28 February 2010

Hallebeek and Dondorp on Specific Performance

Intersentia has just published Jan Hallebeek and Harry Dondorp (eds), The right to specific performance: the historical development (2010). The website entry reads:

By presenting historical materials, this volume elucidates the quandary of the law of obligations when it has to answer the question what a creditor eventually will acquire: damages or specific performance? In this respect it appears two principles continually compete for priority: ‘all obligations should be fulfilled in specie’ and ‘no-one should be compelled to act’. What settles the dilemma? Is it fidelity to the given word or human freedom? Seven contributions discuss features of this problem for various periods of time and jurisdictions: Roman law, Medieval learned law, early-modern Spanish doctrine, Roman-Dutch law, 19th century German law, developments in the Netherlands during the 19th and 20th centuries and contemporary Dutch law.

This book is a sequel to volume 71 of the same series (Specific Performance in Contract Law: National and Other Perspectives). It resulted from the co-operation between legal historians, participating in the programme ‘Contract law and law of obligations in general’ of the research school Ius Commune.
38. Deutscher Rechtshistorikertag
Thirty eight German legal history conference
Munster September 15th-18th 2010

The next German legal history conference will take place in Munster and is organised by Nils Jansen, Peter Oestmann and Reiner Schulze. The conference starts with a special forum for younger legal historians. In addition to four general lectures, there are sessions about four themes: civil procedure in church and state, the law of succession, criminal law and the relationship between legal history, comparative law and legal theory. Presiding that session is Jacques Du Plessis and speakers are Alan Rodger, Filippo Ranieri, Sonja Meier and Milos Vec.
(A small detail, but one for which one has to salute the Munster colleagues: they have been able to get so much funding that they can afford not to ask registration fees.)
For more details, see
For questions mail to

27 February 2010

Sarton medal awarded to Serge Dauchy (Lille)

Georges Sarton (Harvard) was one of the founding fathers of the history of science. The University of Ghent, his alma mater, has therefore given his name to the medals it awards every year to scholars who have distinguished themselves in the study of the history of science. On Thursday, February 25th the 2009-2010 Sarton medal for legal history was awarded to professor Serge Dauchy, head of the Centre d'histoire Judiciaire (CNRS-Lille II).

The Sarton medal for legal history was awarded in previous years to P. Letto-Vanamo, F. Stevens, J. Weitzel, D. Tamm, A. Lefebvre-Teillard, A. Wijffels, J.-L. Thireau, Ph. Godding and R.C. Van Caenegem.

26 February 2010

Földi and Hamza’s History and institutes of Roman law ((14th edn) 2009)

The newest (fourteenth) edition of Földi and Hamza’s History and institutes of Roman law (2009) has recenty been published.

The treatise, as suggested by its title, presents the history and the institutes (ie the classical material) of Roman law. The historical part, however, does not deal exclusively with governmental organization and the legal sources of ancient Rome, but also traces in detail the continuous presence of Roman law in different contemporary legal systems.

The book is suitable for students, practitioners, and scholars. To order, contact the publisher at:

Felsőoktatási és Szakképzési Szerkesztőség
H-1439 Budapest, Pf. 620
Fax: 06-1-434-4779; 06-1-359-7430

Click on the link above for additional information.

24 February 2010

NOTE: The Lawbook Exchange and Continental Law

The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd. has announced 'Catalogue 67: Continental Law, 15th to 19th Centuries':

Arranged chronologically in six parts, this catalogue offers 236 titles on the ius commune and Roman, canon, civil, customary, natural and feudal law published from 1498 to 1882 and 25 related Lawbook Exchange publications.

As their website notes:

The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd. specializes in all aspects of law and legal history. Our publication program offers reprints of over 1,000 landmark works as well as original books. We invite offers of antiquarian, scholarly and current practice materials. Founded in 1983, we currently serve thousands of individuals and institutions worldwide.

22 February 2010


The European Society for Comparative Legal History has now added an email subscription service. Assuming it's been properly installed, subscribers will receive new posts through their email accounts. Please notify us if you encounter difficulties.

18 February 2010


The European Society for Comparative Legal History has created and will maintain a Register of Legal Historians on our blog. The Register will include legal historians working on any aspect of legal history. We invite individuals to submit the relevant information to for inclusion.

CALL FOR PAPERS: 2010 SLS Conference (Legal History Section)

Legal History Call for Papers for 2010 SLS Conference at Southampton

Conference Theme: The Human Rights Act, Ten Years On…

Planning is now in hand for this year's SLS conference, which is being held at Southampton University, from 13 to 16 September 2010. The theme is 'The Human Rights Act, Ten Years On’, offering the opportunity for a wide range of interesting reflections, given that debates relating to, for instance, the interests of the citizens versus the interest of the state long predate the Act! What has happened to Habeas Corpus, as a fundamental constitutional principle, etc? We are sure you will think of other interesting and challenging perspectives on this theme…

As in 2009, the Legal History section will be in Group A this year, meeting in the FIRST HALF of the conference on Monday and Tuesday, 13 and 14 September. Lorie and I are now asking for volunteers to present papers at the four sessions that have been allocated to us. While we welcome suggestions with a human rights dimension, discussion of any aspects of legal history, including those using a socio-legal studies approach, will be welcome.

The conference organisers need to have the basic programme early, and so the deadline for responses to this call is 5 March 2010. A willingness to participate and a provisional title will be welcomed but more fully-formed proposals will aid us in making decisions on the programme etc. If your proposal is accepted, we will need at least the abstract of it in the Paper Bank by the beginning of August. As usual, work in progress is as welcome as finely honed pieces ready for publication. A Best Paper prize will be awarded and details may be found on the SLS web site.

If you are offering more than one paper at the conference, please let us know. This is to enable better planning; it does not mean that individuals are not allowed to present more than one paper.

Please remember that speakers and chairs are required to book and pay for the conference and accommodation in the usual way - there are no discounts for speakers because of the size and nature of this conference. Given the state of current academic funding, please investigate funding for your attendance as early as possible.

Also, please note that there is a need to book early! While accommodation has been booked in Southampton, we are warned that the conference coincides with an international boat show, and so all accommodation in Southampton will be booked. Delegates who book late after all the conference accommodation has been booked will not be able to stay in Southampton.

Further details about the conference will be published at:

In the meantime, if you do wish to offer a paper, please reply to either of the co-convenors, Judith Rowbotham ( or Lorie Charlesworth (

12 February 2010

REMINDER: European Society for Comparative Legal History Conference (Valencia, 5-6 July 2010)

The European Society for Comparative Legal History (ESCLH) inaugural conference, 'Law and Historical Development from a Comparative Perspective', will be held at the University of Valencia (Spain) on 5-6 July 2010. Presentations should be in English and are welcome on any topic in comparative legal history.

Note that the deadline is only two weeks away!

Those interested in making a presentation or with additional questions should email Dr Seán Patrick Donlan ( by Monday, 15 March 2010 with a short (250 word) proposal. Note that the conference fee is €100; transportation and accommodation are not included.