31 May 2010

NOTICE: American Journal of Legal History seeks Web Editor

The following message from the Legal History Blog might be of interest:

American Journal of Legal History seeks Web Editor
Posted by Mary L. Dudziak

The American Journal of Legal History has decided to establish a web site to raise its public profile; provide information to potential and current authors, subscribers, and advertisers; and increase access to its issues. Accordingly, the Journal now seeks an Associate Editor for Electronic Content. In addition to designing, launching, and maintaining the Journal's web site, the AEEC will be responsible for expanding the Journal's internet footprint by working with such entities as ExpressO and SSRN.

Persons interested in applying for the position should send an expression of interest (including a resume or summary of relevant experience) to Professor Robert M. Jarvis, the chair of the Journal's Advisory Board, at For an example of the type of web site that the Journal has in mind, please see this site. Like most academic journals, the American Journal of Legal History does not compensate its editors but does reimburse reasonable expenses that are not absorbed by the editor's home institution.

About the Journal: The American Journal of Legal History is a peer-reviewed, peer-edited quarterly founded in 1957 by Professor Erwin C. Surrency, a leading figure in the development and promotion of legal history as a subject of study in United States law schools. The Journal is published by Temple University's Beasley School of Law and is currently edited by Mr. Lawrence J. Reilly of Philadelphia. The Journal's Advisory Board consists of a mix of prominent lawyers, judges, and academicians.

Earlier this year, the Journal began publication of its 50th volume with a biography of John B. West (the founder of the West Publishing Company); an essay on the brief (1745-56) but contentious tenure of Dr. Hugh Baillie as judge of the Irish Admiralty Court; and an article examining the administrative underpinnings of the Indian Removal Act of 1830. Works appearing in the Journal are accessible through Hein Online, Lexis, and Westlaw.

26 May 2010

NOTICE: Inaugural Annual Lecture of the Exeter Centre for Legal History Research

The inaugural annual lecture of the Exeter Centre for Legal History Research, "Revolting Law - Revolting Law Teachers? The Struggle to Render Law a Subject Fit for University Education" will be given by Professor David Sugarman of Lancaster University on Wednesday 23 June at 6pm in the Moot Room, Amory Building, University of Exeter. A wine reception will follow in Xfi. All are welcome.

14 May 2010

Law and Multilingualism in Historical Context

Legal Translation and the Bilingual Publication of Roman Imperial Constitutions

Speaker: Dr. Anna E. Plisecka
The question whether legal translation can facilitate the communication, implementation and interpretation of multilingual legal acts, is the object of a lively scholarly debate in the European Union today. The speaker contributes to this discussion by looking at the practice in the early Roman Empire of publishing bilingual normative texts in Greek and Latin. By closely analyzing these ancient normative texts, from the perspective of linguistic patterns and translation techniques, the author argues that legal translation may actually contribute to legal communication in Europe.

Tuesday 25 May, 2010
17:15 - 18:15
University of Amsterdam Law School
Oudemanhuispoort 4-6, Room A 1.01
Language: English
For more information, please visit: or contact Jaap Baaij (

13 May 2010

NOTICE: Conference on ‘Ethnicity, Crime and Justice; Contemporary and Historical Perspectives’ (8-9 June 2010)

The International Centre for Criminological Comparative Research (ICCCR) is hosting a conference on on ‘Ethnicity, Crime and Justice; Contemporary and Historical Perspectives’ from 8-9 June 2010. The conference will be held at The Open University, Walton Hall, Christodoulou Meeting Rooms, Room 15, Milton Keynes, MK7 6AA:

This two day conference on 'Ethnicity, Crime and Justice; Contemporary and Historical Perspectives' aims to bring historians and criminologists together around common themes The conference partly comes out of a recent ESRC-funded research project on ethnicity, crime and justice in England in the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and the desire of Peter King and John Carter Wood, who are writing a book out of this research, to bring together historians and criminologists working in this field.

The conference will begin with overview papers - by two speakers who have recently written general texts in the area of research -one an historian and the other a criminologist. This will be followed by sessions on a range of topics - policing, prisons, hate crime etc and by sessions looking more specifically at the treatment of black offenders/victims and at Irish and Jewish minorities and their experience of the criminal justice system in the past.

The main focus is research on Britain but speakers from Africa, North America and France will bring a broader geographical range. The aim is to have 2 or 3 25 -30 minute papers and then to allow plenty of time for discussion in each of the 6 consecutive sessions.

Speakers include Coretta Phillips, Marty Wiener, Paul Iganski, and Rene Levy

Full details including programme and registration form can be found on the ICCCR Website  

Any queries please contact Sarah Sarah Batt, Research Secretary, ICCCR; +44(0) 1908 654704,

11 May 2010


The Inaugural Conference of the European Society for Comparative Legal History (ESCLH) will take place from 5-6 July 2010 at the University of Valencia (Valencia, Spain).

Speakers will include:

• R Jovita Baber, University of Illinois, “Multiplicity of Meanings: Legal Pluralism and the Layer Legality of Land in Sixteenth-century Andes”
• Louis Berkvens, Maastricht University, “An Approach of comparative history of legislation”
• Juan B. Cañizares, University of Valencia / MPIER, Frankfurt/M, “The notion of honour in the injury and slander offences. Normative and scholarly legal comparative approach between Spain and France, late 18th century-late 19th century”
• Chao-ju Chen, National Taiwan University, “In the Name of the Mother: A Feminist Legal History of Naming in Taiwan”
• Serge Dauchy, University of Lille–Nord de France, “A comparative study of legal culture in early Modern Europe”
• Seán Patrick Donlan, University of Limerick, “World is crazier and more of it than we think”: histories of legal and normative hybridity”
• Paul J. du Plessis, Edinburgh University, “Law, modernity and the place of European legal history”
• Matt Dyson, University of Cambridge, “Comparative Legal History: methodology for morphology”
• Francesca Galli, Institut d’Etudes Européennes, Section Juridique, ULB, Brussels, “British, French and Italian measures to deal with terrorism: a comparative study”
• Eduardo Galván, University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, “How to govern an archipelago? The Channel Islands and the Canary Islands”
• Jean-François Gerkens, University of Liège, “The Liberation of the Debtor in mora by vis maior, or the Incredible Success Story of a Non Roman Rule”
• Adolfo Giuliani, University of Cambridge, “Two models of fact-finding”
• Jan Hallebeek, VU University Amsterdam, “Some Remarks on the Direct Enforcement of Obligations to Do in the Continental Legal Tradition”
• Karl Härter, MPIER, Frankfurt/M, “The Emergence of the International Order of Criminal Prosecution in the Modern Age: Extradition, Asylum and Mutual Assistance in Criminal Matters”
• Nikitas Hatzimihail, University of Cyprus, “Pre-Historical Private International Law: A Study in Conflicts Historiography”
• Dirk Heirbaut, Ghent University, “Feudal law in Flanders and the Lotharingian principalities: a comparison”
• David Ibbetson, University of Cambridge, “Comparative Legal History: A Methodology”
• Nir Kedar, Bar-Ilan University, “Transplanted Law v. Transplanted Culture: The Unique Case of Israeli Legal History”
• Marcelo Lacombe, NYU, “Constitutionalism , liberalism and militarism. A comparative approach on the evolution of constitutional systems in Europe and Latin America, during the nineteenth century?”
• Pia Letto-Vanamo, University of Helsinki, “Some Remarks on the History of Legal Argumentation”
• Michael A Livingston, Rutgers School of Law, “One Hatred, Many Laws: The Evolution of Antisemitic Laws in Germany, France, and Italy in Comparative Historical Perspective”

• Lara Magnusdottir, University of Iceland, “How to understand a Concordat when you don‘t know what the word means”
• Aniceto Masferrer, University of Valencia, “The French Codification and the Western Legal Traditions”
• Matthew Mirow, FIU College of Law, Miami, “Codification and the Constitution of Cádiz”
• Thomas Mohr, University College Dublin, “The Constitution of the Irish Free State in Inter-War Europe”
• Olivier Moréteau, Louisiana State University, “The ethnocentrism of French legal culture: origins and effects of a superiority complex”
• Anthony Musson, Exeter University, “Common legal heritage? Visual Representations of Law and Justice in Medieval Europe”
• Michael L Nash, Les Roches/Gruyères University of Applied Sciences, “A contrast in evolution: the legal framework of the British and Continental monarchies”
• Heikki Pihlajamäki, University of Helsinki, “The Need of Comparative Legal History in the Nordic Countries: The Case of Early Modern Sweden”
• Merike Ristikivi, University of Tartu, “Terminological turn as a turn of legal culture”
• Graziella Romeo, L. Bocconi University, “The development of the idea of social citizenship in a comparative perspective”
• Jonathan Rose, Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law, “Advocatorum Militia: The Chivalric Ethos of the Legal Profession--Loyalty and Honor”
• Judith Rowbotham, Nottingham Trent University, “Narrating Crime: Nineteenth Century Media Depictions of Crime”
• Stephen Skinner, University of Exeter, “Tainted Law: Critical Legal History and the Italian Penal Code”
• Ditlev Tamm, University of Copenhagen, “From a European to a Global Approach. Some Reflections on the Utility of Comparative law for Legal Education”
• Andreas Thier, University of Zurich, “Legal Transplants, Legal Transfers and Comparative Legal History”
• Judit Valls, University of Girona, “The Spanish Commercial Code of 1829”
• Henry Yeomans, University of Plymouth, “Moderate Measures in Alcohol Policy: British Attitudes and Victorian Hangovers, 1914-1921”

The future of the ESCLH and the Western legal traditions casebook project will also be discussed.

The conference fee is €100 and we ask that those planning to attend the conference register by 1 June 2010.

Please contact the conference organiser, Aniceto Masferrer (, or one of the other members of the ESCLH Executive for the programme or for registration and accommodation information:

• Dr Seán Patrick Donlan (Limerick):
• Professor Jan Hallebeek (VU University Amsterdam):
• Professor Dirk Heirbaut (Ghent):
• Professor Aniceto Masferrer (Valencia):
• Professor Remco van Rhee (Maastricht):  

09 May 2010

CALL FOR PAPERS: 29th Annual Australian and New Zealand Law and History Conference (13-15 December 2010, Melbourne Australia)

I've just found out about the 29th Annual Australian and New Zealand Law and History Conference to be held in Melbourne in December. The conference is hosted by the Australian and New Zealand Law and History Society (ANZLHS). Its theme is 'Owning the Past: Whose Past? Whose Present?' The conference site explains:

The use and study of the past is constantly being refashioned and reinterpreted to construct meaning in the present, imparting understandings of a common but chaotic humanity. Because everyone and no one ‘owns’ history, the ownership of historical events and the right to speak of them remains deeply contested. What are the outcomes and practical challenges surrounding the construction of historical consciousness through and about law? Whose past is told and by whom? How does law’s past influence history’s present? And is there any such thing as the orderly evolution of legal ideas? This conference invites papers on the subject of ownership in history and law, and may include contributions on any of several broad themes: the contestation of memory; the ethics of representation and remembrance; the commoditization and consumption of traumatic pasts; transcultural and transgenerational trauma; new technologies of historical documentation; testimony and bearing witness; Indigenous knowledge; identity politics; citizenship; the ethics of reproducing historical narratives; colonialism and hegemony; ‘dark’ tourism and artefacts of law; and new legal imaginings and the contest with the legal past.

This is an interdisciplinary conference and papers are invited from scholars across a broad range of disciplines, as well as chronological and geographical contexts.

The submissions of abstracts was due 1 May 2010. You may want to contact to see if there's any flexibility.

05 May 2010

Reminder: Rencontres d'histoire du droit de la fondation Biermans-Lapôtre (12 May 2010, Paris)

Welcome and Introduction (09:30)

M. Jos AELVOET, directeur de la Fondation Biermans-Lapôtre

First Session: the Kingdom of France and the Netherlands, up to the 16th Century (10:00)

M. le professeur Rik OPSOMMER (Université de Gand/Archives de la ville d’Ypres)
« Le droit féodal dans les baillages de Cassel-Bailleul-Bourbourg-Bergues »

M. Florian MARIAGE (AE Tournai) (10:30)
« Une province en quête d’identité ? Le Tournaisis, XIVe-XVIe siècles. Facteurs et acteurs d’une cohésion sociale et territoriale difficile »

Coffee Break (11:00)

M. le professeur Jean-Marie CAUCHIES (UCL/Académie Royale de Belgique) (11:15)
« L’hommage de Philippe le Beau pour le comté d’Artois »

M. le professeur Laurent WAELKENS (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven) (11:45)
« L’université d’Orléans et les juristes des Pays-Bas méridionaux »

Lunch (12:15)

Second session : France/Netherlands, Spanish and Austrian periods (14:00)

Dr. Nicolas WAREMBOURG (Université Panthéon-Sorbonne Paris 1)
« François Bauduin (1520-1563), un juriste artésien et européen »

M. Frederik DHONDT (FWO/Université de Gand) (14:30)
« Partager les pays-bas autrichiens, contenir la France : tâter les limites du langage diplomatique en août 1725 »

Coffee Break (15:00)

Mme. le professeur Catherine LECOMTE (Université de Versailles Saint-Quentin) (15:15)
« Conquête et administration »

Third session : the Modern Era (15:45)

Dr. Bart COPPEIN (Katholieke Universiteit Leuven)
« Le droit, c’est tout! L’approche intégrale de la pensée juridique d’Edmond Picard (1836-1924) »

Closure (16:15)

Organising Committee: Mlle Charlotte BRAILLON (FNRS/ULg), M. Wim DECOCK (FWO/KUL), M. Frederik DHONDT (FWO/UGent), M. Emmanuel FALZONE (FNRS/FUSL)

Free entry - reception afterwards.


Fondation Biermans-Lapôtre (Cité Internationale Universitaire de Paris)

9a Boulevard Jourdan

75014 PARIS

Public Transports: RER B - T 3 (Cité Universitaire)

CALL FOR PAPERS: 'Renaissance Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law' - Renaissance Society of America Annual Meeting 2011

The Renaissance Society of America is holding its 2011 Annual Meeting in Montreal from 24-26 March, 2011. The topic is 'Renaissance Jurisprudence and Philosophy of Law':

Papers are invited for a session that will explore aspects of legal theory in the Renaissance. The impressive corpus of works produced in the three centuries from Marsilius of Padua to Hugo Grotius is testimony to the crucial and multifaceted transition from medieval to modern legal principles and application. The exploration of legal theory within the context of the dynamic developments that took place in related fields (such as political philosophy, ethics and theology) sheds light on how varying degrees of continuity and innovation in the Renaissance laid the foundations of modern legal thought.

Topics may include, but are not limited to:

- Major theorists of the period (e.g. Machiavelli, Bodin, St. Germaine, Vitoria, Suárez, Bellarmine);
- Other theorists whose work in the field of legal philosophy has been neglected or left unexplored;
- Continuities and innovations in theology-based legal theory;
- The 'French school', the 'Italian School' and the School of Salamanca;
- The reconfiguration of 'natural law' and 'positive law' and the relation between the two;
- Law and the discovery of the new world;
- Law, interpretation and authority;
- Law and utopia;
- The individual and the state;
- Universal law and international law;
- Roman law in the Renaissance;
- Legal theory and legal education

Please send proposed title and abstract (not exceeding 200 words) together with a brief biographical note (clearly indicating institutional affiliation) and AV requirements to by May 20.

See also

04 May 2010

Pursuing the Joint Degree (from the Legal History Blog)

The following post on the Legal History Blog discusses American joint-degree (law and history) programmes. I thought it might be of interest.

Pursuing the Joint Degree
Posted by Karen Tani

One of the most interesting facets of legal history is that there are multiple access points. Scholars enter from history departments and law schools; they carry various degrees and credentials. Expertise is required, but one need not have passed the bar or had formal training in the historical method. Whether this will be true twenty years from now remains to be seen, but my entirely unscientific observation is that a fair amount of recent entrants to the field have dual degrees in law and history.

A J.D./Ph.D. is not for the faint of heart, and I recommend it only for those who believe that both degrees are necessary to achieving their career goals. For those who are sure, or simply want more information, this post is for you. I’ve put together a list of institutions (that I know of) that train legal historians and welcome dual degree students. Please supplement my list and add your comments!

Out of loyalty, I’ll list my home institution first. The University of Pennsylvania has a J.D./Ph.D. program in American Legal History, with a formal system of funding, cross-credits, and advisers. It has the firm backing of both the Law School and the History Department, which is important because dual degrees can involve significant red tape. You want to be at an institution that will invest in your success and help you solve the complicated administrative problems that can arise.

I know several legal historians who have pursued dual degrees at New York University. NYU boasts scholars in the Law School and the History Department who are excited to work with legal history graduate students. NYU is also home to a fantastic legal history colloquium, which gives students access to cutting-edge work and an interesting array of scholars.

Another legal history powerhouse is Yale University: it has consistently encouraged dual degree students and has produced many of the field’s rising stars. I don’t know much about the formal structure of the program (the website is somewhat vague), but it’s clear that Law School and History faculty have worked together to produce top-notch legal historians. Cross-departmental cooperation and dialogue is crucial to a good joint degree experience.

Some programs that I’m less familiar with, but look strong are Columbia University’s and Stanford University’s. These institutions would be natural places to pursue dual degrees, given their impressive collections of legal historians. Another option out west is the Jurisprudence and Social Policy program at the University of California, Berkeley. This Ph.D. program does not require or lead to a J.D.., but some candidates get one while there.

I imagine there are other places that have produced or are currently training J.D./Ph.D. students in legal history. The machinery and the potential advisers appear to be in place at Harvard University and the University of Chicago, for example. Hopefully, those who know better will comment below.

Of course, one need not complete both degrees at the same university. Doing so can shave off time and minimize the financial cost, but there are good reasons (availability of mentors, educational quality, geography) for pursuing a J.D. at one institution and a Ph.D. at another. For those with a J.D. in hand, Princeton is a terrific place to pursue the doctorate. The History Department’s list of legal history alums is truly stunning.

Last, there are a number of J.D./M.A. legal history programs. The University of Virginia’s, for one, appears to be thriving.

Update: I forgot the University of Michigan. Here's a link to the Law School's Dual Degrees page.

Image credit: robed elite

See the orignial post for links to the different programmes.