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OUP announced the forthcoming publication of the Oxford Handbook of European Legal History, edited by Prof. Heikki Pihlajamäki, Prof. Markus D. Dubber & Prof. Mark Godfrey.

Book abstract:
European law, including both civil law and common law, has gone through several major phases of expansion in the world. European legal history thus also is a history of legal transplants and cultural borrowings, which national legal histories as products of nineteenth-century historicism have until recently largely left unconsidered. The Handbook of European Legal History supplies its readers with an overview of the different phases of European legal history in the light of today’s state-of-the-art research, by offering cutting-edge views on research questions currently emerging in international discussions.
The Handbook takes a broad approach to its subject matter both nationally and systemically. Unlike traditional European legal histories, which tend to concentrate on ”heartlands” of Europe (notably Italy and Germany), the Europe of the Handbook is more versatile and nuanced, taking into consideration the legal developments in Europe’s geographical ”fringes” such as Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. The Handbook covers all major time periods, from the ancient Greek law to the twenty-first century. Contributors include acknowledged leaders in the field as well as rising talents, representing a wide range of legal systems, methodologies, areas of expertise and research agendas.

Table of contents:

I. Approaches to European Legal History: Historiography and Methods
1: The World Historical Significance of European Legal History: An Interim Report, James Q. Whitman
2: The Invention of National Legal History, Joachim Rückert
3: The Birth of European Legal History, Randall Lesaffer
4: Abandoning the Nationalist Framework: Comparative Legal History, Kjell Å Modéer
5: Global Legal History: Setting Europe in Perspective, Thomas Duve
II. The Ancient Law and the Early Middle Age
6: Ancient Greek Law, Michael Gagarin
7: Early Roman Law And The West: A Reversal Of Grounds, Pier Giuseppe Monateri
8: Classical and Post-Classical Roman Law: The Legal Actors and The Sources, Paul du Plessis
9: Institutions of Ancient Roman Law, Luigi Capogrossi Colognesi
10: Byzantine Law: The Law of the New Rome, Bernard Stolte
11: Germanic Law, Karl Shoemaker
III. The Law in the High and the Late Middle Ages: The Learned Ius commune and the Vernacular Laws
12: Western Canon Law in the Central and Later Middle Ages, Peter Clarke
13: Structure of Medieval Roman Law: Institutions, Sources, and Methods, Jan Hallebeek
14: Substance of Medieval Roman Law: The Development of Private Law, Thomas Rüfner
15: Southern Europe (Italy, Iberian Peninsula, France), Antonio Manuel Hespanha
16: Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, Mathias Schmoeckel
17: High- and Late-Medieval Scandinavia: Codified Vernacular Law and Learned Legal Influences, Mia Korpiola
18: Customary Law and the Influence of the Ius commune in High- and Late-Medieval East Central Europe, Mia Korpiola
19: The Beginnings of the English Common Law (to 1350), Paul Brand
20: The Scottish Common Law: Origins and Development, ca.1124-ca.1500, Andrew R C Simpson
21: Urban Law: The Law of Saxony and Magdeburg, Heiner Lück
22: Extra-legal and Legal Conflict Management among Long-distance Traders (1250-1650), Albrecht Cordes & Philipp Höhn
23: Feudal law, Dirk Heirbaut
IV. European Law in the Early Modern Period: The Fields of Law and the Changing Scholarship
24: Legal Scholarship: The Theory of Sources and Methods of Law, Jan Schröder
25: Natural Law in Early Modern Legal Thought, David Ibbetson
26: Law and the Protestant Reformation, John Witte, Jr
27: Law of Property and Obligations: Neoscholastic Thinking and Beyond, Wim Decock
28: Criminal Law: Before a State Monopoly, Massimo Meccarelli
29: Civil Procedural Law, the Judiciary, and Legal Professionals, Alain Wijffels
30: Jurisdiction, Political Authority, and Territory, Ulrike Müßig
31: Public Law Before ‘Public Law’, Bernardo Sordi
V. European Law in the Early Modern Period: The Age of Expansion
32: The Law of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, Peter Oestmann
33: French Law and its Expansion in the Early Modern Period, Serge Dauchy34: Spanish Law and its Expansion, Matthew C. Mirow
35: Scandinavian Law in the Early Modern Period, Heikki Pihlajamäki
36: English Law and its Expansion, Ken MacMillan
37: Russian Law in the Early Modern Period, Marianna Muravyena
38: Colonial and Indigenous ‘Laws’ – The Case of Britain’s Empires, Circa 1750-1850, Mark Hickford
VI. The Nineteenth Century and Beyond: The Emergence of Modern Law
39: The Age of Codification and Legal Modernisation in Private Law, Jean-Louis Halpérin
40: Legal Formalism and its Critics, Hans-Peter Haferkamp
41: The Constitutional State, Dieter Gosewinkel
42: A More Elevated Patriotism: The Emergence of International and Comparative Law (Nineteenth Century), Martti Koskenniemi & Ville Kari
43: The Law of the Welfare State, Bruno Aguilera-Barchet
44: The Law of Obligations: The Anglo-American Perspective, Michael Lobban
45: Colonial Criminal Law and Other Modernities: European Criminal Law in the Nineteenth And Twentieth Century, Markus D. Dubber
46: European Twentieth Century Dictatorship and the Law, Michael Stolleis
47: Communism and the Law, Yoram Gorlizki
48: The Law of the European Union in Historical Perspective, Peter Lindseth
On the editors:
Edited by Heikki Pihlajamäki, Professor of Comparative Legal History, University of Helsinki, Markus D. Dubber, Professor of Law, University of Toronto, and Mark Godfrey, Professor of Legal History,University of Glasgow
Heikki Pihlajamäki is Professor of Comparative Legal History at the Faculty of Law, University of Helsinki.
Markus D. Dubber is Professor of Law at the University of Toronto.
Mark Godfrey is Professor of Legal History at the University of Glasgow.

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Tyska rättshistorikerdagarna 16-20 september 2018

Nu finns information om de tyska rättshistorikerdagarna, som äger rum den 16-20 september 2018 i Trier.

Information med program finns här.


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Brittisk rättshistoriekonferens 2019 i St Andrews

Professor John Hudson vid universitetet i St Andrews, Skottland, meddelar följande.
This is just to let you know that the next British Legal History Conference will be in St Andrews from Wednesday 10 July 2019 to Saturday 13 July 2019.
A call for papers and further information will be sent in early summer 2018.
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Vem bestämmer över Svenska Akademien? Seminarium i Lund den 17 maj 2018


Vem bestämmer över Svenska Akademien? Kungen, konstitutionen och de offentligrättsliga korporationerna 

Seminarium den 17 maj 2018 kl. 10-12 i Styrelserummet, 4 vån, Juridiska fakulteten, Lilla Gråbrödersgatan 4, Lund

På senare tid har Svenska Akademiens ställning uppmärksammats, och då inte minst i förhållande till kungens roll. Kan det verkligen stämma att kungen (”Monarken”)  trots 1974 års regeringsform och den bakomliggande Torekovskompromissen skulle ha utrymme att agera  på detta sätt? Vilken rättslig ställning har Svenska Akademien och andra liknande ”offentligrättsliga korporationer”?

Som inledning ger jur. dr Martin Sunnqvist och docent Henrik Wenander (båda Juridiska fakulteten, Lunds universitet) en översikt över den konstitutionella och rättshistoriska bakgrunden. Därefter ger universitetslektor, fil. dr i statsvetenskap Nils Gustafsson (Institutionen för strategisk kommunikation) och docent Jacob Heidbrink (Juridiska institutionen Göteborgs universitet) några kommentarer.

Anmälan om deltagande sker till Max Carlin ( senast den 15 maj.

Varmt välkomna!


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17 april 2018: Ordens kraft. Politiska eder i Sverige 1520–1718

Tisdagen den 17 april kl 16.00 anordnas ett seminarium i Sessionsrummet, Juridicum i Lund, med fil.dr. Sari Nauman, Göteborgs universitet, kring hennes avhandling ”Ordens kraft. Politiska eder i Sverige 1520–1718” (2017). Nauman tilldelades Per Nyströms vetenskapspris 2017 för sin bok. Mer information kring avhandlingen finns här.


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Conference: Lay Advocacy in the Premodern World

Professor Mia Korpiola vid Åbo universitet (Turun yliopisto) informerar om en konferens, med call for papers, om icke juristutbildade ombud i tidigmodern tid:

In Europe, both secular and ecclesiastical courts developed towards professionalization, and bar associations were established since the thirteenth century. In England, barristers obtained a monopoly on representing clients at court over the centuries. On the Continent, courts and bar associations regulated advocacy. Licensing was practiced especially in superior tribunals even before the rise of the liberal professions in the nineteenth century.

Professionalization tendencies went hand in hand with the ejecting of lay advocates from courts in many countries. For example, lay advocates (Winkelschreiber) were forbidden to appear in courts in the Austrian Empire in 1857. Issued legislation went as far as to threaten lay advocates with fines and short prison spells. Several other European countries followed with restrictions, and European-style regulation of advocacy was adopted in a number of American and Asian countries in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

But yet, especially in more peripheral regions, laymen with legal skills could have considerable space of action in courtrooms and outside of them. They could act in court on behalf of others, counsel people with legal problems, draft legal documents, and so on. Such legal literacy as human capital and an intangible knowledge asset provided a way for social mobility in the community. This could create tensions. The position of the intermediary was a position of power, also open to abuse. Self-learned advocates and legal literates could be criticized from both sides: for incompetence by the lawyer elite and for despotism, greed and partiality by the clientele.

Papers could discuss e.g.:

–              how “professional” and “lay” advocacy was defined

–              who acted as lay advocates

–              how lay advocates learned their trade

–              what kind of cases lay advocates handled (did they e.g. differ from those handled by professional advocates)

–              who turned to lay advocates (was the clientele of lay and professional advocates the same?)

–              whether advocacy proved a channel for social mobility

–              how lay advocacy was perceived by the legal profession

–              attitudes towards lay advocates (criticism, praise, etc.)

–              attempts to forbid or regulate lay advocacy

–              lay and professional advocacy as parallel phenomena

Confirmed plenary lectures will be given by Prof. Sir John Baker (University of Cambridge), Prof. Jane Burbank (New York University) and Prof. Kjell Åke Modéer (Lund University).

Deadline for paper proposals with abstracts (max. 400 words) is 16 March 2018.For more information, please contact Professor Mia Korpiola (mia.korpiola[at]

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