaya’s (NUS) book “Fluid Jurisdictions: Colonial Law and Arabs in Southeast Asia”. More info about registration here

BOOK: Cornel ZWIERLEIN, Politische Theorie und Herrschaft in der Frühen Neuzeit [Einführungen in die Geschichtswissenschaft. Frühe Neuzeit] (Göttingen: V&R, 2020), 304 p. ISBN 9783825254391


(image source: UTB)

Book abstract:

Die Frühe Neuzeit ist die Zeit der Umgestaltung Europas, der Transformation politischer Herrschaft, von Wirtschaft, Kultur und Wissenschaft und der globalen Vernetzung. Politische Theorie, von Machiavelli, über Bodin, Hobbes und Locke bis zu namenlosen Autoren von handschriftlichen Gutachten, Kameralismus-Kompendien und merkantilistischen Kleinschriften prägten diese Prozesse. Das Buch führt Studierende vom Bachelor- bis zum Master-Niveau anspruchsvoll und zugleich verständlich in diese faszinierende frühneuzeitliche Welt ein.

On the author:

PD Dr. habil. Cornel Zwierlein lehrt und forscht auf einer Heisenberg-Stelle am Friedrich-Meinecke-Institut für Geschichte der Freien Universität Berlin

(source: UTB

JOURNAL: "Quaderno di storia del penale e della giustizia", 2 (2020): Il dubbio. Riflessioni interdisciplinari per un dibattito contemporaneo su certezza, giustizia, mass media e diritto di punire - Edizioni Università di Macerata

(Source: Unimc)

Through the website "Storia del diritto medievale e moderno", we learned about a new issue of  the journal "Quaderno di storia del penale e della giustizia".



Il dubbio e la giustizia penale: tra molti dubbi e qualche verità

Se non c’è verità non può esserci il dubbio
Maurizio Migliori 
Dei delitti e delle pene: il modello del patibolo nel dubbio beccariano
Michel Porret
«Una lacrima nell’occhio della legge». Sul dubbio del giurista tra diritto e letteratura
Massimo Vogliotti
 Il ragionevole dubbio
Fiorella Giusberti

Il ruolo attivo della mente umana nella percezione e interpretazione del mondo sociale: tra dispositivi innati e culture di appartenenza
Paola Nicolini
Alla luce del dubbio. La razionalità giuridica tra scetticismo e artificio
Claudio Luzzati
Storie del diritto penale

«Sanctius est impunitum relinqui facinus nocentis quam innocentem damnare». I dubbi del giudice e le risposte del giurista nel consilium I, 133 di Giasone del Maino
Ettore Dezza
Dubbio, certezza, decisione, verità. La coscienza del giudice e l’interpretazione del giurista nella giustizia civile dall’età moderna all’«età dell’incertezza»
Floriana Colao
«A-t-on, dans un âge si tendre, une volonté certaine?»: “dubbi” e “certezze” sull’imputabilità minorile tra Otto e Novecento
Giacomo Pace Gravina
Ombre sull’innocenza. La formula dubitativa nel processo penale dell’Italia liberale
Marco Nicola Miletti
Lessico e politica del diritto penale

Il dubbio e il paradigma penalistico della certezza. Una ricognizione di problemi
Domenico Pulitanò
Dubbio e certezza nel diritto penale
Roberto Bartoli
A ciascuno il suo dubbio: reo, vittima, pubblico ministero e giudice
Grazia Mannozzi

The articles and the issue itself are available in PDF format at the publisher's website, here.

23 September 2020

BOOK: M.M. O'CONNOR County Mayo - A History of Imprisonment, Capital Punishment & Transportation. Part 1: Anatomy of a County Gaol (Castle Books: Mayo: 2020) ISBN: 9781916344006; 544pp; €35,-



About the book: 
In January 1918, the hanging tree on the Green in Castlebar, already stooped with age, finally succumbed to the burden of the history thrust upon it when it toppled in a storm. The following year, the last of the gaols of Mayo, ceased to be a formal prison within the British prison system. The story of the several gaols of Mayo is largely untold and what is told is confused or blended with a colourful mix of half-truths.
Beginning in the late sixteenth century, this study seeks to disentangle the facts from this body of folklore. The gaols at Castlebar, Ballinrobe, Prizon, Cong and elsewhere are considered in the social, economic, and political environment in which they operated including in the context of the many epidemics, famines, rebellions, and periods of agrarian violence. Over and above the incredible detail of prisoners, prison life, and the regulation and operation of the gaols of Mayo, the surviving records also contain many accounts of exceptionally cruel deeds and practices. Women, children, and the mentally ill, were subjected to the most dehumanising treatment imaginable at detention centres operated by the Mayo Grand Jury. In addition to the poor, the destitute and the bankrupt, the gaols of Mayo also held men and women who had committed some of the most heinous crimes imaginable. Between 1805 and 1919, some 196 death sentences were handed down by the judiciary at courts in Castlebar and Ballinrobe. Those sentenced to death included pregnant women, children, and the elderly. For those who avoided the gallows, dying by their own hand or terms of imprisonment, a future in Botany Bay or Van Diemen's Land lay ahead of a long and dangerous journey.

About the author:
Dr. Michael O’Connor is a native of Tully, a small village nearBelcarra in Co. Mayo. He attended Belcarra N.S and St. Gerald’s De La Salle College, Castlebar. He holds first class honours degrees in law from both Trinity College Dublin and University of Cambridge; and a Doctorate in Philosophy (Law) from Trinity College Dublin. His interests include social history, crime and punishment in the Georgian and Victorian periods, genealogy, archaeology, and travel.

More info with the publisher.

WEBINAR SERIES: The History of International Law (September-October 2020, Jindal Global University)


(Source: Twitter)

We learned of an online seminar series on the history of international law, organized online by the Jindal Global University. More info on registration here

ADVANCE ARTICLE: Stephen W. SAWYER, "The Forgotten Democratic Tradition of Revolutionary France" (Modern Intellectual History)


(image source: Cambridge Core)


This article offers an interpretation of a key moment in the long history of democracy. Its hypothesis may be simply stated in the following terms: key political theorists and administrators in eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century France defined democracy as a means for solving public problems by the public itself. This conception of democracy focused on inventing effective practices of government, administrative intervention and regulatory police and differed fundamentally from our contemporary understandings that privilege the vote, popular sovereignty and parliamentary representation. Moreover, this conception of modern democracy overlapped and in some cases complemented, but—more importantly for this article—remained in significant ways distinct from, other early modern political traditions, in particular liberalism and classical republicanism. What follows therefore uncovers a largely forgotten, but widespread, conception of democracy in the crucial revolutionary age from the mid-eighteenth century to the mid-nineteenth by asking the question, was there a modern democratic tradition?

Read more on Cambridge CORE (DOI 10.1017/S1479244320000268).

BOOK: Francesco BIAGI, Justin O. FROSINI, and Jason MAZZONE, eds., Comparative Constitutional History - Principles, Developments, Challenges (Leiden-New York: Brill, 2020). ISBN 978-90-04-39211-3, EUR 115.00

(Source: Brill)

Brill is publishing a book on comparative constitutional history.


While comparative constitutional law is a well-established field, less attention has been paid so far to the comparative dimension of constitutional history. The present volume, edited by Francesco Biagi, Justin O. Frosini and Jason Mazzone, aims to address this shortcoming by bringing focus to comparative constitutional history, which holds considerable promise for engaging and innovative work along several key avenues of inquiry. The essays contained in this volume focus on the origins and design of constitutional governments and the sources that have impacted the ways in which constitutional systems began and developed, the evolution of the principle of separation of powers among branches of government, as well as the origins, role and function of constitutional and supreme courts.


Francesco Biagi (Ph.D., University of Ferrara, 2012) is Senior Assistant Professor of Comparative Public Law at the University of Bologna Department of Legal Studies. His latest book is European Constitutional Courts and Transitions to Democracy (CUP, 2020). 

Justin O. Frosini is Associate Professor of Comparative Public Law at the Bocconi University in Milan and Adjunct Professor of Constitutional Law at Johns Hopkins University. He earned his law degree and his doctorate from the University of Bologna. 

Jason Mazzone is the Albert E. Jenner, Jr. Professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he also serves as Director of the Program in Constitutional Theory, History and Law. He earned undergraduate and law degrees from Harvard University and his doctorate from Yale University.


Notes on Contributors

  Francesco Biagi, Justin O. Frosini and Jason Mazzone

Part 1
Constitutional Origins
1 George Bancroft in Göttingen: an American Reception of German Legal Thought
  Mark Somos
2 Uniformity and Diversity. a Confrontation between French and Dutch Thought on Citizenship
  Gohar Karapetian
3 The Historical and Legal Significance of Constitutional Preambles: a Case Study on the Ukrainian Constitution of 1996   Justin O. Frosini and Viktoriia Lapa
4 How the Court of Final Appeal of Hong Kong Should Re-assert Its Power to Review Acts of the Standing Committee
  Miguel Manero de Lemos

Part 2
Challenges of Executive and Legislative Power
5 The Separation of Powers and Forms of Government in the mena Region Following the “Arab Spring”: a Break with the Past?
  Francesco Biagi
6 ‘The Constitution Will Be Our Last Hope in the Momentary Storm.’ Institutions of Constitutional Protection and Oversight in Mexico and Their Contribution to Atlantic Constitutional Thought (1821–1841)   Catherine Andrews

Part 3
Judicial Authority and Its Limits
7 Judicial Review of Legislation in Portugal: Genealogy and Critique
  Gonçalo de Almeida Ribeiro
8 Defending the Judiciary? Judicial Review of Constitutional Amendments on the Judiciary in Colombia
  Mario Alberto Cajas Sarria
9 Direct Individual Access to Constitutional Justice in South Korea and Taiwan
  Fabian Duessel 

More info here

FACEBOOK PAGE DOWN: follow our twitter account, or subscribe to our daily mailing

(image source: Wikimedia Commons)

We are experiencing access issues with our Facebook Page since the beginning of August. We cannot access it anymore, and posting is thus impossible. Our blog can still be followed by subscribing to the Daily Mailing (enter your e-mailaddress on the right), or by following our twitter account @esclh.

22 September 2020

SYMPOSIUM : Les fondements historiques du droit des européen des affaires, DIJON, 19-20 November 2020

The Centre Innovation et Droit (Université Bourgogne-Franche-Comté) and the Centre Lyonnais d’Histoire du Droit et de la Pensée Politique (Université Jean Moulin-Lyon III) are going to hold a symposium about the Historial foundations of the European  business law. 

This event is organised within the framework of the "PHEDRA" project (Pour une Histoire Européenne du Droit des Affaires) following the first symposium held at the Law faculty of the Université Paris II (2019).


Jeudi 19 novembre 2020

  • 13h30-13h45 : Accueil, Alexis Mages, Doyen de la Faculté de Droit Sciences Économique et Politique (Université de Bourgogne)
  • 13h45-14h00 : Mot des responsables du projet PHEDRA

Sous la présidence d’Olivier Descamps (Pr. Histoire du droit, Université Paris II)

  • 14h00-14h30 : Le rôle de la papauté médiévale dans la régulation du commerce international, Nicolas Laurent-Bonne (Pr. Histoire du droit, Université Clermont-Auvergne)
  • 14h30-15h00 : Aux sources du droit commercial européen : Villes et marchands au Moyen-Âge (Italie du Nord et France du sud), Nicolas Leroy, (Pr. Histoire du droit, Université de Nîmes)
  • 15h-15h30 : Le commerce européen dans l’humanisme juridique de la Renaissance, Xavier Prévost (Pr. Histoire du droit, Université de Bordeaux)
  • 15h45-16h15 : La contractualisation des aspects internationaux du commerce aux XVIe-XVIIe siècles, Luisa Brunori (Chargée de recherches HDR-CNRS Histoire du droit, Université de Lille)
  • 16h15-16h45 : La place du comparatisme dans l’œuvre de Jean-Marie Pardessus, Victor Simon (Pr. Histoire du droit, Université de Lille)
  • 16h45-17h15 : Discussion

Vendredi 20 novembre 2020

  • 8h30-9h : Accueil des participants

Sous la présidence de Carine Jallamion (Pr. Histoire du droit, Université de Montpellier)

  • 9h-9h30 : Le support juridique des contrats entre la Compagnie des Indes orientales et les suzerains locaux, entre usages commerciaux et droit international public, Frédéric Charlin (MCF Histoire du droit, Université de Grenoble)
  • 9h30-10h : La pratique européenne du change pendant la seconde modernité. L’exemple des modalités d’émission des lettres de change bordelaise, Victor Le Breton-Blon (Doctorant, Université de Bordeaux)
  • 10h-10h30 : Les banques d’émission en Europe avant 1900 : entre spécificités nationales et expériences communes, Ludovic Desmedt (Pr. Sciences économiques, Université de Bourgogne)
  • 10h45-11h15 : L’influence des lois commerciales maritimes européennes sur les usages normands du début du XVIIe siècle, Alix Profit (MCF Histoire du droit, Université de Caen-Normandie)
  • 11h15 :11h45 : Comment unifier le droit en Europe à la fin du XIXe siècle : l’exemple de la convention de Berne sur le transport ferroviaire de marchandises (1890), David Deroussin (Pr. Histoire du droit, Université Lyon III)
  • 11h45-12h15 : Discussion

12h15-14h00 : Déjeuner

Sous la présidence de Louis-Augustin Barrière (Pr. Histoire du droit, Université Lyon III)

  • 14h-14h30 : Aux origines du droit européen de la concurrence : la protection internationale de la propriété industrielle aux XIXe et XXe siècles, Olivier Serra (Pr. Histoire du droit, Université de Rennes)
  • 14h30-15h : À la recherche d’une définition du droit pénal des affaires dans la doctrine européenne de l’Époque contemporaine, Marc Thérage (MCF contractuel Histoire du droit, Université de Nantes)
  • 15h45-16h15 : L’idée de codification du droit commercial à l’échelle européenne, voire internationale (fin XVIIIe siècle-début XXe siècle), Alexis Mages (Pr. Histoire du droit, Université de Bourgogne)
  • 16h15-16h45 : Vers un Code européen des affaires ?, Régis Vabres (Pr. Droit privé, Université Lyon III)
  • 16h45-17h15 : Discussion


UFR Droit, Sciences Économique et Politique, 4 Bd, Gabriel, 21000 Dijon,
Amphithéâtre Georges Scelle, Extension Droit, 1er étage

 WHEN : 

19-20 November 2020



JOURNAL: Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte: Romanistische Abteilung: vol. 137 (2020), issue 1




Dietmar Schanbacher - Zum Phänomen der Rechtsrezeption in der Antike
Matthias Armgardt - Die Bedeutung des antiken jüdischen Rechts für das römische Recht und die antike Rechtsgeschichte am Beispiel der rabbinischen Rezeption und Modifikation der griechisch-hellenistischen diathēkē als dîjathîqî und der donatio mortis causa
Lisa Isola - Überlegungen zur Litiskreszenz bei der actio ex testamento
Christine Lehne-Gstreinthaler - Zu den klassischen Ursprüngen des Verjährungsrechts
Hylkje de Jong - Die actio quasi Publiciana im byzantinischen Recht
Jan Hallebeek - Teaching Roman Law in the 21st Century: A note on legal-historical education in the Netherlands
Marc Domingo Gygax - Defining Boundaries in the Treaty of Apamea. A Note on a New Edition of Livy’s Fourth Decade
Giacomo D’Angelo - In tema di responsabilità nossale del nudo proprietario
Adrian Häusler - D. 50,9,6 (Scaev. 1 dig): Auslegung eines statthalterisch veranlassten Stadtgesetzes?
Wolfgang Kaiser - Zur Textkonstitution und Editionsgeschichte von D. 27,1,6,14 (Mod. 2 excus.)
Wolfgang Kaiser - Zum Text von D. 27,1,8pr. (Mod. 3 excus.) und C. 5,65,2 (Gord.; a. 239)
Wolfgang Kaiser -Zum Text der epistula in D. 34,4,30,1 (Scaev. 20 dig.)
Wolfgang Kaiser - Emendationen zu D. 29,1,2, D. 40,5,20 sowie C. 1,27,2,8
Andreas Wacke - Das Rechtswort: Tenor
Markus Wimmer - D. 43,19,1,11: Ein Besitzkonstitut im Rechtsbesitz
Robert M. Frakes - The Zadar Fragment of the Collatio Legum Mosaicarum et Romanarum (or Lex Dei) 
A.J.B. Sirks - Emanzipation als rite de passage

The journal can be found here: 

NEWS: Bibliography of the History of Belgium


Since 2012, the Belgian Royal Commission for History has taken care of the Bibliography of the history of Belgium (which can be found online). Notwithstanding the effort this annual task requires - carried out by a paid staff member -,  the funding the Commission receives for this effort is limited and uncertain. Over the past two years, a subsidy granted by the National Lottery has brought relief, but the future of even this subsidy is now uncertain. Without it, the very existence of the Bibliography is at risk.

To strengthen the Commission's case before the National Lottery, Guy Vanthemsche, the Commission's secretary, now asks for letters of support - both Belgian and international, from the academic as well as from the cultural and political worlds. If you wish to contribute to the continued existence of the Bibliography, even a short statement of support can help to convince the National Lottery of the importance of the Bibliography for historical research.

The Commission's dossier has to be submitted before the middle of next month - October. Statements of support can be emailed to

21 September 2020

ARTICLE: Annemieke ROMEIN, “The Datafication of Early Modern Ordinances”, Digital Humanities in Society – Volume II

The journal Digital Humanities in Society has published “The Datafication of Early Modern Ordinances” by Annemieke Romein.

Abstract: The project Entangled Histories used early modern printed normative texts. The computer used to have significant problems being able to read Dutch Gothic print, which is used in the vast majority of the sources. Using the Handwritten Text Recognition suite Transkribus (v.1.07-v.1.10), we reprocessed the original scans that had poor quality OCR, obtaining a Character Error Rate (CER) much lower than our initial expectations of <5% CER. This result is a significant improvement that enables the searching through 75,000 pages of printed normative texts from the seventeen provinces, also known as the Low Countries. The books of ordinances are compilations; thus, segmentation is essential to retrace the individual norms. We have applied – and compared – four different methods: ABBYY, P2PaLA, NLE Document Recognition and a custom rule-based tool that combines lexical features with font recognition. Each text (norm) in the books concerns one or more topics or categories. A selection of normative texts was manually labelled with internationally used (hierarchical) categories. Using Annif, a tool for automatic subject indexing, the computer was trained to apply the categories by itself. Automatic metadata makes it easier to search relevant texts and allows further analysis. Text recognition, segmentation and categorisation of norms together constitute the datafication of the Early Modern Ordinances. Our experiments for automating these steps have resulted in a provisional process for datafication of this and similar collections


The full text can be found here

BOOK: Marianne HOLDGAARD, Auður MAGNÚSDÓTTIR & Bodil SEMER, Nordic Inheritance Law through the Ages Spaces of Action and Legal Strategies (Brill/Nijhoff: Leiden/Boston, 2020). ISBN: 9789004427358, pp. 418, €129.00

Cover Nordic Inheritance Law through the Ages
(Source: Brill)


Series: Legal History Library, Volume: 38

Nordic Inheritance Law through the Ages – Spaces of Action and Legal Strategies explores the significance of inheritance law from medieval times to the present through topical and in-depth studies that bring life to historical and contemporary inheritance practices. The contributions cover three themes: status of persons and options in the process of property devolution; wills, gift-giving and legal disputes as means to shape the working of the law; processes of inheritance legislation. The authors focus on instances where legal strategies of various actors particularly reveal inheritance law as a contested and yet constrained space of action, and somewhat surprisingly show similar solutions to family law issues dealt with in other Western European countries. 

Contributors are: Simone Abram, Gitte Meldgaard Abrahamsen, Per Andersen, Agnes S. Arnórsdóttir, John Asland, Knut Dørum, Thomas Eeg, Ian Peter Grohse, Marianne Holdgaard, Astrid Mellem Johnsen, Már Jónsson, Mia Korpiola, Gabriela Bjarne Larsson, Auður Magnúsdóttir, Bodil Selmer, Helle I. M. Sigh, and Miriam Tveit.


Marianne Holdgaard is Professor of Family and Inheritance Law, and heading the FamLaPP Research Centre at University of Aalborg, Denmark. Her research revolves around the interconnection between family and inheritance law, especially regarding children’s (lack of) legal and de facto rights to inheritance in various (non-)legal family forms. 

Auður Magnúsdóttir is Associate Professor in History at the Department of Historical Studies, University of Gothenburg. Her main research interests concern power and political culture, as well as kinship and gender relations in medieval Iceland and Scandinavia. 

Bodil Selmer is Associate Professor at The Institute of Culture and Society, Aarhus University. She specializes in Legal Anthropology and Kinship Studies. Her most recent research concerns the meaning of material and financial inheritance as affecting life prospects, identity and sense of belonging.


Available at Brill's website.

More information with the publisher.

18 September 2020

JOURNAL: Rivista di Storia dell'Università di Torino, vol. 9, no. 1 (2020)


(Source: Storia del diritto medievale e moderno)

Saggi e Studi

A Matter of Style and Praxis. Segre vs. Peano on the Concept of Rigour in Mathematics Education

Erika Luciano

Federico Patetta, docente e collezionista dell’Ateneo torinese: la preminenza della sua collezione nella sezione «Biblioteca Patetta. Antichi e rari»

Gian Savino Pene Vidari

Le lezioni di Storia del diritto italiano di Cesare Nani all’Università di Torino. Spunti di ricerca

Elisa Mongiano

Archivi, Biblioteche, Musei

Fondi personali nell’Archivio storico dell’Università di Torino. Il caso di Enrico Castelnuovo

Marco Testa

The articles are available in PDF format here.

SEMINAR: Public and Private Law: A Historical Genealogy. 23 September 2020

Prof. Bernardo Sordi will discuss on wednesday, 23 September his new book "Diritto pubblico e diritto privato. Una genealogia storica" (Bologna, Il Mulino, 2020). The webinar will be held in partnership between Studium Iuris – Research Group on History of Legal Culture (UFMG), Ius Commune - Research Group on History of Legal Culture (UFSC) and Università di Firenze (PhD School in Legal Sciences, curriculum Theory and History of Law). The conference will be held in English.

Time: 11:30 (Brazil); 16:30 (Italy)

The conference will be broadcasted through YouTube in this link:

Inscriptions (non mandatory):

Those willing to make questions during the conference will receive a link to a form that will be made avaliable during the event.

17 September 2020

WEBINAR: "Il manoscritto giuridico miniato" - 22 settembre 2020, ore 10.30-19.30, 2° Workshop internazionale dell'équipe di ricerca IUS ILLUMINATUM. (on Zoom)


(Source: Storia del diritto medievale e moderno)

Through the website "Storia del diritto medievale e moderno", we learned about the webinar "Il manoscritto giuridico miniato", 22 settembre 2020 - ore 10.30-19.30, 2° Workshop internazionale dell'équipe di ricerca IUS ILLUMINATUM.

For more information and to download the program click here.

BOOK: Will BATEMAN, Public Finance and Parliamentary Constitutionalism (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020). ISBN 9781108478113, 80.00 GBP


Cambridge University Press is publishing a new book on the history of public finance law in the UK, its export throughout the British Empire, and its entrenchment in Commonwealth constitutions.


Public Finance and Parliamentary Constitutionalism analyses constitutionalism and public finance (tax, expenditure, audit, sovereign borrowing and monetary finance) in Anglophone parliamentary systems of government. The book surveys the history of public finance law in the UK, its export throughout the British Empire, and its entrenchment in Commonwealth constitutions. It explains how modern constitutionalism was shaped by the financial impact of warfare, welfare-state programs and the growth of central banking. It then provides a case study analysis of the impact of economic conditions on governments' financial behaviour, focusing on the UK's and Australia's responses to the financial crisis, and the judiciary's position vis-à-vis the state's financial powers. Throughout, it questions orthodox accounts of financial constitutionalism (particularly the views of A. V. Dicey) and the democratic legitimacy of public finance. Currently ignored aspects of government behaviour are analysed in-depth, particularly the constitutional role of central banks and sovereign debt markets.


Will Bateman, Australian National University, Canberra

Will Bateman is Senior Lecturer in Law and the Deputy-Director of Research at the Law School of the Australian National University, Canberra. He has worked at the apex of constitutional and financial law, including at the High Court of Australia and Herbert Smith Freehills.


1. Finance and constitutionalism

Part I. Historical Development of Parliamentary Public Finance:

2. History (I): parliament and executive

3. History (II): judiciary

4. History (III): exporting parliamentary public finance

5. History (IV): public finance in the modern state

Part II. Parliamentary Public Finance in Operation:

6. Fiscal authority

7. Debt and monetary authority

8. Judicial power

Part III. Evaluating Parliamentary Public Finance:

9. Descriptive failure of parliamentary control

10. Theory and practice of financial self-rule.


More info here

16 September 2020

BOOK: Marju LUTS-SOOTAK and Frank L. SCHÄFER, eds., Recht und Wirtschaft in Stadt und Land (Bern: Peter Lang, 2020). ISBN 978-3-631-81058-3, EUR 84.10


(Source: Peter Lang)

Peter Lang is publishing an edited collection on the legal history of the Nordic Sea region.


Der Sammelband dokumentiert ausgewählte Vorträge des Neunten Rechtshistorikertages im Ostseeraum vom Mai 2018 in Estland. Die Beiträge decken unter dem Generalthema «Recht und Wirtschaft in Stadt und Land» die gesamte Spannbreite der Rechtsgeschichte des Ostseeraumes sowie der Forschungsinteressen der Rechtshistorikerinnen und Rechtshistoriker der Anrainerstaaten ab.


Marju Luts-Sootak ist Professorin für Rechtsgeschichte an der Rechtsfakultät der Universität Tartu, Estland.

Frank L. Schäfer ist Direktor der Germanistischen Abteilung des Instituts für Rechtsgeschichte und geschichtliche Rechtsvergleichung an der Universität Freiburg, Deutschland.

Marju Luts-Sootak is Professor of Legal History at the School of Law, University of Tartu in Estonia.

Frank L. Schäfer is Director of the Section for German Legal History at the Institute for Legal History and Comparative Legal History at Freiburg University in Germany.


The table of contents can be found here

BOOK: Yan THOMAS & Jacques CHIFFOLEAU, L’istituzione della natura. A cura e con un saggio di Michele Spanò (Macerata, Quodlibet, 2020). ISBN: 9788822904843, pp. 128, € 15,00

(Source: Quodlibet)


A cura e con un saggio di Michele Spanò.

La natura occupa un posto speciale nella cosmologia dei Moderni. Letterale preistoria di tutto quanto è genuinamente civile e propriamente umano, essa è anche – oggi più che mai – la riserva di ragioni che di questa stessa umana civiltà potrebbero o dovrebbero custodire l’antidoto quando non la palingenesi. Il potere normativo della natura è formidabile proprio perché coincide con la sua stessa dissimulazione: di qualcosa che appare, o deve apparire, ovvio e indiscutibile si dirà infatti che «è naturale». Costruita come l’antipode di ciò che è giudicato artificiale e artefatto, la natura ha quindi il potere di escludere come esecrabile e anormale tutto quanto non sembra soddisfarne la presunta normatività. Yan Thomas e Jacques Chiffoleau – l’uno perlustrando l’officina dei giuristi romani, l’altro i discorsi e le tecniche di giudici e teologi medievali – illustrano un profilo drasticamente diverso e per più versi sorprendente della natura. Secondo i due storici essa non precede mai le operazioni giuridiche e le procedure giudiziarie che – ogni volta che la invocano – altro non fanno che istituirla, costruendo allo stesso tempo tutto ciò che, essendole contrario, a essa ripugna. La natura è la protagonista di un indefinito processo di naturalizzazione. Prima a Roma, nel laboratorio del diritto civile, e poi durante tutto il Medioevo, nei processi in cui si costruisce il diritto pubblico di una sovranità che comincia a farsi le ossa reprimendo i suoi nemici, la natura è un vero e proprio strumento. Un arnese prodotto e impiegato da giuristi e giudici, teologi e filosofi, per intervenire sulla società e la realtà, in un intreccio costante di verità e finzione, possibilità e interdetti, eresia e ortodossia, con cui, probabilmente, non abbiamo ancora smesso di fare i conti.


Yan Thomas (1943-2008), storico del diritto romano, directeur d’études all’École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales di Parigi, è stato tra gli intellettuali più inclassificabili della sua generazione. Presso Quodlibet sono apparsi Il valore delle cose (2015), Fictio legis (2016) e L’istituzione della natura (con Jacques Chiffoleau, 2020).

Jacques Chiffoleau è stato professore di Storia medievale presso le Università di Lione e Avignone. Directeur d’études all’École des Hautes Études en Sciences Sociales di Parigi, è autore di numerosi saggi di storia della società e delle istituzioni medievali. In italiano ha pubblicato La Chiesa, il segreto e l’obbedienza. La costruzione del soggetto politico nel medioevo (il Mulino, 2010).

Michele Spanò, trained in both social philosophy and private law, is Associate Professor in Law at the EHESS.  He is interested in the ways in which law deals with collective entities. His researches focus on class action lawsuits and consider, both historically and theoretically, how the logical and practical hegemony of individualism in private law is being re-framed and contested through and by the emergence of common or collective actors, interests, goods and rights.


- Avvertenza
- Yan Thomas, Imago naturae. Nota sull’istituzionalità della natura a Roma
- Jacques Chiffoleau, Contra naturam. Per un approccio casuistico e procedurale alla natura medievale
- Michele Spanò, «Perché non rendi poi quel che prometti allor?». Tecniche e ideologie della giuridificazione della natura

More information with the publisher.

15 September 2020

BOOK: Nancy CHRISTIE, Michael GAUVREAU, and Matthew GERBER, eds., Voices in the Legal Archives in the French Colonial World “The King Is Listening” (London: Routledge, 2020). ISBN 9780367508067, 120.00 GBP

(Source: Routledge)

Routledge is publishing an edited collection on judicial practices and litigation during the first era of French overseas expansion.


Voices in the Legal Archives in the French Colonial World: "The King is Listening" offers, through the contribution of thirteen original chapters, a sustained analysis of judicial practices and litigation during the first era of French overseas expansion.

The overall goal of this volume is to elaborate a more sophisticated "social history of colonialism" by focusing largely on the eighteenth century, extending roughly from 1700 until the conclusion of the Age of Revolutions in the 1830s. By critically examining legal practices and litigation in the French colonial world, in both its Atlantic and Oceanic extensions, this volume of essays has sought to interrogate the naturalized equation between law and empire, an idea premised on the idea of law as a set of doctrines and codified procedures originating in the metropolis and then transmitted to the colonies. This book advances new approaches and methods in writing a history of the French empire, one which views state authority as more unstable and contested. Voices in the Legal Archives proposes to remedy the under-theorized state of France’s first colonial empire, as opposed to its post-1830 imperial expressions empire, which have garnered far more scholarly attention.

This book will appeal to scholars of French history and the comparative history of European empires and colonialism.


Nancy Christie is Research Professor of History at the University of Western Ontario, London, Canada. She has published widely in the fields of empire, gender, law and the state.
Michael Gauvreau is Professor of History at McMaster University, Hamilton, Canada. He researches in the intellectual, religious, and social history of Canada and Quebec.
Matthew Gerber is Associate Professor of History at University of Colorado at Boulder, USA. He specializes in the history of early modern France and its colonies.


Part I: Reading Colonial Legal Records Against the Grain  1. Controlling Haitian History: The Legal Archive of Moreau de Saint-Méry  2. Proof of Freedom, Proof of Enslavement: The Limits of Documentation in Colonial Saint-Domingue  Part II: Between Metropole and Periphery  3. Silencing Madmen: The Legal Process of Interdiction, Saint-Domingue, Eighteenth Century  4. The Treatment of Domestic Servants in Canada’s Justice System Under the French Regime: A Conciliatory Approach?  5. Contesting the Seigneurial Corvée: Two Generations of Peasant Litigation in Eighteenth-Century Angoumois  Part III: Chains of Property and Obligation  6. Between Property and Person: The Ambiguous Status of Slaves in Eighteenth-Century Martinique, Guadeloupe and Saint-Domingue  7. Trust, Obligation, and the Racialized Credit Market in Pre-Revolutionary Cap Français  8. The Inhabitants "Appear Are Not Such Fools as a Menny Thinks": Credit, Debt, and Peasant Litigation in Post-Conquest Quebec  Part IV: Circuits of Power and the Testimony of the Marginal  9. The Voice of the Litigant, the Voice of the Spokesman?: The Role of Interpreters in Trials in Canada under the French Regime (17th and 18th Centuries)  10. Voices of Litigating Women in New France During the 17th and 18th Centuries: Elements of Research on the Judicial Culture of the Appellants in the Archives of the Royal Jurisdiction of Montreal (1693–1760)  11. Slaves as Witnesses, Slaves as Evidence: French and British Prosecution of the Slave Trade in the Indian Ocean  Part V: Divided Sovereignties, Legal Hybridities  12. When French Islands Became British: Law, Property, and Inheritance in the Ceded Islands  13. Contested Spaces of Law and Economy: Legal Hybridity and the Marital Economy Within Quebec’s Merchant Communities

More info here

11 September 2020

ARTICLE: Para além do sangue e do solo: Aquisição e atribuição da nacionalidade nas utopias do século XIX (Thomas Project, n. 3, 2020/1)



Abstract: The aim of our paper is to investigate the problem of acquisition and attribution of nationality in 19th century English-speaking utopias. In the scope of International Law, the classic doctrines related to nationality (ius sanguinis and ius soli) were consolidated during the 19th century, as a result of the formation of modern centralized states. Countless utopias will develop attacks on the doctrines of ius sanguinis and ius soli, interpreting the contemporary conception of nationality as a reflection of bourgeois legal-political thought. We will focus on three texts: Erewhon (1862), by Samuel Butler; Looking Backward: 2000 - 1887 (1888), by Edward Bellamy; and News from Nowhere (1890), by William Morris. Throughout Modernity, it became common to use utopias to criticize the Western political-legal structure. The writings of Butler, Bellamy and Morris are no exception, and in them we can find efforts to think about alternatives to the hegemonic criteria for recognizing nationality. Keywords: Utopia; nationalism; XIX century; Samuel Butler; Edward Bellamy; William Morris.

Philippe Oliveira de Almeida is professor of Philosophy of Law at the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ).

10 September 2020

BOOK: Raphaël CAHEN & Nicolas LAURENT-BONNE (dir), Joseph-Marie Portalis. Diplomate, magistrat et législateur (Aix-en-Provence: PUAM, 2020), 244 p. ISBN 9782731411744, € 23


(image source: PUAM)


Fils du célèbre Portalis corédacteur du projet de code civil, Joseph-Marie est un personnage historique de premier rang : homme aux huit serments politiques à l’image d’un Talleyrand ou d’un Fouché, Portalis a traversé les bouleversements sociaux, économiques, technologiques, politiques et juridiques de la France et de l’Europe, de la fin de la Révolution au Second Empire. Ancien émigré, diplomate, conseiller d’État, pair de France, académicien, publiciste, ministre des Cultes par intérim, de la Justice, des Affaires étrangères, premier président de la Cour de cassation pendant plus de vingt ans et même sénateur au début du Second Empire, Portalis « fils » a laissé à la postérité une œuvre importante qui n’a pas suscité, jusqu’à présent, l’intérêt des historiens et des juristes à de rares exceptions près. Par le biais de sources inédites mais également des œuvres publiées et rarement étudiées de Joseph-Marie Portalis, ce livre entend proposer un aperçu de la vie et de l’œuvre de ce personnage.

Table of contents:

Avant-propos (Raphaël Cahen & Nicolas Laurent-Bonne)  
D’un Portalis à l’autre : la constance d’une lignée (Joël-Benoît d'Onorio)
4 janvier 1811, Portalis est chassé du Conseil d’État (Thierry Lentz)

Première partie: Portalis, haut magistrat

Joseph-Marie Portalis, premier président de la Cour de cassation (Xavier Prétot)
Joseph-Marie Portalis à la Chambre criminelle : les audaces d’une présidence (1824-1829) (Claire Bouglé-Le Roux)

Deuxième partie: Portalis, penseur et législateur

Joseph-Marie Portalis et le « milliard » des émigrés (Marion Narran-Finkelstein)
Joseph-Marie Portalis, législateur et théoricien de la science des lois (Sylvain Bloquet)
« Les limites des deux mondes », Portalis et l’historien (François Jankowiak)

Troisième partie: Portalis, diplomate et penseur des relations internationales

Avant-propos (Martine de Boisdeffre)
Joseph-Marie Portalis – penseur et acteur de la diplomatie napoléonienne (Raphaël Cahen)
Reconstruire le centre par la périphérie : le ministère Portalis et la guerre russo-ottomane de 1828-1829 (Gabriel Leanca)
Portalis le jeune et le droit des gens (Frederik Dhondt)

Quatrième partie: Portalis et les cultes

Portalis accompagne l’échec du Concordat de 1817 (Brigitte Basdevant-Gaudemet; Dominique Rodde)
Portalis et sa mission à Rome pour les affaires concordataires (Audrey Virot)
Les discours de Portalis à la chambre des pairs en matière religieuse (Cyrille Dounot)

More information with the publisher

 (source: ESILHIL Blog)

BOOK: Lindsay M. CHERVINSKY, The Cabinet. George Washington and the Creation of an American Institution (Cambridge (Mass.): Harvard UP, 2020), 432 p. ISBN 9780674986480, € 27


(image source: Harvard UP)


The U.S. Constitution never established a presidential cabinet—the delegates to the Constitutional Convention explicitly rejected the idea. So how did George Washington create one of the most powerful bodies in the federal government? On November 26, 1791, George Washington convened his department secretaries—Alexander Hamilton, Thomas Jefferson, Henry Knox, and Edmund Randolph—for the first cabinet meeting. Why did he wait two and a half years into his presidency to call his cabinet? Because the U.S. Constitution did not create or provide for such a body. Washington was on his own. Faced with diplomatic crises, domestic insurrections, and constitutional challenges—and finding congressional help lacking—Washington decided he needed a group of advisors he could turn to. He modeled his new cabinet on the councils of war he had led as commander of the Continental Army. In the early days, the cabinet served at the president’s pleasure. Washington tinkered with its structure throughout his administration, at times calling regular meetings, at other times preferring written advice and individual discussions.

Youtube video:


On the author:

Lindsay M. Chervinsky is Scholar in Residence at the Institute for Thomas Paine Studies at Iona College, Senior Fellow at the Robert H. Smith International Center for Jefferson Studies, and Professorial Lecturer at the School of Media and Public Affairs, George Washington University.

(source: Harvard UP

BOOK: Frederick the Great's Philosophical Writings (Transl. Angela SCHOLAR, ed. Avi LIFSCHITZ) (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2019), 292 p. ISBN 9780691176420, €35

(image: Frederick II of Prussia; source: Wikimedia Commons)


Frederick II of Prussia (1712–1786), best known as Frederick the Great, was a prolific writer of philosophical discourses, poems, epics, satires, and more, while maintaining extensive correspondence with prominent intellectuals, Voltaire among them. This edition of selected writings, the first to make a wide range of Frederick’s most important ideas available to a modern English readership, moves beyond traditional attempts to see his work only in light of his political aims. In these pages, we can finally appreciate Frederick’s influential contributions to the European Enlightenment—and his unusual role as a monarch who was also a published author. In addition to Frederick’s major opus, the Anti-Machiavel, the works presented here include essays, prefaces, reviews, and dialogues. The subjects discussed run the gamut from ethics to religion to political theory. Accompanied by critical annotations, the texts show that we can understand Frederick’s views of kingship and the state only if we engage with a broad spectrum of his thought, including his attitudes toward morality and self-love. By contextualizing his arguments and impact on Enlightenment beliefs, this volume considers how we can reconcile Frederick’s innovative public musings with his absolutist rule. Avi Lifschitz provides a robust and detailed introduction that discusses Frederick’s life and work against the backdrop of eighteenth-century history and politics. With its unparalleled scope and cross-disciplinary appeal, Frederick the Great’s Philosophical Writings firmly establishes one monarch’s multifaceted relevance for generations of readers and scholars to come.

On the editor:

Avi Lifschitz is associate professor of European history at the University of Oxford, where he is fellow of Magdalen College. He is the author of Language and Enlightenment: The Berlin Debates of the Eighteenth Century and editor of Engaging with Rousseau. Twitter @Diderotesque 

(source: Princeton University Press

BOOK: Bernardo SORDI, Diritto pubblico e diritto privato: una genealogia storica (Il Mulino: 2020), ISBN 978-88-15-28742-7, € 24



Nella percezione del giurista pubblico e privato sono termini antichi, ma il lungo itinerario che scandisce l’approdo alla grande dicotomia si avvia solo con lo Stato moderno che plasma il diritto pubblico, mentre il diritto privato è catturato nell’orbita dell’individualismo giuridico. Con il tramonto dell’antico regime, la dicotomia si porrà a fondamento dell’intero ordine giuridico, incarnando l’equilibrio tipicamente ottocentesco tra Stato e società, sovranità e diritti; il Novecento invece ne scompaginerà i confini, introducendo compromissioni e mescolanze tra statuale ed economico, sociale e individuale, interesse generale e interessi particolari. Negli anni più recenti l’intensità della globalizzazione economica e l’impoverimento dei programmi costituzionali fanno pensare a un nuovo primato del diritto privato. Nella prospettiva di una rinnovata unità del giuridico questo volume indaga il rapporto tra i «due diritti» nella loro stratificata storicità, invitando ad una riflessione ormai imprescindibile sulla necessità di un equilibrio ragionevole tra bisogni personali e collettivi, diritti e doveri, garanzie e poteri.

Bernardo Sordi insegna Storia del diritto medievale e moderno nell’Università di Firenze. Membro del comitato editoriale della rivista «Quaderni fiorentini per la storia del pensiero giuridico moderno», è autore di «Giustizia e amministrazione nell’Italia liberale. La formazione della nozione di interesse legittimo» (Giuffrè, 1985), «Tra Weimar e Vienna. Amministrazione e teoria giuridica nel primo dopoguerra» (Giuffrè, 1987), «L’amministrazione illuminata. Riforma delle comunità e progetti di costituzione nella Toscana leopoldina» (Giuffrè, 1991), «Storia del diritto amministrativo» (con L. Mannori, Laterza, 2013).

More information:

09 September 2020

BOOK: Marco ODELLO and Piotr LUBINSKI, eds., The Concept of Genocide in International Criminal Law Developments after Lemkin (London: Routledge, 2020). ISBN 9780367858193, 120.00 GBP


(Source: Routledge)

Routledge is publishing a new book on the history of the concept of genocide.


This book presents a review of historical and emerging legal issues that concern the interpretation of the international crime of genocide.

The Polish legal expert Raphael Lemkin formulated the concept of genocide during the Nazi occupation of Europe, and it was then incorporated into the 1948 Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. This volume looks at the issues that are raised both by the existing international law definition of genocide and by the possible developments that continue to emerge under international criminal law. The authors consider how the concept of genocide might be used in different contexts, and see whether the definition in the 1948 convention may need some revision, also in the light of the original ideas that were expressed by Lemkin. The book focuses on specific themes that allow the reader to understand some of the problems related to the legal definition of genocide, in the context of historical and recent developments.

As a valuable contribution to the debate on the significance, meaning and application of the crime of genocide the book will be essential reading for students and academics working in the areas of Legal History, International Criminal Law, Human Rights, and Genocide Studies.


Marco Odello, PhD (Madrid), LLM (Nottingham), LLB (Rome), is Reader in Law at Aberystwyth University.

Piotr Łubiński, PhD, is Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Security and Civic Education, Pedagogical University, Krakow, Poland.


Introduction (Marco Odello & Piotr Łubiński, eds);

PART I Theoretical and Historical Framework

    1. Agnieszka Bieńczyk-Missala, Rafał Lemkin’s Concept of Genocide vs. the Genocide Convention;
    2. Olga Wasiuta, Crime of genocide in Ukraine (1932-1933);
    3. Hanna Schieve, Kingpins of Contention: Local-level Dynamics of Mobilization in the Rwandan Genocide;

PART II International and National Legal Dimensions;

    1. Tamas Hoffmann, The crime of genocide in its (nearly) infinite domestic variety;
    2. Kamil Boczek - Responsibility of members of the government and other public officials pursuant to Article IV of the 1948 UN Convention on the Protection and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide;
    3. Łukasz Dawid Dąbrowski, Transnational Corporations’ Liability for Genocide under International Law;

PART III Challenges and New Developments;

    1. Ruth Amir, Probing the Boundaries of the Genocide Convention: Children as a Protected Group;
    2. Michala Chadimova, Interaction between Genocide and Superior Responsibility - Conviction for a Special Intent Crime without Proving Special Intent!?;
    3. Milena Ingelevič-Citak & Marcin Marcinko, "Kill Them All and Let God Sort Them Out" or Why Religiously Motivated Terrorism Should Not Be Confused with the Crime of Genocide
    4. Tamas Adany, Blurring the Distinction between Ethnic Cleansing and Genocide;
    5. Marco Odello, Genocide and Culture: Revisiting their Relationship 70 years after the Genocide Convention;
    6. Piotr Łubiński, Social Media Incitement to Genocide – ECHR countries perspective;



More info here