15 December 2020

ANNOUNCEMENT: Journal Comparative Legal History – Submissions Welcome and New Issue

(image source: Taylor&Francis)

We received the following announcement about the journal Comparative Legal History.

Journal Comparative Legal History

Submissions Welcome and New Issue!

The journal Comparative Legal History is an official academic forum of the European Society for Comparative Legal History (ESCLH). It was first published in 2013 and aims to offer a space for the development of comparative legal history. Based in Europe, it welcomes contributions that explore law in different times and jurisdictions from across the globe.

Submissions are currently welcome and are being assessed on a rolling basis.

The journal welcomes contributions from the fields of law and history, and is likewise receptive of interdisciplinary legal studies with the comparative aspect at their core. Attention is also devoted to papers focusing on understudied jurisdictions and/or periods, as well as topics generally constricted to a specialist audience. Authors should feel free to approach the Articles Editor for initial inquiries on suitability.

The ESCLH is proud to announce that volume 8 issue 2 of Comparative Legal History has been released. The issue contains three articles, one review article, and two book reviews:


What is global legal history?

Thomas Duve

Legal history, as developed in nineteenth-century continental Europe, has a national tradition, but also a transnational past. During the last two decades, however, a new field of global legal history has emerged, not least as a response to Eurocentrism, methodological nationalism and the current reality of transnational and global law. In this article, I map some historiographic traditions of transnational legal history and the emerging field of global legal history, pointing out some important methodological problems and suggesting a knowledge-historical approach. It ends with a definition of global legal history as a critical history of the production of multinormative knowledge, understood as a process of distributed knowledge production through cultural translation, comprising theory and practice, drawing on a wide range of sources, on a transnational scale, with special attention for the dialectics of glocalisation.

Roman law in Ethiopia: traces of a seventeenth century transplant

Peter H Sand

This study tracks the ancient Ethiopian Fetḥa Nagaśt (‘Law of the Kings’) to its origins, which date back to compilations of Roman-Byzantine law from the fifth to the ninth centuries, first translated from Greek into Arabic by Coptic Christian jurists in Egypt in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries and into the classical Ethiopic language (Ge’ez) in the mid-seventeenth century. The transfer of this Eastern Roman torso of law to the radically different social environment of Ethiopia may be ranked as one of the earliest systemic ‘receptions’ in comparative legal history. While never attaining the dominant status of Roman law in medieval European practice, the survival and resilience of the Fetḥa Nagaśt in the subsequent evolution of the country’s legal and political system from the seventeenth century onwards has indeed been remarkable – including its ‘inspirational’ role acknowledged in twentieth-century modern codifications. What distinguishes Ethiopia from other ‘mixed legal systems’, though, is the absence of a ‘genetic’ relationship with any one foreign legal system.

States and non-state actors in hegemonic and counter-hegemonic narratives in international law: the Nigerian experience

Joycelin Chinwe Eze-Okubuiro

The historical background of Nigeria as a state and how state and non-state actors within its domain influence the nation’s domestic and international activities demonstrate the conflict and complexity between dominant ideologies and resistance between competing actors in Nigeria. Such struggles arose following the imposition of colonial rule and subsequent introduction of the English legal system, which unsettled existing indigenous systems that were hugely dependent on customary law. Although such platforms successfully served colonial interests, they were challenged by different resistance groups. Through historical narrative, this paper contributes to Global South scholarship in the hegemonic and counter-hegemonic discourse in international law, with Nigeria as a case study. The paper shows that in order to successfully address hegemonic tendencies, which flow from the international system and are sustained by the Nigerian state, the resistant role of non-state actors is imperative in the making of international law to accommodate the Nigerian experience.

Review Article

Seeking a disciplinary identity – the case of comparative legal history

A review of Comparative Legal History , edited by Olivier Moréteau, Aniceto Masferrer and Kjell A Modéer, Edward Elgar Publishing, 2019, 512 pp., £175,50 (hbk), ISBN 9781781955215

Jaakko Husa

Book Reviews

Law and identity in Israel: a century of debate

by Nir Kedar, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2019, 236 pp., £85 (hbk), ISBN 9781108484350

Inbal Blau & Omer Aloni

Law and the Russian state: Russia’s legal evolution from Peter the Great to Vladimir Putin

by William E. Pomeranz, London and New York, Bloomsbury, 2018, x + 228 pp., £76,50 (hbk), ISBN 9781474224246

Heikki Pihlajamäki

The latest issue can also be found here

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