31 July 2012

Visit our Facebook Page!

As some of you already know, the ESCLH has now also a Facebook page. Become a "fan" of the ESCLH on Facebook and keep in touch with the community of comparative legal historians around the world. We need your help to create an effective network!

26 July 2012

NOTICE: Australasian Colonial Legal History Library

The Australasian Colonial Legal History Library is now online! For more information read the article "Digitising and Searching Australasian Colonial Legal History" by G. Greenleaf, P. Chung, A. Mowbray and B. Salter.


Australasia has a rich and complex legal history since the first European settlement, and our knowledge of legal practice and precedent in the colonies of Australasia is still developing. The Australasian Colonial Legal History Library project is an ARC-funded project being carried out by the Australasian Legal Information Institute (AustLII) since January 2012 with input from 18 legal historians from Universities across Australia. Cooperation with other parties who have already built invaluable and pioneering online resources for Australasian colonial law is an essential part of the project.

AustLII is a free access online service which has operated since 1995 as a joint facility provided by UNSW and UTS Law Faculties , and now provides over 500 databases, with usage of over 700,000 page accesses per day. The Colonial Legal History Library project is therefore being built within a large and mature research infrastructure, and this presents challenges as well as advantages. In particular, many of the AustLII databases cover the whole period from the formation of a colony to the present, so the databases for this Library have to be ‘virtual’ databases extracted from this larger corpus.

The paper explains the construction, content and features of the first version of the Library, which as of July 2012 contains 12 databases including one case law database from each of the seven colonies (including New
Zealand), some of which are ‘recovered’ cases from newspaper reports, the complete annual legislation to 1900 from three of the colonies, plus legal scholarship concerning the colonial era. These databases provide over 20,000 documents so far, and the Victorian Government Gazette 1851-1900 another 200,000. The Library also includes the LawCite citator, which allows the subsequent citation history of any colonial case to be tracked, including if cited by courts outside Australasia.

The medium term aim of this part of the ARC project (which extends to 1950 in its full scope) is to include all legislation, reported cases, and cases which can be ‘recovered’, from the inception of each colony to 1900. Scholarship (old and new) and key source materials are also being added, as budgets permit. We hope that the Library will be a leader in the creation of legal history resources from the colonial era.

CALL FOR PAPERS: Journal of History and Cultures

The Journal of History and Cultures (JHAC) is issuing a Call for Papers for the next issue and welcomes articles on subjects in the fields of history and cultures within a broad geographic and chronological range. We are also accepting book reviews.
JHAC is a peer-reviewed journal and an excellent new publishing opportunity both for postgraduates and established academics. Articles should be 5,000-7,000 words in length. We encourage articles that consider and engage with historical, cultural, political, social, and theoretical research in new and original ways. Reviews should be 750-1,000 words in length. Review essays should be in-depth engagements with recent books which develop an argument to complement the reading of the text. A list of books available for review will be appearing on our website; alternatively, you can contact our reviews editor directly to request a specific book to review at
The deadline for submissions is 1st October 2012.
Full submission and formatting guidelines can be found at:
Finally, we invite you to join the JHAC community on both Facebook and Twitter @UOBJHAC for regular updates.
We are offering a £50 prize for the best article.
Please email all submissions and address any enquiries to

20 July 2012

NOTICE: 39. Deutscher Rechtshistorikertag (Lucerne, 2-6 September 2012)

The Institute Lucernarius of the University of Lucerne (Switzerland) organizes the 39th Day of Legal Historians (Rechtshistorikertag). It will take place from the 2nd to the 6th of September 2012, for the fourth time in Switzerland and for the first time in Lucerne. The plenary opening session will begin on the 2nd of Sepember at 5:00 pm with an address by prof. Peter von Matt. More information about the program, which includes, as a novelty, a poster-session, are available here (papers in German and in English).

18 July 2012

NOTICE: ESCLH Second Biennial Conference: Amsterdam 2012

One week ago, the ESCLH Second Biennial Conference on "Legal History: Definitions and Challenges" took place at the VU University Amsterdam (9-10 July). More than 100 participants, coming from 29 different countries, presented their papers on many different issues. For more information about the abstracts and to read Prof. David Ibbetson's Keynote Address ("The Challenges of Comparative Legal History"), see: After this great occasion of confrontation and discussion, we are looking forward to the next ESCLH Conference, which will take place at the University of Macerata (Italy) in 2014!

VU University Amsterdam
Executive Council
Executive Council

David Ibbetson
From the left: Luigi Lacché, Adolfo Giuliani, Jan Hallebeek: from Amsterdam to Macerata
Eberhard van der Laan, Mayor of Amsterdam (Plenary Opening Session Address)

16 July 2012

NOTICE: "Faire la preuve de la propriété"

The Ecole française de Rome has recently published a volume on property in the Mediterranean from the Roman Republic until the 19th century:

Dubouloz et A. Ingold (ed. by), "Faire la preuve de la propriété: droits et savoirs en Méditerranée (Antiquité-Temps modernes)", École française de Rome, 2012
(Collection de l'École française de Rome n°452), 2012, 342 p., ISBN:978-2-7283-0906-1, 50€

List of contents:
  • Introduction : faire la preuve de la propriété en Méditerranée.
  • Catherine SALIOU, Épigraphie et rapports de voisinage: communis versus privatus.
  • Lauretta MAGANZANI, L’expertise judiciaire des arpenteurs romains: ordo mensurarum et controversiae agrorum.
  • Julien DUBOULOZ, Terres, territoire et juridiction dans les cités de l’Occident romain: le regard des arpenteurs.
  • Étienne HUBERT, Droits sur le sol, résidence et citoyenneté dans les villes de l’Italie centrale et septentrionale (XIe-XIVe siècle).
  • Jean-Pierre VAN STAËVEL, Experts en bâtiment et construction de la preuve: les avatars d’un cas d’espèce, entre Cordoue et Tunis (XIIe-XVe siècle).
  • Nicolas MICHEL, Spécialistes villageois de la terre et de l’eau en Égypte (XIIe-XVIIe siècle)
  • Christian MÜLLER, Les ventes de biens immobiliers au XIVe siècle: étude des actes du Haram al-Sharif à Jérusalem.
  • Antonio STOPANI, La borne et l’expert: réflexions sur la fama dans les contentieux juridictionnels dans l’Italie d’Ancien Régime.
  • Brigitte MARINO, Être accusé de mainmise devant les juges de Damas au XVIIIe siècle: le cas des terrains agricoles loués par Ismail Pacha al-’Azm.
  • Michela BARBOT, Incertitude ou pluralité des droits? Les conflits sur les droits fonciers et immobiliers dans la Lombardie d’Ancien Régime.
  • Alice INGOLD, Conflits sur les eaux courantes en France au XIXe siècle, entre administration et justice: de l’enchevêtrement des droits et des savoirs experts.
  • Résumés des contributions
  • Table des matières
For more information see:

NOTICE: American Journal of Legal History's July 2012 Issue

The table of contents of the July 2012 AJLH issue (vol. 52, issue 3) is now available:

Academic SAILERS: The Ford Foundation and the Efforts to Shape Legal Education in Africa, 1957-1997, by Jayanth K. Krishnan

Individualization of Punishment and the Rule of Law: Reshaping the Legality in the United States and Europe between the 19th and the 20th Century, by Michele Pifferi

Book Reviews

Judy E. Gaughan. Murder was Not a Crime: Homicide and Power in the Roman Republic, by Kevin Walker

Glenda Elizabeth Gilmore. Defying Dixie: The Radical Roots of Civil Rights, 1919-1950, by Darrell A. H. Miller

Ethan Greenberg. Dred Scott and the Dangers of a Political Court, by Gerry Leonard

Peter Charles Hoffer. A Nation of Laws: America’s Imperfect Pursuit of Justice, by William G. Merkel

Philip K. Howard. Life Without Lawyers: Restoring Responsibility in America, by Andrew Jay McClurg

Vicki Hsueh. Hybrid Constitutions: Challenging Legacies of Law, Privilege, and Culture in Colonial America, by Lauren Benton

Calvin H. Johnson. Righteous Anger at the Wicked States: The Meaning of the Founders’ Constitution, by Douglas G. Smith

Bernie D. Jones. Fathers of Conscience: Mixed-Race Inheritance in the Antebellum South, by Kevin Noble Maillard

J. M. Kaye. Medieval English Conveyances, by Robert C. Palmer
Bruce A. Kimball. The Inception of Modern Professional Education, by Steve Sheppard

Christine L. Krueger. Reading for the Law: British Literary History and Gender Advocacy, by Teresa Godwin Phelps
Roberta Rosenthal Kwall. The Soul of Creativity: Forging a Moral Rights Law for the United States, by Robert C. Bird

Alison L. LaCroix. The Ideological Origins of American Federalism, by David J. Bederman

Mona Lynch. Sunbelt Justice: Arizona and the Transformation of American Punishment, by Marie L. Griffin

Earl M. Maltz. Slavery and the Supreme Court, 1825-1861, by Jason A. Gillmer

Edward F. Mannino. Shaping America: The Supreme Court and American Society, by Hunter R. Clark
Mark C. Miller. The View of the Courts from the Hill: Interactions Between Congress and the Federal Judiciary, by Bruce Peabody

Francis J. Mootz III (ed.). On Philosophy in American Law, by James R. Beattie, Jr.   


13 July 2012

NOTICE: Maastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law Special Issue

"The Maastricht Journal of European and Comparative Law provides literature which enables both the European professional and academic lawyer to grapple with the special difficulties presented by the concept of Ius commune Europaeum":
The current issue (2012-2), guest-edited by Janwillem Oosterhuis and Emanuel van Dongen, is focused on
"European Traditions – Integration or Disintegration?":

Second-Rate Citizens: Junian Latins and the Constitutio Antoniniana
E. Koops, p. 223

The Booke of Orders of Assurances: A Civil Law Code in 16th Century London
G. Rossi, p. 240

The Revival of Romanistic Scholarship between the 19th and 20th Centuries as a ‘Centralizing Force’ in European Legal History – The Masterpieces of German Pandectist Literature Revised by Italian Translators
F. Furfaro, p. 262

New Imperialism (1870–1914) and the European Legal Traditions: A (Dis)Integrative Episode
M. Van Der Linden, p. 281

The Path of the Former Yugoslav Countries to the European Union: From Integration to Disintegration and Back
S. Fabijanić Gagro, B. Vukas Jr, p. 300

The Enigma of Civil Justice in Imperial China: A Legal Historical Enquiry
P. C.h. Chan, p. 317

03 July 2012

NOTICE: International School of Ius Commune (Erice, Sicily), 5-11 October 2012

Ettore Majorana Foundation and Centre
for Scientific Culture

International School of Ius Commune

Directors of the School:
M. Bellomo – K. Pennington – O. Condorelli

XXXII Course, Erice, 5-11 October 2012

The Legal Status of Jews and Muslims in the Ius Commune

La condizione giuridica di Ebrei e Musulmani nel diritto comune

Director of the XXXII Course

John Tolan (University of Nantes)
Sponsored by: The Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research – Sicilian Regional Government – The European Research Council programme RELMIN: “The Legal Status of Religious Minorities in the Euro-Mediterranean World”  Catholic University of America, Washington D.C. – University of Catania –Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Imola


Utrum ritus infidelium sint tolerandi, asks Thomas Aquinas in the Summa theologica, “should the rites of infidels be tolerated?” He concludes that there are limited grounds for the Church’s tolerating the existence of non-Christian cults. First and foremost, Judaism: the rites of Jews prefigure those of Christianity and should hence be allowed to continue as a confirmation of Christian truth. As for other faiths, they may be tolerated for reasons of expediency: if it would prove difficult or impossible to prohibit those rites without provoking social or political unrest (in particular where these infidels are numerous).

Christian legislators and lawyers from the fifth century on created laws that regulated, protected, or in some cases prohibited, the practice of other religions. In this course, we will look at these legists attitudes towards Judaism and Islam. In order to prove that the Church should indeed allow Jews to practice their religion, Aquinas cites Pope Gregory I, via Gratian’s Decretum. This in itself gives an important glimpse at how authority and precedent are constructed in legal discourse. Yet the question of toleration and protection of Jewish communities is found in legal sources well before Gregory the Great, in particular in a number of fourth- and fifth-century imperial constitutions preserved in the Theodosian code. Popes, bishops, kings, counts, and city councils issued a bewildering array of laws authorizing Jews to live in certain areas, build synagogues, trade with Christians, etc.; other laws prohibited or discouraged certain kinds of interactions between Jews and Christians; in other cases, Jews were expelled from cities, counties or kingdoms. In parts of Mediterranean Europe, jurists posed the same questions concerning Muslims living within Christian polities.

By studying medieval legal discourse on Jews and Muslims, this course aims not only to contribute to the understanding of the history of those minority communities within Christian Europe, but also to reflect on an important dimension of the development of legal thought in Europe. The existence of non-Christians poses questions about the universality of Christianity and Christian law. Just as in the early modern period, European colonization of non-Christian areas provoked debates on the universality of legal principles (in the works of Las Casas, Grotius and others), in the Middle Ages the existence of non-Christians both within and outside of Roman Christendom affected the development of the Ius commune. We will play close attention to the interplay between theoretical discourse on the legality (or not) of infidel law and practice and the practical application of law in daily interactions between Jews, Christians and Muslims.

Lecturers and topics

  1. Paul Brand (University of Oxford, UK): Jews and the Law in England, 1190-1290
  2. Dwayne Carpenter (Boston College, USA): Separate, but not equal: Jews and Muslims in the legislation of Alfonso X, the Learned
  3. Claude Denjean (Université de Toulouse, F): Les juifs et la définition de l’usure dans le jus commune catalan (XIIIe-XIVe siècles)
  4. Johannes Heil (Hochschule für Jüdische Studien, Heidelberg, D): “Sicut Iudaeis” in the 11th century? On the origins of papal protection for Jews
  5. Emma Montanos Ferrín (Universidad de La Coruña, E): Moros y moriscos en los fueros municipales de Hispania
  6. Capucine Nemo-Pekelman (RELMIN, Université de Nantes, F) - Youna Masset (RELMIN, Université de Nantes): Le ius commune traitant de la capacité judiciaire des juifs dans les tribunaux chrétiens et sa réception dans la Catalogne des XIIIe et XIVe siècles
  7. Andrea Padovani (Università di Bologna, I): Diritto canonico, diritto veneto, diritto islamico. Incontri e scontri (secoli XIV-XV)
  8. Kenneth Pennington (Catholic University of America, Washington D.C., USA): Jews in the Medieval and Early Modern Courts
  9. Diego Quaglioni (Università di Trento, I): Ebrei e cristiani nel tardo diritto comune: il “judicium” di Johann Jacob Frey (1701)
  10. Jessie Sherwood (RELMIN, Université de Nantes, F): How canon law created religious boundaries between Christians and Jews
  11. Fernando Suárez Bilbao (Universidad Rey Juan Carlos, Madrid, E): El fuero judiego en los reinos de Castilla y Aragón (siglos XII-XV)
  12. John Tolan (Université de Nantes, F): Muslims as pagans, heretics, or Jews? The quandary of classification for medieval jurists
  13. Ragnhild Johnsrud Zorgati (University of Oslo, N): Intercommunal bathing in the ius commune and in the ius proprium of medieval and early modern Iberia

Persons wishing to attend the School are requested to write to:

Professor Dr. Orazio Condorelli

Facoltà Giuridica – Via Gallo, 24 – 95124 CATANIA, Italy

Tel +39.095.230417