28 December 2012

REMINDER: Juris Diversitas Conference

Juris Diversitas Annual ConferenceREMINDER - 

3-4 June 2013, Lausanne, Switzerland 
Co-Sponsored with the Swiss Institute of Comparative Law

Note that the conference theme, the movement of laws and/or norms over time and space, is particularly appropriate for comparative legal historians.

Proposals should be submitted to Seán Patrick Donlan at by 15 January 2013.

Registration fees (excluding optional conference dinner, €50) are: 

50: Juris Diversitas Members (Full membership 2012 and 2013) 
100: Juris Diversitas Members (Full membership 2013) or Members of the AiSDC 
200: Non-Members

Membership information is available here.

CONFERENCE: Utrecht 1713-2013. Performances of the Peace (Utrecht, 24-26 April 2013) (Utrecht University/Dutch-Belgian Society for Eighteenth Century Studies)

 (fireworks at the occasion of the Peace of Utrecht; image source: Wikimedia Commons)

2013 marks the tricentenary of the peace treaties concluded at Utrecht (11 April 1713), which put an end to (part of) the War of the Spanish Succession. This last great war of Louis XIV's Grand Siècle brought war to the four corners of Europe, as well as to the overseas territories. After the treaties of Utrecht (1713, Rastatt (6 March 1714) and Baden (7 November 1714), Europe entered a rather exceptional peaceful interval in the "bellicose" early modern period, putting a provisional end to a century of uninterrupted bloodshed. The conferences which took place in Utrecht in the years 1712-1713 can be seen as a mirror of changes in intellectual, economic, political and dynastic thought, as well as of elite culture.

A provisional programme for the international conference hosted by Utrecht University and the Dutch-Belgian Society for Eighteenth Century Studies has just been released. The conference, which hosts 12 different panels, will devote attention to legal aspects (panels "Empire" and "Sovereignty"), as well as to the global history perspective.

26 December 2012

ARTICLE: Kuran on Islamic Law and Economic Development

bookjacketA colleague noted that Timur Kuran’s ‘Why the Middle East is Economically Underdeveloped: Historical Mechanisms of Institutional Stagnation’ might be of interest. On SSRN, its abstract reads:

Although a millennium ago the Middle East was not an economic laggard, by the 18th century it exhibited clear signs of economic backwardness. The reason for this transformation is that certain components of the region's legal infrastructure stagnated as their Western counterparts gave way to the modern economy. Among the institutions that generated evolutionary bottlenecks are the Islamic law of inheritance, which inhibited capital accumulation; the absence in Islamic law of the concept of a corporation and the consequent weaknesses of civil society; and the waqf, which locked vast resources into unproductive organizations for the delivery of social services. All of these obstacles to economic development were largely overcome through radical reforms initiated in the nineteenth century. Nevertheless, traditional Islamic law remains a factor in the Middle East's ongoing economic disappointments. The weakness of the region's private economic sectors and its human capital deficiency stand among the lasting consequences of traditional Islamic law.

He noted, too, Kuran’s The Long Divergence: How Islamic Law Held Back the Middle East (2010) and a related video.

PUBLICATION: Journal of the History of International Law XIV (2012), No. 2

The latest issue of the Journal of the History of International Law (Brill) is out.

  • Ian Hunter, "‘A Jus gentium for America’. The Rules of War and the Rule of Law in the Revolutionary United States"
  • Ignacio de la Rasilla y del Moral, " The Fascist Mimesis of Spanish International Law and its Vitorian Aftermath, 1939–1953"
  • Giulio Bartolini, " The Impact of Fascism on the Italian Doctrine of International Law"
  • Mark Somos, "Selden’s Mare Clausum. The Secularisation of International Law and the Rise of Soft Imperialism"
 (Source: International Law Reporter)

24 December 2012

CALL FOR PAPERS: The Revue d’Études Benthamiennes on Law and Literature

The 12th issue of the Revue d’Études Benthamiennes, to be published in autumn 2013, will be devoted to the theme described below. It will be coordinated by Claire Wrobel (Université Lille 2)
Bentham and his followers were undeniably interdisciplinary thinkers as their interests ranged from reforming the legal and political system to economic and colonial matters as well as language. They moved about diverse social circles and, even when they did not meet face to face, reformers and writers often discussed, albeit on different modes, the same issues.
The REB is seeking to publish papers relying on the methodology of “Law and Literature” studies to shed new light on the works and thinking of Bentham and his followers and, conversely, identify what Bentham's theory of fiction or evidence – for instance – may bring to the field.
Contributions may address - but are not necessarily limited to – the axes which are already well-established: law in literature (the way literature reflects – in both senses of the word – the world of law and legal processes), law as literature (the literary properties of legal texts), the law of literature (the laws relating to literary production and intellectual property), legal and literary hermeneutics. Bentham's theories on fictions and evidence may prove particularly fruitful for hermeneutic issues.


Please send proposals (in French or in English) of around 500 words and a short biography to Emmanuelle de Champs ( and Claire Wrobel ( by December 12th. Acceptance of proposals will be signified in February. Completed articles will be due by June 1st 2013

To read the full call for papers please click here 

NOTICE: New Issue of the "Journal of Constitutional History" 23 (2012)

The Giornale di Storia costituzionale is a periodical published twice a year. It was born in 2001 with the aim of promoting and gathering research and methodological proposals that concern the manifold paths of constitutional history. The articles here published intend to analyse - in a multidisciplinary and comparative perspective - the foundations and characters of a complex historical and cultural phenomenon which has given birth to a common inheritance, yet with different forms and conceptions. Between present and past, the scholars of law, politics, institutions, and more generally the experts of social sciences think and dialogue about constitutionalism, marked by deep historical roots and growing tensions. The Giornale has already become a meeting and reference point for the different practices of constitutional history, it publishes essays in various languages and is characterised by thematic richness and variety in surveys, alternating miscellaneous issues with others dedicated to monographic research.

Journal of Constitutional History 2.1 (2012)


Luca Scuccimarra

Cittadinanza e ordine territoriale: un itinerario a partire dal caso dei postnati (1608) / Citizenship and territorial order: a path starting from the case of the postnati (1608)
Enrica Rigo

Fondare l’equilibrio. Il veto sulle leggi nelle due costituenti settecentesche / Founding the balance of powers: executive veto in two eighteenth-century constituent assemblies
Andrea Buratti

Natura e finalità del Democrates secundus / Nature and aim of the Democrates secundus

Domenico Taranto 

Romagnosi costituzionalista / Romagnosi as a constitutionalist
Fulco Lanchester 

Tra norma giuridica e progetto politico: incompatibilità parlamentari e misure anti-corruzione alle Cortes generali e straordi- narie del 1810-1812 / Between juridical rule and political project: Parliamentary incom- patibilities and anti-corruption measures in general and extraordinary Córtes of 1810-1812
Anna Gianna Manca 

Le responsabilità del giudice in Spagna: una ricognizione storico-giuridica (1834- 1870) / The responsibilities of the judge in Spain: a historical-juridical survey (1834- 1870)
María Julia Solla Sastre

Il caso Röhm tra Rechtsvakuum e nuovo assetto costituzionale: una discussione nella scienza giuridica tedesca nei primi anni del dominio nazionalsocialista / The Röhm case between Rechtsvakuum and new constitutional layout: a debate in the German juridical science during the early years of the National Socialist dominance
Fernando D'aniello

Teatro e rappresentanza politica: solitudine dei privati e segreto del potere da Hobbes a Rousseau / Theatre and political representation: private people’s solitude and power’s secret from Hobbes to Rousseau
Giuseppe Filippetta

La ‘modernità’ di Danton / Danton’s modernity
Mario Tesini 

Du Moïse de Rousseau au Moïse de Freud. L’idée de culture politique / Moses, from Rousseau to Freud. The idea of political culture 
Bruno Karsenti 

Nothing but the truth. The defendant’s speech in the forensic psychology at the beginning / Nient’altro che la verità. La parola dell’imputato nella psicologia forense delle origini
Paolo Marchetti 

Testi & Pretesti
Tra due guerre. Considerazioni sul pensiero politico di Gadda / Between Two Wars. Considerations on Gadda’s Political Thought
Realino Marra 

Primo piano / In the foreground 
Andrea Lanza legge Sandro Chignola / Andrea Lanza reads Sandro Chignola, Il tempo rovesciato. La Restaurazione e il governo
della democrazia
Trenta proposte di lettura / Thirty reading proposals

Autori / Authors


For more information click here

NOTICE: "Historia et Ius" 2 (2012) is now online

Historia et Ius is an on-line International journal dedicated to medieval, modern and contemporary historical legal studies. Founded after the initiative of a group Italian legal historians, the journal is supported by an editorial board composed by European legal historians of high scientific profile. 

"HISTORIA ET IUS" - 2 (2012) 

Temi e questioni:
1) Julien Boudon, Une doctrine juridique au service de la République? La figure d’Adhémar Esmein 

Studi (peer review):
2) Alessandra Bassani, I requisiti della testimonianza de auditu alieno nella dottrina del tredicesimo secolo 
3) Alessia Legnani Annichini, Il paradigma della giustizia locale in una terra emiliana: gli statuti di San Felice sul Panaro del 1464 
4) Giuseppe Mazzanti, Dopo il Tridentino. Una querelle dottrinale intorno al matrimonio presunto 
5) Sara Parini Vincenti, La transazione nello ius hollandicum 
6) Alessandro Dani, Gli statuti comunali nello Stato della Chiesa di Antico regime: qualche annotazione e considerazione 
7) Rosamaria Alibrandi, Ut sepulta surgat veritas. Giovan Filippo Ingrassia e Fortunato Fedeli sulla novella strada della medicina legale 
8) Gianni Buganza, Iatromeccanica post galileiana, amministrazione della giustizia veneta e discussione internazionale (1727-1801) 
9) Raffaele Ruggiero, Critica testuale e storia giuridica: una rassegna di esperienze ecdotiche 
10) Stefania T. Salvi, Due generazioni di notai nella Milano di fine Ancien Régime: Giuseppe e Vincenzo D'Adda 
11) Giordano Ferri, La costruzione teorica dei poteri dell’arbitro nell’età moderna 
12) Carlotta Latini, Soldati delinquenti, scienza giuridica e processi penali militari nell’Italia unita 
13) Massimo Nardozza, Codificazione civile e cultura giuridica in Italia. Appunti per una ricerca 
14) Irene Stolzi, Il fascismo totalitario: il contributo della riflessione idealistica

15) Natalino Irti, Storicismo e nichilismo giuridico in un'orazione di Ugo Foscolo 
16) Nicola Picardi, Le riforme processuali e sociali di Franz Klein 
17) Jacques Bouineau, L’Islande médiévale et moderne constitue-t-elle une res publica? 
18) Francesco Berti, Garanzie processuali e diritti dell'uomo nella dottrina della pena di Gaetano Filangieri 
19) Angela Santangelo Cordani, Venere contro natura. Il crimen sodomiae tra diritto canonico e legislazioni civili (a proposito di Miguel Ángel Chamocho Cantudo, Sodomia. El crimen y pecado contra natura o historia de una intolerancia) 
20) Marco Fioravanti, Diritto e schiavitù in età moderna (a proposito di Gabriele Turi, Schiavi in un mondo libero. Storia dell’emancipazione dall’età moderna a oggi) 
21) Massimo Nardozza, Storia del diritto, storiografia e storicismo in Emilio Betti (a proposito di Le idee fanno la loro strada. La Teoria generale dell’interpretazione di Emilio Betti cinquant’anni dopo, a cura di Giuliano Crifò) 

All texts are available here 

CALL FOR APPLICATIONS: 2013 Hurst Summer Institute in Legal History

Hurst Summer Institute in Legal History: June 9-22, 2013

Deadline: 1/15/13

The American Society for Legal History and the Institute for Legal Studies at the University of Wisconsin Law School are pleased to invite applications for the seventh biennial Hurst Summer Institute in Legal History. The purpose of the Hurst Institute is to advance the approach to legal scholarship fostered by J. Willard Hurst in his teaching, mentoring, and scholarship. The "Hurstian perspective" emphasizes the importance of understanding law in context; it is less concerned with the characteristics of law as developed by formal legal institutions than with the way in which positive law manifests itself as the "law in action." The Hurst Institute assists scholars from law, history, and other disciplines in pursuing research in legal history.

The two-week program is structured but informal, and features presentations by guest scholars, discussions of core readings in legal history, and analysis of the work of the participants in the Institute. The general format includes intensive daily sessions Monday-Friday that run through mid-afternoon, a few scheduled social events, and some free time for additional discussion, reading and research. Fellows will have the opportunity to conduct archival work at the Wisconsin Historical Society. (The Society holds a vast array of primary documents and is particularly strong in areas involving nineteenth and twentieth century social movements and labor activism. In addition, the Library possesses an excellent collection of federal and state government material which is largely un-cataloged.)

For more information, please see

23 December 2012

CALL FOR PAPERS: 2013 Meeting of the American Society for Legal History

Call for Papers:
2013 Meeting of the American Society for Legal History

The 2013 meeting of the American Society for Legal History will take place in Miami, Florida, November 7-10, 2013. The ASLH invites proposals on any facet or period of legal history, anywhere in the world. In selecting presenters, the Program Committee will give preference to those who did not present at last year’s meeting.

Travel grants will be available for presenters in need; these resources will nevertheless still be limited, and special priority will be given to presenters traveling from abroad, graduate students, post-docs, and independent scholars.

The Program Committee welcomes proposals for both full panels and individual papers, though please note that individual papers are less likely to be accepted. As concerns panels, the Program Committee encourages the submission of a variety of different types of proposals, including:

  • traditional 3-paper panels (with a separate commentator and chair)
  • incomplete 2-paper panels (with a separate commentator and chair), which the Committee will try to complete with at least 1 more paper;
  • panels of 4 or more papers (with a separate commentator and chair);
  • thematic panels that range across traditional chronological or geographical fields ;
  • author-meets-reader panels;
  • roundtable discussions.

All panel proposals should include the following:

  • A 300-word description of the panel;
  • A c.v. for each presenter (including complete contact info);
  • In the case of paper-based panels only, a 300-word abstract of each paper .

Individual paper proposals should include:

  • A c.v. for each presenter (including complete contact info);
  • A 300-word abstract of each paper

The deadline for submitting proposals is March 1, 2013. Proposals should be sent as email attachments to Substantive questions should be directed to Christina Duffy Ponsa at or Karl Shoemaker at

Those unable to send proposals as email attachments may mail hard copies to:

2013 ASLH Program Committee
c/o Christina Duffy PONSA
Columbia Law School
435 W. 116th Street, Rm. 913
New York, NY 10027

18 December 2012

CALL FOR PAPERS: "Aequitas. Studies in History, Law and Institutions" (Deadline 30 June 2013)

We have received, and are pleased to publish, the following call for papers:

"The journal “Aequitas. Studies in History, Law and Institutions” begins the journey of its third year of existence in order to continue on the path of the previous numbers. Our journal is now indexed in scientific publications databases, as Latindex, RESH and DICE. The previous numbers of the journal are available for view or download at:

If you or your collegues want to submit to the journal any work, article or research, we inform you that the submission deadline for the next number is 06/30/2013. Texts can be sent to Leandro Martinez Peñas, Secretary of the Journal, to the following e-mail:
The Journal is published only in digital format, the texts must be original and will be examined by experts. The format rules are available on the magazine’s website:

We hope that our publication will be of interest and we remain at your disposal for any questions, feedback or suggestions".

Thanks for your time and attention.

Best wishes.

Manuela Fernández Rodríguez.
Leandro Martínez Peñas.

17 December 2012

NOTICE: Selden Society David Yale Prize

F.W. MaitlandThe Selden Society hopes to award again in 2013 its David Yale PrizeThe Prize is for an outstanding contribution to the history of the law of England and Wales. The previous age requirement, that it be by a scholar under the age of 35, is being relaxed but the intention of the prize remains: to encourage younger researchers and also those new to the field to engage in and produce substantial new work.

In previous years a prize of £1,000 sterling has been awarded.

For further details please contact the Secretary, Selden Society, School of Law, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London E1 4NS, England or 

Victor Tunkel, Secretary, Selden Society.

15 December 2012

NOTICE: Postdoctoral Fellowships in Berlin (Rechtskulturen: Confrontations beyond Comparison, 2013/14)

What: Postdoctoral Program "Rechtskulturen: Confrontations beyond Comparison"
Where: Forum Transregionale Studien am Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin, Berlin, Humboldt-Universität
When: 01 October 2013 - 31 July 2014
Deadline for applications: 24 January 2013

The Berlin-based Postdoctoral Program Rechtskulturen: Confrontations beyond Comparison invites scholars to apply for seven postdoctoral fellowships for the academic year 2013/2014.
Rechtskulturen (‘legal cultures’) is a Berlin-based postdoctoral research program which is designed to explore the law in new and innovative ways. We intend to create a space of reflection and communication where fundamental and salient questions of the law and its context(s) can be re-negotiated from a variety of disciplinary and regional perspectives, and re-connected with jurisprudence and legal methodology.
Applicants should be at the postdoctoral level and should have obtained their doctorate within the last five years before their application to the program. We welcome candidates with various disciplinary backgrounds, such as the field of legal studies, sociology, political science, philosophy, history, anthropology, theology, and area studies, representing a broad range of diverse approaches to the law, including gender studies, comparative research, law & literature, critical legal studies, administrative sciences, transitional justice, postcolonial theory, and legal philosophy and theory. In particular, we encourage applicants with a firm disciplinary background in law to engage in reflexive and transdisciplinary research.
For the academic year 2013/2014, we welcome in particular applicants interested in the law’s place in systems of knowledge and knowledge production (e.g. its relation to science, theology, philosophy, philology), in legal methodologies, in the law as a professional field, and in law in professional practices. We strongly encourage applications from scholars analyzing the law in various cultural contexts, engaging with confrontations beyond comparison.
Fellowships begin on 1 October, 2013 and will end on 31 July, 2014. Postdoctoral fellows will receive a monthly stipend of € 2,500 plus supplements depending on their personal situation. Organizational support regarding visa, insurances, housing, etc. will be provided.
Successful applicants will be fellows of the project Rechtskulturen at the Forum Transregionale Studien and Associate Members of Humboldt University Law School. Through this association, they will be integrated into the Law School and will have access to the academic milieu of a leading German university as well as to libraries and other research facilities.
To apply, please make use of our web-based electronic application procedure that will be open for applications from 10 January 2013 to 24 January 2013 (24:00, CET), see
Contact:Alexandra Kemmerer

CALL FOR PAPERS: 1st International Simposium of Young Medievalists (Mar del Plata, 7-10 May 2013)

What: Primer Simposio Internacional de Jóvenes Medievalistas - Mar del Plata (Provincia de Buenos Aires). When: 7-10 May 2013
Organized by: Sociedad Argentina de Estudios Medievales (SAEMED) and Grupo de Investigación y Estudios Medievales (GIEM) of the Departamento de Historia de la Facultad de Humanidades de la
Universidad Nacional de Mar del Plata.

This Simposium is thought for researchers under 33 years of age interested in all topics related to the Middle Ages. Papers (written in Castilian) can be submitted within the 31st of January 2013.
For all information please click here.  

13 December 2012

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS: Workshop on Legal American Legal History

ASLH Workshop Call for Submissions:
Latin American Legal History

The American Society for Legal History (ASLH) invites paper submissions for its first annual ASLH Workshop, which will be held immediately preceding the ASLH annual meeting in Miami/Fort Lauderdale (Nov. 7-10, 2013). The workshop is sponsored by ASLH to promote scholarship in areas of legal history that have been traditionally underrepresented at ASLH meetings and in the Law and History Review. This year’s workshop topic is Latin American Legal History. (Workshop topics will rotate on an annual basis.) The ASLH Legal History Workshop will bring together authors and noted scholars in the field in order to work collaboratively toward refining scholarly writing. An important objective of the workshop is encouraging scholarly conversations among historians of legal systems from a broad range of historical periods and places.

NOTICE: Conference on public officials and institutions between 1933 and 1948 (Sorbonne, 21-22-23 February 2013)

What: Conference Faire des choix ? Les fonctionnaires dans l’Europe des dictatures 1933-1948
Where: Sorbonne - Grand amphithéâtre, 45 rue des Ecoles, Paris V
When: 21-22-23 February 2013
Organized by: Conseil d’État and Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales
The inaugural session will take place under the presidency of M. François Hollande, President of the Republic.
Registration is compulsory. Please write an email to  specifying your name, surname and address. You will receive a personal invitation within the limits of the seats available.  

To read the program and all useful information click here

12 December 2012

PUBLICATION: The Cambridge Companion to Edmund Burke (including ‘Burke on law and legal theory’)

Cambridge University Press has recently published D Dwan and C Insole (eds), The Cambridge Companion to Edmund Burke:

The Cambridge Companion to Edmund BurkeEdmund Burke prided himself on being a practical statesman, not an armchair philosopher. Yet his responses to specific problems – rebellion in America, the abuse of power in India and Ireland, or revolution in France – incorporated theoretical debates within jurisprudence, economics, religion, moral philosophy and political science. Moreover, the extraordinary rhetorical force of Burke's speeches and writings quickly secured his reputation as a gifted orator and literary stylist. This Companion provides a comprehensive assessment of Burke's thought, exploring all his major writings from his early treatise on aesthetics to his famous polemic, Reflections on the Revolution in France. It also examines the vexed question of Burke's Irishness and seeks to determine how his cultural origins may have influenced his political views. Finally, it aims both to explain and to challenge interpretations of Burke as a romantic, a utilitarian, a natural law thinker and founding father of modern conservatism.

The Companion includes my ‘Burke on law and legal theory’. The introduction notes that:

Burke’s frequent recourse to legal arguments and principles gleaned from traditions of common law and natural law jurisprudence also need to be interpreted within a broader historical and intellectual context. As Seán Donlan argues, Burke could sing the praises of England’s ‘ancient constitution’ as well as any other Whig, but he could also challenge parochial views of English legal history and was especially critical of the insularity of popular common law histories associated with William Blackstone. Instead, he chose to emphasise the degree to which English law was the result of frequent and constructive communication with the continent. Throughout his life he expressed impatience at narrow or excessively positivist constructions of law and insisted that all legal schemes must accommodate the particular manners and morals of nations as well as ethical constraints imposed by human nature. Of course, critics have disputed the meaning and importance of these ethical constraints, and it is an issue that Christopher Insole addresses in his chapter on Burke’s use of natural law. 

10 December 2012

NOTICE: Conference on Constitution, Nation and Liberty 200 years after the Spanish Constitution of 1812 (Rome, 12-14 December 2012)

What: "Cadice e oltre. Costituzione, Nazione e Libertà. La carta gaditana nel bicentenario della sua promulgazione"
Where: Istituto per la storia del Risorgimento italiano. Vittoriano - Sala Verdi (entrance Via San Pietro in Carcere, Rome)
When: 12-14 December 2012

To read the program click here and here

NOTICE: ARISTEC Conference on case law yesterday and today (RomaTre University, 22-23 February 2013)

What: ARISTEC Conference: Casistica e giurisprudenza. Giornate in onore di M. J. Garcia Garrido

Where: RomaTre University, Law Faculty, Via Ostiense 161, Sala delle lauree

When: 22-23 February 2013

To read the program click here


PUBLICATION: Emanuele Conte and Sara Menzinger on Medieval Taxation and Politics

Emanuele Conte, Sara Menzinger, "La Summa Trium Librorum di Rolando da Lucca (1195-1234). Fisco, politica, scientia iuris", Ricerche dell'Istituto Storico Germanico di Roma 8,  2012. 

Emanuele Conte and Sara Menzinger have recently published the first critical edition of the most ancient treatise on public law produced by medieval legal science: the Summa Trium Librorum by Rolandus de Luca. 

Rolandus, even though perfectly aware of the style and "tastes" of the Glossators of the 12th century, was not a professor: he was a judge, involved in the practice of the cities' courts as well as in the communal politics. His work brings us to reconsider the relationship between legal doctrine and institutional practice at the end of the 12th century, when the revival  of the Empire corresponded to the rise of the autonomy of the Italian city-states.

The long introduction to this critical edition aims at opening a new debate on medieval public law, which was developed with reference to the relationship between Empire and city-states. The theories and legal reasoning developed in this work, which is characterized by a deeply laic approach, are essential to fully understand the public law theories of the 13th century which have been a pivotal topic of medieval legal historical studies in the last decades.
For more information click here 

PUBLICATION: Law and Humanities 2nd issue 2012

Volume 6. Number 2. 2012

The 2nd issue of the 2012 volume of Law and Humanities is now available online.
Please see below for the table of contents, information about online access and details on how to subscribe.

To access this issue online, read the abstracts and purchase individual papers please click here

Paul Raffield and Gary Watt
Free to view

Oaths, Credibility and the Legal Process in Early Modern England: Part One
Barbara J Shapiro

‘Observe how parts with parts unite / In one harmonious rule of right’: William Blackstone’s Verses on the Laws of England
Matthew Mauger

Human Rights and Radical Universalism: Aimé Césaire’s and CLR James’s Representations of the Haitian Revolution
Philip Kaisary

Dickens and the National Interest: On the Representation of Parties in Bleak House
Jan-Melissa Schramm

Truth, Law and Forensic Psychiatry in Truman Capote’s In Cold Blood
Svein Atle Skålevåg

07 December 2012

PUBLICATION: Bill Davies on the 'reception' of European law and court decisions in Germany

Bill Davies, Resisting the ECJ: Germany’s Confrontation with European Law, 1949-1979, Cambridge University Press, July 2012

The European Union's (EU) powerful legal framework drives the process of European integration. The Court of Justice (ECJ) has established a uniquely effective supranational legal order, beyond the original wording of the Treaty of Rome and transforming our traditional understanding of international law. This work investigates how these fundamental transformations in the European legal system were received in one of the most important member states, Germany. On the one hand, Germany has been highly supportive of political and economic integration; yet on the other, a fundamental pillar of the post-war German identity was the integrity of its constitutional order. How did a state whose constitution was so essential to its self-understanding subscribe to the constitutional practice of EU law? How did a country who could not say 'no' to Europe become the member state most reluctant to accept the new power of the ECJ?

06 December 2012

PUBLICATION: Chen and van Rhee on the Chinese Civil Code

Brill has just published Lei Chen and CH (Remco) van Rhee (eds), Towards a Chinese Civil Code: historical and comparative perspectives (2012):

Currently, China is drafting its new Civil Code. Against this background, the Chinese legal community has shown a growing interest in various legal and legislative ideas from around the world. Within this context, the present book aims at providing the necessary historical and comparative legal perspectives. It concentrates on substantive private law and civil procedure, both in China and in other jurisdictions. These perspectives are of considerable importance for the present codification work. Additionally, the book is dedicated to commemorating the centennial of the first Western-influenced and civil law-oriented Civil Code of China, the Da Qing Min Lü Cao An of 1911. 

The following topics are addressed: property law, contract law, tort law and civil procedure. The book also contains contributions on codification experiences in Europe and on the concept of codification in general. The topics are discussed by leading Chinese and international scholars. Most of the Chinese contributors have taken part in preparing the Chinese Draft Civil Code. 

The book is the outcome of a conference organized by the Centre for Chinese and Comparative Law (RCCL), School of Law, City University of Hong Kong, in October 2010.

Additional information is available at

04 December 2012

PUBLICATION: Wim Decock on Theologians and Contract Law

Brill just published Wim Decock (KULeuven/MPI Frankfurt)'s doctoral thesis Theologians and Contract Law. The Moral Transformation of the Ius Commune [Studies in the History of Private Law, 9/4], xix + 723.

The Roman legal tradition is the ancestor of modern contract law but there is no agreement as to how and when a general law of contract emerged. Wim Decock’s thesis is that an important step in this evolution was taken by theologians in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. They transformed the Roman legal tradition (ius commune) by insisting on the moral foundations of contract law. Theologians emphasized that the enforceability of contracts is based on voluntary consent and that a contract should not enrich one party at another's expense. While their main concern was the salvation of souls, theologians played a key role in the development of a systematic contract law in which the founding principles were freedom and fairness

More information on the publisher's website.

PUBLICATION: Francesco Mastroberti, Stefano Vinci and Michele Pepe on the "Liber Belial" and the Romano-canonical Procedure between 15th and 16th century

Francesco Mastroberti – Stefano Vinci – Michele Pepe, Il Liber Belial e il processo romano-canonico in Europa tra XV e XVI secolo. Con l'edizione in volgare italiano (Venezia 1544) trascritta e annotata, Cacucci ed., 2012
Scant bibliography exists in Italy on the Liber Belial, the work written by Giacomo Palladino, alias Jacopo da Teramo (1349-1417), bishop in Monopoli, Taranto, Firenze and Spoleto. In his book the author imagined that the devils decided to bring legal action against the dispossession by Jesus Christ, when he descended into the Hell to free the patriarchs’ soul. The Liber Belial presents interesting juridical content: studying the juridical controversy of the protagonists, the work describes the intricate and obscure procedural mechanisms, unravelling their secrets into the vast world of the profane, in a pleasant fictionalized style but also with absolute technical accuracy: the description of every processual step contains precise references to legal sources: above all the Liber Extra of Gregory the IX, but also Liber Sextus, Digesta and Codex Iustiniani. The legal content is not the only in the Liber Belial. We have a theological content (all the protagonists acting in the book, in fact, are figures of the Catholic Tradition) and an important sociological content: the long section in which the Last Judgement is explained, the description of what is right or wrong, true or false, make of the Liber Belial an important and effectual interpretive means of the medieval mentality.
The present work, Il Liber Belial e il processo romano-canonico in Europa tra XV e XVI secolo, is divided into three parts: in the first the authors describe the basic profiles of the author and his work and deepen the legal content of Liber Belial; in the second part we have the faithful transcription of the only edition in Italian, printed in Venice in 1544; in the third part we have a comparison of the normative apparatuses of the most important Liber Belial's European versions