29 May 2020

CALL FOR PANELS/PAPERS: 2020 Annual Meeting of the American Society of Comparative Law Online Meeting (Online, 15-16 October 2020) (DEADLINE: 15 July 2020)

(Source: ASCL)

Via the Law & HumanitiesBlog, we learned of a call for papers/panels for the American Society of Comparative Law’s online annual meeting with the theme “Comparative Legal History”. Here the call:

The American Society of Comparative Law, the leading organization in the United States promoting the comparative study of law, invites all interested scholars, practitioners and advanced degree students to consider submitting a panel or a paper proposal for the upcoming Annual Meeting of the American Society of Comparative Law entitled Comparative Legal History that will be held online between Thursday, October 15, and Friday, October 16, 2020. This meeting, which was to be held at Boston University on Oct. 15-Oct. 17, will now take place online on the Zoom meeting platform on Oct. 15-Oct. 16. This decision was made in consideration of various difficulties caused by the current Covid-19 pandemic.

Comparative historical analysis is part of a long-standing tradition, prominent in political science, economics, and anthropology. Indeed, among the most influential social scientists of all time one finds a large number of scholars who have used the comparative-historical method. Legal scholars have also relied extensively on comparative historical analysis, producing a body of research that is impressive in depth and scope. However, there has been little dialogue between comparative law experts and historians. More generally, a systematic discussion of the methods and goals of comparative legal history is virtually absent. This omission is unfortunate because comparative historical analysis provides tools that are critical to the understanding of legal institutions and legal change. The comparison of legal ideas and institutions across time and space promises three distinctive benefits. First, comparative legal history has explanatory value, illuminating causal connections. Further, comparative legal history helps de-naturalize existing legal institutions. Finally, comparative legal history fosters legal innovation, delivering instructive and sometimes applicable lessons about the analytics of law or its implementation.

The Annual Meeting of the ASCL will have time slots for concurrent panels on Thursday, October 15, and/or Friday, October 16, 2020. Proposals will be considered on a variety of subjects on comparative legal history. The concurrent panels may also be on any comparative law topic even if different from the main topic of the 2020 Annual Meeting on comparative legal history and, as a way to foster multilingualism at the ASCL, may also be held in languages other than English.

The Annual Meeting Program Committee of the American Society of Comparative Law will select the panels that will be held at the meeting in consultation with Boston University School of Law. Panel proposals should include up to four speakers, a panel title, and a one-to-two-paragraph description of the ideas that the panel will explore. Due to the change to an online venue, we have changed the deadline for submissions. Panel and paper proposals should be submitted via e-mail to Thomas Price at on or before July 15, 2020. Decisions regarding accepted panels will be made by the middle of August 2020.

Any questions about the paper or panel proposals should be addressed to Thomas Price at

More info here

BOOK: Alessio FIORE, The Seigneurial Transformation: Power Structures and Political Communication in the Countryside of Central and Northern Italy, 1080-1130 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020). ISBN 9780198825746, £65.00

(Source: OUP)

Oxford University Press is publishing a new book on key moments in Italian Medieval history and an Italian perspective on the “feudal revolution” in Europe.


In The Seigneurial Transformation, Alessio Fiore discusses the transformation of the fabric of power in the kingdom of Italy in the period between the late eleventh century and the early twelfth century. The study analyses the major socio-political change of this period, the crisis of royal and public structures, and the development of seigneurial powers, using as a starting point the structures of power over men and land, and the discourses about the exercise of local power. This period was marked by a rapid reshaping of the structures of local power; while the outbreak of civil wars in the 1080s did not imply a clear-cut rupture with the past, it led to a staggering acceleration of pre-existing dynamics, with a reconfiguration of the matrix of power, in turn expressed in a transformation both of the instruments of local political communications and of the practices of power.


Alessio Fiore, Lecturer of Medieval History, University of Turin, and Sergio Knipe
Alessio Fiore is a lecturer in medieval history at the University of Turin. His research and main publications are focused on medieval history, the form of local power in Italian countryside between 1000 and 1400, and the economy of high medieval Italy.


Part I: New frameworks of local power
1: Civil Wars: collapse and rebuilding of political structures
2: Imperial Power: crisis and transformation
3: Territorial Lordship: rise and spread of a model of power
4: Inside the Lordship: reshaping local societies
5: Collective Powers: political actions of urban and rural autonomous communities
Part II: A Culture of Power. The Dominatus Loci between practices and discourses
6: Royal Legitimation and its Crisis
7: Fidelity: a pervasive language
8: Pacts: the foundations of a new legitimacy
9: Custom: rituals of memory
10: Violence: a pragmatic language
Conclusions: a seigneurial revolution (and more)

More info here

BOOK: Sara LORENZINI, Global Development : A Cold War History (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2019). ISBN 9780691180151, 29.95 USD

Princeton University Press has published a new book on the history of development during the Cold War period.


In the Cold War, “development” was a catchphrase that came to signify progress, modernity, and economic growth. Development aid was closely aligned with the security concerns of the great powers, for whom infrastructure and development projects were ideological tools for conquering hearts and minds around the globe, from Europe and Africa to Asia and Latin America. In this sweeping and incisive book, Sara Lorenzini provides a global history of development, drawing on a wealth of archival evidence to offer a panoramic and multifaceted portrait of a Cold War phenomenon that transformed the modern world.

Taking readers from the aftermath of the Second World War to the tearing down of the Berlin Wall, Lorenzini shows how development projects altered local realities, transnational interactions, and even ideas about development itself. She shines new light on the international organizations behind these projects—examining their strategies and priorities and assessing the actual results on the ground—and she also gives voice to the recipients of development aid. Lorenzini shows how the Cold War shaped the global ambitions of development on both sides of the Iron Curtain, and how international organizations promoted an unrealistically harmonious vision of development that did not reflect local and international differences.

An unparalleled journey into the political, intellectual, and economic history of the twentieth century, this book presents a global perspective on Cold War development, demonstrating how its impacts are still being felt today.
Sara Lorenzini is associate professor of international history in the School of International Studies at the University of Trento in Italy.

More info here

JOURNAL: Tribonien n° 3 (2020): Regards d'historiens du droit sur la réforme de la Cour de cassation

Journal presentation:
Tribonien est une revue critique de droit contemporain, qui puise ses arguments dans l’histoire du droit et les droits étrangers. Son domaine recouvre l’ensemble des sources juridiques actuelles, de droit public comme de droit privé. Sa méthode consiste à soumettre cette matière à des réflexions, des définitions, des raisonnements que l’histoire et les droits étrangers mettent à la disposition des juristes. Son ambition la porte à étendre le domaine des controverses doctrinales à des arguments souvent délaissés ou méconnus, sélectionnés par delà l’espace et le temps.
Table of contents: see above.

The journal can be ordered online for € 33.

(source: Société de Législation Comparée)

BOOK: Lori CLUNE, Executing the Rosenbergs. Death and Diplomacy in a Cold War World (Oxdord: University Press, 2019). ISBN: 9780190055592, pp. 282, £16.99

Cover for 

Executing the Rosenbergs
(Source: OUP)


In 1950, Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were arrested for allegedly passing information about the atomic bomb to the Soviet Union, an affair FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover labeled the "crime of the century." Their case became an international sensation, inspiring petitions, letters of support, newspaper editorials, and protests in countries around the world. Nevertheless, the Rosenbergs were executed after years of appeals, making them the only civilians ever put to death for conspiracy-related activities. Yet even after their executions, protests continued. The Rosenberg case quickly transformed into legend, while the media spotlight shifted to their two orphaned sons.
In Executing the Rosenbergs, Lori Clune demonstrates that the Rosenberg case played a pivotal role in the world's perception of the United States. Based on newly discovered documents from the State Department, Clune narrates the widespread dissent against the Rosenberg decision in 80 cities and 48 countries. Even as the Truman and Eisenhower administrations attempted to turn the case into pro-democracy propaganda, U.S. allies and potential allies questioned whether the United States had the moral authority to win the Cold War. Meanwhile, the death of Stalin in 1953 also raised the stakes of the executions; without a clear hero and villain, the struggle between democracy and communism shifted into morally ambiguous terrain.
Transcending questions of guilt or innocence, Clune weaves the case -and its aftermath -into the fabric of the Cold War, revealing its far-reaching global effects. An original approach to one of the most fascinating episodes in Cold War history, Executing the Rosenbergs broadens a quintessentially American story into a global one.


Lori Clune is associate professor of History, California State University, Fresno


Ch 1: Truman
Ch 2: Transition
Ch 3: Eisenhower
Ch 4: Execution
Ch 5: Reverberations

More information available here

ADVANCE ARTICLE: Benedek M. VARGA, "'Making Maria Theresia 'King' of Hungary'", The Historical Journal (OPEN ACCESS)

(image: Maria Teresa as Queen of Hungary; source: Wikimedia Commons)

This article examines the succession of Maria Theresia as ‘king’ of Hungary in 1741, by questioning the notion of the ‘king's two bodies’, an interpretation that has dominated the scholarship. It argues that Maria Theresia's coming to the throne challenged both conceptions of gender and the understanding of kingship in eighteenth-century Hungary. The female body of the new ruler caused anxieties which were mitigated by the revival of the medieval rex femineus tradition as well as ancient legal procedures aiming to stress the integrity of royal power when it was granted to a woman.
Read more with CUP.

28 May 2020

JOURNAL: Law and History Review XXXLVIII (2020), No. 2

(image source: CUP)

Litigants in the English “Court of Poor Men's Causes,” or Court of Requests, 1515–25 (Laura Flannigan)
The early-Tudor English government oversaw the rise of various centralised courts offering the king's subjects access to extraordinary justice in their private suits. One such new arena was the ‘Court of Requests’, an early equity or conscience court long overshadowed in histories of the period by the better-known courts of Star Chamber and Chancery. This article analyses the little-studied Requests archives to ask who sued there and when/why the court became associated with specifically poor men's causes. Focusing on the formative decade of ‘popularisation’ between 1515 and 1525, it finds that whilst litigants appear to have been largely from the lower sectors of society compared to their counterparts in the other conciliar courts, most petitioners opted for imprecise, rhetorical and non-static descriptions of their relative poverty – defined not just economically, but also in terms of age, property, and kin – in comparison to their opponents, appealing to the specific interpretation of conscience in Requests. The article thus scrutinises the methodologies we use for uncovering the demography of early-modern central courts, and has implications for understanding litigants' legal strategies, recorded identification as distinct from self-identification, and the theory and practice behind commonly-held ideals about the provision of royal justice for the ‘poor’.
 Law, Language and the Printing Press in the Reign of Charles I: Explaining the Printing of the Common Law in English (Ian Williams)
The printing press had the potential to break the common lawyers' monopoly of legal knowledge. Early-modern England witnessed debates about the desirability of wider dissemination of legal learning. Previous scholarship has identified the long-term trend to increased printing of the law in English, focusing on ideological debates between lawyers and other key actors. Only selected texts and types of material were made available to the wider public before the 1620s. From the later 1620s a wider range of material which had hitherto existed only in manuscript was printed in English. Knowledge of the common law became more commonly available. This article identifies this crucial moment and explains the change. Rather than the ideological questions which are discussed in the existing literature, more mundane causes are identified for the legal profession's reduced control over the transmission of legal knowledge: a shift to the use of English by lawyers themselves, and a loss of professional control over manuscripts. The paper therefore demonstrates an important methodological point: understanding and assessing the history of legal printing requires engagement with older methods of transmitting the law.
Law of Nations Theory and the Native Sovereignty Debates in Colonial India (Zak Leonard)

Beginning in the 1840s, high-ranking officials within the East India Company began a concerted effort to confiscate and annex princely states, citing misrule or a default of blood heirs. In response, metropolitan reformers and their Indian allies orchestrated a sustained legalistic defense of native sovereignty in the public sphere and emerged as vocal opponents of colonial expansionism. Adapting concepts put forth by both law of nations theorists and contemporary jurists, they sought to preserve longstanding treaties and defend the princes' exercise of internal sovereignty. The colonial government's failure to adequately define the basis of its modern “paramountcy” invited such creative maneuvering. Reformist opposition to the annexation of Awadh, the dispossession of the Nawab of the Carnatic, and the confiscation of Mysore demonstrates that international law did not simply function as a Eurocentric tool of subordination, but could also provide a bulwark against colonial depredations.
Jousting Over Jurisdiction: Sovereignty and International Law in Late Nineteenth-Century South Asia (Priyasha Saksena)
The article examines the relationship between colonialism and international law by focusing on late nineteenth century debates surrounding the sovereignty of the “princely states” of colonial South Asia. The princely states were ruled by indigenous rulers and were not considered to be British territory, but remained subject to British “influence;” as a result, there were numerous controversies over their legal status. During the course of jurisdictional disputes, a variety of interested players - British politicians, colonial officials, international lawyers, rulers and advisors of princely states - engaged in debates over the idea of sovereignty to resolve questions of legal status, the extent of rights and powers, and to construct a political order that supported their interests and aspirations. I focus on legal texts written by British international lawyers and colonial officials as well as material relating to two jurisdictional disputes (one between the state of Travancore and the British Government and another between the state of Baroda and the British Government) to trace two versions of sovereignty that were articulated in late nineteenth century South Asia - unitary and divisible. In doing so, I argue that international law, and the doctrine of sovereignty in particular, became the shared language for participants to debate political problems and a key forum for the negotiation of political power.
Secularizing Islam: The Colonial Encounter and the Making of a British Islamic Criminal Law in Northern Nigeria, 1903–58 (Rabiat Akande)
Emerging critiques of mainstream accounts of secularism reveal the imbrication of the sacred and the secular in ‘secular’ states. In the context of colonial Northern Nigeria, this sacred-secular entanglement, which took the form of the co-option of Islam for the colonial ‘secular’ enterprise, did not leave Islam unchanged. Co-opting Islam for the colonial project necessitated the making of an Islamic Law amenable to the colonial state. With a focus on criminal law, this article narrates the making of a British Colonial Islamic law in Northern Nigeria through the unprecedented expansion of siyasa. Departing from orthodox accounts of Islamic law's reification in colonial Northern Nigeria and heterodox assertions of its erosion by the colonial state, this article argues that neither the reification nor the erosion accounts illuminates the relationship between the colonial state and Islamic law. To show how the colonial state could assert secularism while co-opting Islam, this article presents a narrative of reform that foregrounds the following questions: Who had (and exercised) the power to decide what Islamic law was? How was the exercise of this power justified? How did the exercise of this power fit with the broader colonial project of governing religious difference? What were the consequences of these processes for Islamic law, institutions and colonial subjects?
Book reviews:

  •  Stephan Dusil, Wissensordnungen des Rechts im Wandel: Päpstlicher Jurisdiktionsprimat und Zölibat zwischen 1000 und 1215. Leuven: Leuven University Press, 2018. Pp. xii + 629. €135.00 hardcover (ISBN 9789462701526); €95.00 paper (ISBN 9789462701335); €71.00 ebook (ISBN 9789461662853). (Atria A. Larson)
  • Charlene M. Eska, A Raven's Battle-Cry: The Limits of Judgment in the Medieval Irish Legal Tract Anfuigell. Leiden: Brill, 2019. Pp. xiv + 338. $119.00 hardcover (ISBN 9789004391987) (Joe Wolf)
  • Zachary Chitwood, Byzantine Legal Culture and the Roman Legal Tradition, 867–1056. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2017. Pp. 236. $105.00 hardcover (ISBN 9781316861547). (Paolo Angelini)
  • Francesca Trivellato, The Promise and Peril of Credit: What a Forgotten Legend about Jews and Finance Tells Us about the Making of European Commercial Society. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2019. Pp. xiv + 405. $45.00 hardcover (ISBN 9780691178592); $27.99 ebook (ISBN 9780691185378). (Rowan Dorin)
  • James E. Lewis Jr., The Burr Conspiracy: Uncovering the Story of an Early American Crisis. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2017. Pp. viii + 713. $35.00 hardcover (ISBN 9780691177168); $21.95 paper (ISBN 9780691191553). (R. B. Bernstein)
  • Michel Gobat, Empire by Invitation: William Walker and Manifest Destiny in Central America. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2018. Pp. 384. $41.00 hardcover (ISBN 9780674737495). (Timo Schaefer)
  • Philip Thai, China's War on Smuggling: Law, Economic Life, and the Making of the Modern State, 1842–1965. New York: Columbia University Press, 2018. Pp. 408. $60.00 hardcover (ISBN 9780231185844). (Diana S. Kim)
  • Julian Lim, Porous Borders: Multiracial Migrations and the Law in the U.S.–Mexican Borderlands. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2017. Pp. xv + 302. $32.50 hardcover (ISBN 9781469635491). (Felice Batlan)
  • Ken I. Kersch, Conservatives and the Constitution: Imagining Constitutional Restoration in the Heyday of American Liberalism. New York: Cambridge University Press, 2019. Pp. xviii + 407. $84.99 hardcover (ISBN 9780521193108); $34.99 paper (ISBN 9780521193109). (Logan Everett Sawyer)
Source: CUP.

BOOK: Emmanuel DE CROUY-CHANEL, Cédric GLINEUR, Céline HUSSON-ROCHCONGAR (dir.), La justice fiscale (Xe-XXIe siècle) [Finances Publiques/Public Finance] (Bruxelles: Bruylant, 2020), 458 p. ISBN 9782802765615, € 76

(image source: Bruylant)

Book abstract:
Parce que l’impôt est un prélèvement contraint – ou, tout du moins, pouvant se dispenser de l’accord du contribuable –, la question de sa justice est un problème constant. Il est certes possible, sinon tentant, d’y répondre sommairement en le considérant comme intrinsèquement injuste – Taxation is Theft – ou de juger la question vaine puisque, juste ou non, l’impôt devra être payé – Nothing is certain but Death and Taxes ! Pourtant, à l’heure où le gouvernement français engage plusieurs réformes de la fiscalité, la justice fiscale semble à questionner sur plusieurs plans. Dans ses aspects les plus concrets, elle se donne bien sûr immédiatement à voir dans l’organisation, le fonctionnement et les réformes successives du système fiscal. Cependant, l’incontestable technicité de la matière – souvent fantasmée comme forcément attentatoire aux intérêts particuliers – ne doit pas dissimuler l’importance des questions qui s’y jouent. En effet, à travers l’idée de justice fiscale, c’est toute une conception du monde – et aujourd’hui, particulièrement, une conception de l’État et de ses missions – qui apparaît derrière la technique juridique. Pour saisir l’ambiguïté de cette double dimension, l’analyse historique se révèle essentielle. Permettant d’envisager l’évolution du système fiscal en fonction des contextes, des inflexions politiques et des ambitions du temps, elle seule permet une analyse fine des enjeux les plus contemporains en leur offrant la mise en perspective qu’ils méritent. C’est donc à travers ces trois dimensions – fiscale, théorique et historique – profondément imbriquées que l’ouvrage se propose de questionner ici la justice fiscale.
Download the preface by Prof. em. dr. Albert Rigaudière here.

(source: Larcier)

VACANCY: Research Manager (Junior Post-Doc) Integrating Digital Humanities and Artificial Intelligence in Pre-Modern Intellectual History (KULeuven: Lectio; DEADLINE 1 SEP 2020)

(image source: Lectio KULeuven)

LECTIO, the KU Leuven Institute for the Study of the Transmission of Texts, Ideas and Images in Antiquity, the Middle Ages and the Renaissance, is committed to advancing the study of the intellectual heritage of pre-modern Europe. It comprises more than 150 researchers from 12 research groups within arts, law, philosophy and theology at KU Leuven. Within the framework of its new research program “Scholars, Schools and Societies”, LECTIO wants to contribute to the renewal of the history of ideas and the science of text editing through increased integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Digital Humanities (DH). LECTIO is looking for a strongly motivated Research Manager at postdoc level to broker this methodological paradigm shift.

The successful candidate will play a seminal role in advancing the integration of DH and AI into traditional research and assist the Director and the Executive Board in the day-to-day management of LECTIO’s activities. (S)he will manage core activities of LECTIO and act as a broker and liaison person with the following responsibilities:
§  To perform a needs analysis of projects run by LECTIO members in light of new techniques in the field of DH and AI.
§  To inform LECTIO members about good practices and novel methods for the integration of AI and computational methods in traditional scholarship of text editing and the history of ideas, and to assist them in the actual application.
§  To establish connections between LECTIO and experts in DH/AI both at KU Leuven and other universities.
§  To act as liaison person with technical experts in the Group of Science and Technology and at KU Leuven Libraries
§  To actively search for and prepare external funding applications linked to the integration of DH/AI in LECTIO’s research
§  To identify opportunities for funding applications and assist in acquiring research projects.
§  To coordinate research projects on LECTIO-related topics. To enhance the visibility of LECTIO as place of first choice for the integration of computational methods into pre-modern intellectual history and digital philology.
§  To assist with the organization of scientific meetings (min. 1 LECTIO conference and 2 LECTIO roundtables per year).

§  You hold a PhD degree in any relevant field in the humanities, social sciences, exact sciences or technology and engineering. You have a maximum of 3 years of postdoctoral experience.
§  You have acquired experience in applying Digital Humanities and/or Artificial Intelligence in the field of pre-modern history of ideas or philology.
§  Taking initiative and developing new ideas for project applications comes natural to you.
§  You are a team-player and prosper in an interdisciplinary working environment.
§  You like to organize events and communicate with both specialists and laymen in the field.
§  You have a good oral and written command of English and preferably a working knowledge of French, German and Italian.
§  Knowledge of Greek, Latin, or any other ancient language is an asset.

We offer a fulltime postdoctoral position of 3 years, subject to positive evaluation at the end of the first year, with a competitive wage according to Salary Scale 44. You will work in the stimulating environment of the interdisciplinary institute LECTIO at one of Europe's leading research universities. You will have the unique opportunity to work together with experts in the field of intellectual and textual history from 4 different faculties (arts, law, philosophy and theology).
Your appointment will start on 1 September 2020, or as soon as possible thereafter.

For more information, feel free to contact Prof. Dr. Wim Decock (

Applications can be submitted by following the online tool available at

BOOK: Mamadou BADJI and Samba THIAM, eds., THALASSA ! THALASSA ! LA GRANDE MER ET SES PASSEURS : Itinéraires en Afrique de l’histoire du droit et des institutions - Mélanges En l’honneur de Bernard Durand (Paris: L’Harmattan, 2020). ISBN 978-2-343-20139-9, 49 EUR

(Source: L'Harmattan

L’Harmattan is publishing a Mélanges en l'honneur de Bernard Durand.


Le dédicataire de ces Mélanges est le fondateur de l'Ecole africaine d'histoire du droit de Dakar. Les contributions renvoient presque toutes à la métaphore de la mer, thème cher au doyen Bernard Durand. C'est que la mer, en tant que voie de communication, est propre à créer les conditions du « passage de frontière » dont l'effet immédiat est le contact entre les peuples, les cultures, les civilisations. Enjeu des relations internationales, elle nourrit des passions et suscite, en raison des ressources qu'elle recèle, bien des convoitises. Mais elle irrigue des itinéraires et, dans une large mesure, favorise les échanges. De la sorte, elle permet aux « passeurs » de se mouvoir dans des univers différents.


Mamadou Badji et Samba Thiam sont Professeurs Titulaires à l'Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar, Sénégal.

More info here

27 May 2020

VIDEO DEFINITION: Andrew CECCHINATO, "Tyranny" (ERC Civil Law, Common Law, Customary Law; University of St Andrews)

(source: CLCLCL)

BOOK: Manlio BELLOMO, Breve storia della scienza giuridica dal Rinascimento medievale alla modernità in crisi (Leonforte: Euno Edizioni, 2019). ISBN: 8868591596, pp. 291, € 25.00 Breve storia della scienza giuridica dal Rinascimento ...
(Source: Euno Edizioni)


Nel secolo XII, dopo circa mezzo millennio, rinascono e si consolidano linee guida di origine romana, essenziali per l'attività pratica dei giuristi di nuova formazione. Si costruiscono forme, figurae (categorie), che si consolidano nel tempo per l'impegno e l'autorità di grandi personaggi che per secoli si impegnano a mettere in evidenza l'essenziale distinzione e congiunzione fra lo ius e la lex. La scientia iuris è elaborata scientificamente nelle scuole che si moltiplicano rapidamente in gran parte d'Europa, la lex è gestita e promulgata nelle comunità locali. Lo ius, diritto comune europeo (ius commune), si riversa nella lex (ius proprium) e la struttura stabilmente. Con varianti, più o meno significative e durature, il quadro generale non cambia fino al sec. XIX. Poi lentamente decade, in una modernità che predilige la legislazione (la lex) e tende a dimenticare la scienza giuridica (lo ius).


Noto alla storiografia giuridica contemporanea come cattedratico e come autore di innumerevoli lavori scientifici e letterari. Vincitore per la storia medievale del Forschungs-Preis 1994 dell’Historisches Kolleg di München. L’American Historical Association gli ha dedicato un Congresso, Manlio Bellomo’s Vision of the Ius Commune: Its Importance for Historical Scholarship (Chicago 2000). Ha fondato e dirige l’International School of Ius Commune (Centro Ettore Majorana, Erice), che ha meritato l’Alto Patronato del Presidente della Repubblica Italiana. Alcuni dei suoi libri sono editi in Germania, Spagna e Stati Uniti.
Per le nostre edizioni ha pubblicato: L’Europa del diritto comune (2016) e L’elogio delle regole (2012) ed è autore di una serie di romanzi con protagonista Don Filippo La Ferla: Le lacrime delle signore (2011, 2018 Siké ed.), Un re di denari (2012), L'isola di Shakespeare (2013), Nella rete del ragno (2015), Oltremare (Siké, 2019). 

More information with the publisher.

26 May 2020

BOOK: Paul J. DU PLESSIS, Borkowski’s Textbook on Roman Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2020). ISBN 9780198848011, £39.99

(Source: OUP)

Oxford University Press has published a new edition of Borkowski’s Textbook on Roman Law (6th), edited by Professor Paul J. Du Plessis.


orkowski's Textbook on Roman Law is the leading contemporary textbook in the field of Roman law, and has been written with undergraduate students firmly in mind. The book provides a clear and highly engaging account of Roman private law and civil procedure, with coverage of all key topics, including the Roman legal system, and the law of persons, property, and obligations.

The book gives a comprehensive overview of both the historical context and modern relevance of Roman law today. Included are references to a wide range of scholarly texts, to ground the judicious account of Roman law firmly in contemporary scholarship. There are also examples from legal practice, as well as truncated timelines at the start of each chapter to illustrate how the law developed over time.

The book contains a wealth of learning features, including chapter summaries, diagrams and maps. A major feature of the book is the inclusion of translated extracts from the most important sources of Roman law: the Digest and the Institutes of Justinian. Annotated further reading sections at the end of each chapter act as a guide to further enquiry.


Paul J. du Plessis, Professor of Roman Law, University of Edinburgh, School of Law

Paul J. du Plessis holds the chair of Roman law at the University of Edinburgh. He is a legal historian whose research focuses predominantly on the multifaceted and complex set of relationships between law and society in a historical context. His main field of research is Roman law (with specific reference to property, obligations and, to a lesser extent, persons and family). Within this field, he is mainly concerned with the contexts within which law operates and the extent to which modern socio-legal methodologies can be applied to historical material from the Roman period in order to further our understanding of Roman law. To that end, his work is mainly concerned with the formulation of a methodology for 'law and society' research with reference to the Roman Empire. In the context of his interest in law and society, his research also focuses on a further period where Roman legal principles were used to create law, namely the period of the European ius commune in the late Middle Ages.


1: Introduction: Rome - a historical sketch
I. The Roman Legal System
2: The sources of Roman law
3: Roman litigation
II. The Law of Persons
4: Status, slavery and citizenship
5: The Roman family
III. The Law of Property and Inheritance
6: Interests in property
7: Acquiring ownership
8: Inheritance
IV. The Law of Obligations
9: Obligations: general principles and obligations arising from contracts
10: Obligations arising from delict
V. Roman Law and the Modern World
11: Roman law and the European ius commune

More info here

BOOK: Maurizio FIORAVANTI, Il cerchio e l'ellisse. I fondamenti dello Stato costituzionale (Bari: Editori Laterza, 2020). ISBN: 9788858141229, pp. 120, € 15,00. Il cerchio e l'ellisse. I fondamenti dello Stato ...
(Source: Editori Laterza)


L’ordine costituzionale non può avere padroni. È pertanto in pericolo ogni volta che qualcuno pretenda di appropriarsene. Uno dei più autorevoli storici del costituzionalismo indica con chiarezza le basi costituzionali su cui si fonda la nostra democrazia.


Maurizio Fioravanti è professore emerito di storia del diritto medievale e moderno nell’Università di Firenze. Ha insegnato anche nelle Università di Macerata e di Modena e si è occupato soprattutto di storia delle dottrine costituzionali. Per Laterza ha pubblicato: Lo Stato moderno in Europa. Istituzioni e diritto (a cura di, 2002), Costituzionalismo. Percorsi della storia e tendenze attuali (2009) e Il valore della Costituzione. L’esperienza della democrazia repubblicana (a cura di, 2009).


Prefazione: La mano di Giotto, p. v
I. Lo Stato moderno e lo Stato costituzionale, p. 3
II. Le Costituzioni democratiche del Novecento, p. 43
III. La vera storia della prima sentenza della Corte, p. 79
Indice dei nomi, p. 99

More information with the publisher.

25 May 2020

CONFERENCE: Mixed Arbitral Tribunals 1919-1930: An Experiment in the International Adjudication of Private Rights (22-23 October 2020, Luxembourg)

(Source: MPI Luxembourg)

The Max Planck Institute in Luxembourg is organizing a conference on mixed arbitral tribunals.

The creation of a system of Mixed Arbitral Tribunals (MATs) was a major contribution of the post-WWI peace treaties to the development of international adjudication. Numerically speaking, the 36 MATs were undoubtedly the busiest international courts of the interwar period. Taken together, they decided on more than 70,000 cases, mostly covering private rights. This caseload is even more impressive if one considers that their existence generally did not exceed 10 years, as most of the MATs were discontinued pursuant to the 1930 Young Plan. The MATs are similarly remarkable from a procedural point of view. First, their respective rules of procedure were so detailed that contemporaries described them as 'miniature civil procedure codes'. Second, in a departure from most other international courts and tribunals, they also allowed individuals whose rights were at stake to become involved in the proceedings before them. Although the MATs failed to produce a universally consistent body of case-law, their collection of published decisions was a major source for legal doctrine in the 1920s and 1930s and remains of interest for international lawyers today. The MATs themselves served as a source of inspiration for other international and supranational courts and tribunals, including the European Court of Justice. Their example might similarly inspire potential future negotiations over institutionalized investment tribunals.

And yet, like many other international 'experiments' of the interwar period, the MATs are often barely mentioned in post-WWII accounts of international law. Despite (or perhaps because of) the amount of cases they handled and the vastness of archival records they generated, they have not given rise to a single major monograph after 1945.

By organizing a conference specifically dedicated to the MATs and their impact on international adjudication of private rights, the Max Planck Planck Institute Luxembourg for Procedural Law would like to shed new light on this often overlooked chapter in the history of international law.

Thursday, 22 October 2020
14:00     Welcome coffee
14:30     Welcome Address: Prof. Hélène Ruiz Fabri & Dr Michel Erpelding (MPI Luxembourg)
14:45     Session 1: A New Form of International Adjudication: The MATs in Context
Introductory Speaker: Dr Jakob Zollmann (WBZ Berlin Social Science Center)
Dr José Gustavo Prieto Munoz (University of Turin)
Mexican Claims Commissions and Caudillos in the 20th Century: The Legitimacy for International Adjudication in Latin America
Mr Willem Theus (Catholic University of Leuven - KUL)
There and Back Again: From Consular Courts Through Mixed Arbitral Tribunals to International Commercial Courts
Chair:    Dr Jakob Zollmann (WBZ Berlin Social Center)
16:15     Coffee break
16:45     Session 2: Identifying the Claimants: The MATs and the Nationality of Private Persons
Dr Jakob Zollmann (WBZ Berlin Social Science Center)
The Mixed Arbitral Tribunals and Citizenship. Histories of Nations, Autonomy and Anger, 1919 to 1930
Mr Momchil L. Milanov (University of Geneva)
Splitting the Atom of Nationality: The Mixed Arbitral Tribunal for Upper Silesia and the Emergence of Citizenship in International Law
Prof. Emanuel Castellarin (University of Strasbourg) *
The Mixed Arbitral Tribunals and the Nationality of Legal Persons
Chair:    AG Maciej Szpunar (Court of Justice of the European Union) TBC
18:00     Reception

Friday, 23 Octoer 2020
Morning session              
09:00     Welcome coffee
09:30     Session 3: Arbitrators as Peacemakers: The Case of Prof. Paul Moriaud (1865-1924)
Dr Pascal Plas (University of Limoges)
Paul Moriaud, la paix par l'arbitrage, L'homme, les réseaux, les idées (FR)
Prof. Jacques Péricard (University of Limoges)
Paul Moriaud et la mise en oeuvre des Tribunaux arbitraux mixtes (FR)
Dr Michel Erpelding (MPI Luxembourg)
Paul Moriaud, the German-Belgian MAT, and the Case of the Belgian Deportees
Chair:    Prof. Emmanuel Decaux (OSCE Court of Conciliation and Arbitration)

11:15     Coffee break
11:45     Session 4: Arbitral Awards as Sources of International Law: Assessing the Impact of the MATs' Case-Law
Mr Guillaume Guez (University of Geneva; Sorbonne Law School)
The Contribution of the MATs to the Law of Treaties
Dr Mateusz Piatkowski (University of Lodz)
The MATs and the Law of Air Warfare: The Tragic Impact of the Awards in Coenca Brothers and Kiriadolou
Chair:    Prof. Hélène Ruiz Fabri (MPI Luxembourg)
13:00     Lunch break
Afternoon session          
14:00     Session 5: The MATs and the Protection of Private Property: From the Interwar Period to Present-Day Debates on Investor-State Arbitration
Dr Marilena Papadaki (University of Athens)
The Romanian-Hungarian MAT: Protection of Enemy Private Property, Questions of Jurisdiction, and the Council of the League of Nations
Prof. Maja Stanivukovic & Dr Sanja Djajic (University of Novi Sad)
Something Old, Something New: The 1930 Reform of the Trianon MATs and the Contemporary Discussion of the Appeal Mechanism in Investment Arbitration
Dr Jarrod Hepburn (University of Melbourne)
Investment Treaty Arbitration and the Nascent Legacy of the MATs
Chair:    Porf. Hans Van Houtte (Catholic University of Leuven (KUL) / Iran-United States Claims Tribunal)
15:45     Concluding Remarks: Prof. Burkhard Hess (MPI Luxembourg)

More info here

CALL FOR PAPERS: Imperial Artefacts: History, Law, and the Looting of Cultural Property (Leiden, 28-29 JAN 2021) (Deadline 31 AUG 2020)

(image source: Wikimedia Commons)

Conference organised by       Dr Diana M. Natermann (Leiden University) &
Dr Inge van Hulle (Tilburg University)

Date:                                       28.-29. January 2021
Location:                                 Leiden University, The Netherlands
Abstract deadline:                  31. August 2020        

Keynote Speaker:                   Prof. Dr. Jürgen Zimmerer
(Chair for Global History at Hamburg University & Head of the Research Centre ”Hamburg’s (Post)Colonial Legacy”)

This interdisciplinary conference aspires to bring together (post-)colonial historians, legal historians, curators, international lawyers, and others engaged with the field to establish research collaborations by critically investigating stories of colonial looting, the framing of colonial history within museums, the origins of the legal framework concerning European laws of war and restitution, as well as a way forward for restitution claims.

The notion that cultural treasures are not legitimate spoils of war, contradicts norms that were accepted according to the law of nations for centuries. However, after the public outrage occasioned by the plunder of Belgium and Italy by Napoleon’s forces, the nineteenth century saw a gradual rise of several initiatives such as the Lieber Code (1863), the Brussels Declaration (1874), the Oxford Manual (1880) and the Hague Convention II (1899) that sought to limit or outlaw the seizure and confiscation of cultural and private property. Within this nineteenth-century development the spoliation of non-Western countries by imperial powers was largely ignored or even explicitly condoned. Arguments that bolstered the expropriation within imperial contexts were framed in an explicitly racist and dehumanising discourse, which placed non-Western states wholly or partially outside of the application of European laws of war. The result was the destruction of indigenous heritage and the steady flow of cultural artefacts and valuable manuscripts from the Middle East, Africa, Asia, and Australasia to Western archives, museums, and public spaces.

            Since decolonisation, several former colonies of the Global South have led the way in mounting public pressure on Western governments and museums to address the legacy of colonial looting and have started legal procedures for reclaiming cultural property. However, since the beginning of the twentieth century the international legal framework for reclaiming cultural property has expanded considerably, many of these instruments remain ill-adapted to the legal relationship that existed between coloniser and colonised. Also, legal proceedings that have restitution as their objective are further complicated by the confluence of public international law, private law, and constitutional law of various jurisdictions which provides for a legal Gordian knot. Procedurally, the burden of proof lies with the requesting state, which might have insufficient financial or legal means at its disposal to pursue lengthy legal procedures.

Meanwhile, many Western museums fear the depletion of their collections and voice their scepticism of political endeavours to return said artefacts – especially since French President Macron’s statement in 2017 during a visit through Burkina Faso in 2017. In a report commissioned by President Macron and written by Felwine Sarr and Bénédicte Savoy it is stated that artefacts taken without consent from Africa during French colonialism shall be repatriated. And yet, in spite of political, financial, and legal difficulties, restitution claims are mounting in frequency. Also, over the past decade, Western governments have shown increasing openness towards collaboration with the Global South to trace looted artefacts and to return these to their countries of origin. This is especially the case in relation to the issue of giving back human remains.

In light of these developments we welcome contributions that focus on (but are not necessarily limited to) following topics:

-          Histories of specific cases of misappropriation, of colonial violence, of how objects travelled and ended up in Western museums and archives (provenance)
-          Histories of the laws of war in colonial contexts in legal practice and in legal theory
-          Histories of domestic constitutional and private law concerning restitution
-          Histories of the actors involved: imperials agents, indigenous resistance to spoliation, NGO’s, etc.
-          Museology: how are colonial objects framed, styled and/or contextualised
-          Historiography: histories of the critical debate concerning law, colonial museums and restitution
-          De lege ferenda: how can/should legal restitution move forward?
-          (Post)colonial debates on the restitution of heritage objects
-          Interconnectedness of identity and historical artefacts
-          Experience with restitutions concerning art looted by Nazis and its (possible) impact on restituting looted colonial art.

If you would like to propose a paper for a 20-minute presentation, please send a brief abstract of about 250-300 words to When sending your abstract, please also provide a one-page CV or short bio with details of your academic experience, affiliation, and publications. The deadline for submitting proposals is Monday, 31 August 2020. The selection committee will make their final decision on submitted abstracts by mid-September 2020. Further information about the programme, registration, travel and accommodation will be announced after that date. Based on the discussion during the conference the organisers will invite conference delegates to prepare a chapter for an edited volume or special issue of papers presented at this event.

This event is generously supported by the MA International Relations Programme at Leiden University, the History Department of Leiden University, and the African Studies Centre Leiden.

Please note: depending on how the current Covid-19 situation unfolds come winter, this conference may ultimately take place online or be postponed to a later date in 2021.

Our twitter handle is #imperialartefactsconference

(source: ESILHIL Blog)

BOOK: Nicole BELAYCHE & Sylvia ESTIENNE (dir.), Religion et pouvoir dans le monde romain, l’autel et la toge. De la deuxième guerre punique à la fin des Sévères (Rennes: Presses Universitaires de Rennes, 2020). ISBN: 9782753578685, pp. 420, € 25,00

Presses Universitaires de Rennes - Religion et pouvoir dans le ...
(Source: PUR)


Cet ouvrage permet de mieux appréhender les rapports entre religion et pouvoir dans le cadre des collectivités romaines, de la deuxième guerre punique à la fin des Sévères. Avec les pratiques rituelles pour fil conducteur, il privilégie trois problématiques : les institutions, les acteurs dans leurs espaces et pratiques, et les changements face à l’évolution des situations historiques. L’enquête est nourrie des renouvellements historiographiques opérés depuis deux générations dans l’histoire des religions comme dans l’histoire politique et sociale du monde romain.


Nicole Belayche, directrice d’études émérite à l’EPHE, PSL Paris, est spécialiste des religions de Rome et du monde romain. Ses travaux portent sur les cultes païens sous l’Empire, les rituels en contextes de cohabitation, et leurs dynamiques entre représentations théologiques et expressions sociales. Suivant une approche d’anthropologie historique, elle a récemment coédité Puissances divines à l’épreuve du comparatisme. Constructions, variations et réseaux relationnels (Turnhout, 2017).
Sylvia Estienne, maître de conférences d’histoire romaine, enseigne à l’ENS, PSL Paris. Ses recherches portent sur les pratiques religieuses romaines et l’aménagement des lieux de culte. Elle a notamment coédité Figures de dieux. Construire le divin en images (Presses universitaires de Rennes, 2015).


A PDF version of the table of contents can be downloaded here.

More information with the publisher.

BOOK: Stefano VINCI, Il dibattito sul giudice unico in Italia tra Ottocento e Novecento. Processo civile, processo penale e ordinamento giudiziario (Napoli: Editoriale Scientifica, 2016). ISBN: 9788863429756, pp. 292, € 18,00


Collana: IusRegni. Collana di Storia del diritto medievale, moderno e contemporaneo.

Il volume raccoglie i risultati di studi e ricerche svolte dall’Autore su fonti bibliografiche ed archivistiche, aventi ad oggetto l’acceso dibattito scientifico, forense e parlamentare che ha riguardato l’istituzione del giudice unico in Italia tra 1800 e 1900. Il problema ebbe risonanza a partire dalla rivoluzione francese, quando si fece strada l’idea che il giudizio collegiale avrebbe costituito una maggiore garanzia dall’arbitrio dei giudici di antico regime. Sulla base di tale principio, gli ordinamenti giudiziari italiani, istituiti durante il decennio francese, adottarono il modello collegiale napoleonico, lasciando soltanto alle magistrature inferiori il giudice unico, spesso accompagnato da alcuni assessori, al fine di mitigare il potere monocratico. Dopo la Restaurazione, invece, si fece strada l’idea di un maggiore favore per il sistema monocratico sulla scorta di studi comparatistica delle legislazioni europee che portarono, dopo l’Unità, all’introduzione dei pretori con competenza limitata in materia civile e correzionale. Le successive esigenze di ridurre la spesa pubblica in materia di giustizia e le pressanti richieste da parte dei magistrati di migliorare le loro condizioni economiche portarono, fin dagli inizi del Novecento, alla formulazione di numerosi progetti sulla giustizia monocratica di prima istanza in materia civile e penale, che furono oggetto di dotte discussioni tenutesi alla Camera ed al Senato, poi sfociate nella legge sul giudice unico del 1990.


Stefano Vinci è ricercatore di Storia del Diritto Medievale e Moderno all’Università degli Studi di Bari Aldo Moro. Insegna Storia delle Codificazioni moderne nel Corso di Laurea magistrale in Giurisprudenza presso il Dipartimento Jonico in Sistemi giuridici ed economici del Mediterraneo: società, ambiente, culture dell’Ateneo barese. È autore di saggi sulla storia giuridica del Mezzogiorno nell’Ottocento e sulla storia dell’avvocatura nel ventennio fascista. Di recente ha pubblicato per i nostri tipi il volume Le Supreme Corti di Giustizia nella storia giuridica del Mezzogiorno (Napoli, Editoriale Scientifica 2015).

More information with the publisher.

22 May 2020

BOOK: Elli LOUKA, The Global Economic Order The International Law and Politics of the Financial and Monetary System (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2020). ISBN 978 1 83910 267 7, 28.00 PND

(Source: Edward Elgar)

Edward Elgar has published a new book on the history of the global economic order.


Exploring in depth the institutions that underpin the global economy, this study provides invaluable insights into why a minimum economic order has endured for so long and why states are unwilling to establish a maximum order, a global safety net for all. The author investigates how debt – a critical component of states’ economic infrastructure – leads to debilitating crises, and how these crises undermine the economic autonomy and political independence of states.

A must read for those who wish to understand how the world economic order operates and impacts the well-being of individuals and entire populations, this book is indispensable for professionals and students in the fields of law, political sciences and international relations and those who seek to understand why economic peace is, in many cases, beyond our reach.


Contents: Part I. Making Economic Policy 1. The One and Only Sovereign 2. The Trilemma Part II. Economic Strategies of States 3. The United States as the Global Sovereign 4. The Core and the Periphery Part III. Searching for World Order: Conflicts, Truces and Peace 5. Coordination and Conflict 6. The Gold Standard 7. From World War I to World War II 8. The Bretton Woods System 9. The Bretton Woods Collapse: the 1970s 10. The 1980s 11. The 1990s 12. The 2008 Financial Crisis 13. The International Monetary Fund and World Order Part IV. Global Bodies, Societies and Guilds 14. The Global Law-Making Process 15. Financial Infrastructure 16. Global Financial Regulation 17. Foundations of a Minimum Economic Order 18. Case Study-The Greek Debt Crisis (2009-2018) Index

More info here