08 February 2024

JOURNAL: Pro Memorie. Bijdragen tot de Rechtsgeschiedenis der Nederlanden XXV (2023), No. 2, 119-140


In het spoor van het plagiaat van Joos De Damhouder (Bruno Debaenst)
DOI 10.5117/PROM2023.2.002.DEBA

In the 16th century, Joos De Damhouder (1507-1581) engaged in plagiarism by drawing extensively from the writings of his compatriot Filips Wielant (1439-1519). This remained obscure for several centuries, affording De Damhouder the opportunity to establish an international reputation as a preeminent legal scholar, whereas Wielant’s contributions languished in relative obscurity. However, in the latter half of the 19th century, scholars succeeded in unearthing the plagiarism, igniting considerable controversy and scholarly discourse on the matter. This revelation had profound repercussions, leading to a tarnishing of De Damhouder’s oncepristine reputation. Subsequent generations of legal historians undertook investigations into this matter. In recent years, a nuanced reevaluation of De Damhouder’s standing has transpired.

Motieven in het archief van de (Soevereine) Raad van Brabant (Hylkje de Jong)
DOI  10.5117/PROM2023.2.003.JONG

n the archives of the (Sovereign) Council of Brabant, 26 packets designated as Motifs have been handed down. The Motifs occur in French and Flemish, although Latin was prescribed. From the year 1744 onwards, they can be referred to as a series. They appear incomplete, because Motifs can also be found in the litigation files, sometimes from only one party. In these secret Motifs, parties state the legal framework of their arguments for the justices. Goswin Arnold Wynants (1661-1732) observes that in these Motifs, the legal framework and the legal literature have not always been properly and accurately incorporated and applied. The random sample (small but in size very extensive) shows that his observation holds true.

Tussen vaccin-verering en vaccin-verschrikking. De rechtshistorische ontwikkelingen van het Nederlandse vaccinatiebeleid (Rogier Simons)
DOI 10.5117/PROM2023.2.004.SIMO

Inspired by the socio-political debate on the COVID-19 vaccination policy, this contribution examines the legal-historical developments of the Dutch vaccination policy from the 18th to 20th century, in particular regarding the use of pressure and coercion. An important observation that follows from this contribution is that discussions regarding the use of pressure and coercion in the vaccination policy, particularly the arguments in favour and against measures in this regard, did not really change over time, even though the contextual factors substantially differed. What also follows from this analysis, is that debates concerning a less voluntary vaccination policy were often fuelled by infectious disease outbreaks. An important lesson from the past is therefore to conduct the discussion regarding the use of pressure and coercion in the vaccination policy timely, in order to reach societal consensus about a clear and balanced vaccination policy before the outbreak of a (new) infectious disease.

Jan Ackersdijck tegen slavernij. Een missie met methode tussen recht en economie (J.M. Milo)
DOI 10.5117/PROM2023.2.005.MILO

Jan Ackersdijck (1790-1861) read law at Utrecht University (1806-1810), came to practice law for some 15 years, but was attracted to empirical research in historical and statistical economy, rather than to more abstract positivist legal methodologies. Called to chairs in political history, economy and statistics (at the law schools) in Liege (1825-1830) and Utrecht (1831-1860), he came to advocate empirical research, on the basis of careful observations and reporting, illustrated by meticulously compiled statistical information out of publications like books and newspapers, and by his numerous so-called ‘statistical travels’ throughout Europe, which he acurately and precisely recorded. How can a society grow in prosperity? Individual freedom is particularly suitable for this purpose, according to Ackersdijck’s economic principles, and a nonsensical, repulsive and evil institution like slavery in the Dutch colonies should be abolished. He founded an association to that purpose, as well as a journal, entitled (translated) Contributions to the Knowledge of Dutch and Foreign Colonies, Especially Regarding the Emancipation of Slaves. Late 1847 his association initiated a petition to the Dutch Parliament in 1848, urging slavery’s abolition – widely supported, also by Ackersdijck’s colleagues from the legal domain, among whom G.W. Vreede and Ackersdijck’s son-in-law C.W. Opzoomer. That abolition was to take another 15 years was certainly not the fault of Ackersdijck, who acted from the principles of freedom, enlightenment and humanity, on a methodological basis of sound observation and scientific attention, as a legally educated political economist and statistician at the Utrecht Law Faculty.

De twee petten van de gerechtsdeurwaarder. Ambtelijke taken en incasso in historisch perspectief aan de hand van deurwaarder Van Horrik (Bram Buik) 
DOI 10.5117/PROM2023.2.006.BUIK

Dutch judicial officers are public officials who also perform commercial debt collection work. This has been the case since the first Dutch regulations from 1838. These regulations lagged behind other professional groups and surrounding countries. Hendrik van Horrik, a candidate and aspiring judicial officer, made a proposal for a legal regulation in 1919, which partly relied on ancient statutory French law. This proposal has been completely forgotten. Van Horrik, disappointed with the progress of his career, turned his back on the judicial officers’ practice and became a municipal bailiff. He also started debt collection work, under that banner, as if he were a judicial officer. His dubious manner came to light when he applied to be admitted as a lawyer in Utrecht.

De redenaar van George Minne. Waar retoriek, recht en spiritualiteit synergetisch samenkomen (Chiara Logghe)
DOI 10.5117/PROM2023.2.007.LOGG

A preliminary examination of the bronze sculpture, De redenaar (The Orator), created by Ghent sculptor George Minne (1866-1941), inevitably draws attention to the unusual pose of the male figure. Upon closer inspection, De redenaar reveals a profound sense of introspection – a recurring theme in Minne’s oeuvre. While the sculpture shares resemblances with a lawyer, the question of whether it effectively represents a legal professional remains unanswered, despite certain indications that suggest a portrayal of a legal practitioner. It is noteworthy that the creation of this work followed a period during which progressive artists and lawyers maintained close ties in their shared efforts to modernize and humanize Belgian society. A more in-depth exploration into the meaning of De redenaar leads the author to the conclusion that it symbolizes the processes of introspection and contemplation, coupled with persuasiveness. In this sense, it at least constitutes a significant source of inspiration for jurists.

Book reviews

  •  Het tragische leven van een veelzijdig jurist (Kees Cappon)
  • Nazi-roofkunst in België (Amber Gardeyn)
  • Gevangenisgeschiedenis Oudenaarde (Kunst en recht) (Georges Martyn)
  • Averij-grosse en andere averijen (Tim Lubbers)
Read all articles and reviews here.

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