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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28-30 juni 2018, Paris: ESCLHs femte konferens

Den 28-30 juni 2018 arrangeras i Paris The 5th European Society for Comparative Legal History Biennial Conference. Information med program och praktiska anvisningar finns här.

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Det förpliktande minnet

Under rubriken ”Molnen tornar upp sig över firande universitet” skrev Johan Östling den 13 november 2017 i Svenska Dagbladet om några aktuella böcker i anledning av Lunds universitets 350-årsjubileum.

Det förpliktande minnet

En av de böcker han tog upp är Kjell Å Modéers ”Det förpliktande minnet”, utgiven av Santérus förlag, om Juridiska fakultetens historia. Östling skrev följande.

”Den som står för den enskilt största lärdomsbedriften är Kjell Å Modéer, rätts­historiens nestor. Under försommaren publicerade han ”Det förpliktande minnet” (Santérus). Det är en mäktig bok om den juridiska fakultetens historia från 1666 och 2016. På över 550 sidor passerar åtskilliga lundajurister revy, men Modéer använder ett pedagogiskt grepp och identifierar en ledande gestalt per epok. Samuel ­Pufendorf får representera det sena 1600-talets folkrätt, Carl Johan Schlyter 1800-talets historiska skola, Karl Olive­crona den skandinaviska rättsrealismen och Anna Christensen den mogna välfärdsstatens sociala strukturer. Riktigt intressant blir det när Modéer kombinerar sin djupa förtrogenhet med det lokala med en komparativ blick där lundafakulteten sätts in i olika rättskulturella sammanhang.”

Vilka moln är det då som tornar upp sig över det firande universitetet? Hotas den akademiska friheten och det öppna kunskapssökandet? Här finns det minnen som förpliktar inför framtiden.

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CALL FOR PAPERS: 2018 Annual Meeting of the American Society for Legal History (Houston, 8 November-11 November 2018), DEADLINE 1 March 2018

Via ESCLH har vi nu fått information om nästa års amerikanska rättshistorikerdagar:

The American Society for Legal History has launched a call for papers for its annual conference, to be held in Houston in November 2018:

The Program Committee of the ASLH invites proposals for complete panels and individual papers for the 2018 meeting to be held November 8-11, 2018, in Houston, Texas. Panels and papers on any facet or period of legal history from anywhere in the world are welcome. Panel proposals should include: a c.v. for each person on the panel, including complete contact information; 300-word abstracts of individual papers; complete or partial drafts of papers, where possible; and a short description of the panel.

The Program Committee also welcomes other forms of structured presentation to fill a 90-minute slot in, for example, author-meets-reader, lightning round, workshop, or roundtable format. Sufficient information following the general guidelines for panel proposals should be provided for the Committee to assess the merits of the presentation.

Individual paper submissions should consist of an abstract, a draft paper (where possible), and a c.v. Given the number and high quality of panel and other complete sessions submitted, individual papers are much less likely than full sessions to be accepted.

The Program Committee additionally seeks proposals for full-day or half-day pre-conference symposia crafted around related themes to augment traditional conference offerings. Please provide a program title, the intended length of program, a program description, a c.v. and contact information for each presenter, and any information technology requirements. The Program Committee is available to consult with organizers of such symposia as they develop their proposal.

Prospective participants may submit proposals for multiple sessions, with the understanding that, absent exceptional circumstances, no individual may appear more than once on the final program in any capacity. The Program Committee strives to include as many participants as possible and will work with session organizers to identify suitable replacements for any sessions from which a participant has had to withdraw.

The members of the Program Committee are Angela Fernandez, Katrina Jagodinsky, Emily Kadens, H.Timothy Lovelace, Michelle McKinley, Daniel J. Sharfstein, Joshua C. Tate, and John Wertheimer.

The co-chairs of the Program Committee are Professors Catharine MacMillan ( and Matthew C. Mirow (

All program presenters must be current members of the Society by the date of the Annual Meeting. All proposals must be submitted here: Please visit for updates and additional information.

The deadline for submissions is March 1, 2018.

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16-17 november 2017, Lund: Legal History: Reflecting the Past and the Present

Den 16-17 november 2017 hålls i Lund symposiet Legal History: Reflecting the Past and the Present. Two Current Perspectives for the Future.

Juridiska fakulteten har f.n. sju hedersdoktorer i rättshistoria, vilka alla inspirerat och stimulerat den rättshistoriska forskningen i Lund under snart femtio år. Inom ramen för fakultetens 350-årsjubileum kommer de tillsammans med ett antal svenska, nordiska och europeiska rättshistoriker till Lund under två dagar till ett rättshistoriskt symposium kring temat Legal History: Reflecting the Past and the Present. Våra hedersdoktorer kommer att redogöra för sina perspektiv på rättens historia och var och en av dem kommer att kommenteras av två yngre framtidsorienterade rättshistoriker.

Välkomna till symposiet!

Symposiedagarna serveras lunch i Gallerian (Juridicum, 4 vån.). För deltagande i lunchen krävs anmälan till symposiets assistenter eller senast fredagen den 10 november. Ange även matpreferenser.

Programmet finns här: Legal-History-2017


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Call for Papers: Postgraduate Conference in Comparative Legal History 22–24 February 2018, Augsburg University, Germany

Postgraduate Conference in Comparative Legal History
22–24 February 2018, Augsburg University, Germany
Call for Papers
The European Society for Comparative Legal History (ESCLH) is pleased to announce its first Postgraduate Conference. The ESCLH invites PhD-students (beyond their first year) and post-doctoral-researchers who work in the field of comparative legal history to participate in the conference. The conference will be held from 22 to 24 February 2018 at Augsburg University, Germany.
The ESCLH wants to overcome the narrow nationalism and geographical segregation of legal history in contemporary European scholarship and professional organisations. The society, thus, aims to promote comparative legal history, the explicit comparison of legal ideas and institutions in two or more legal traditions.
The first Graduate Conference of the ESCLH will give advanced PhD-students and post-doctoral-researchers the opportunity to present their research in the field of comparative legal history to a panel of six leading experts. Furthermore, the conference will give all participants the opportunity to build academic networks. The experts on the panel cover a broad range of subjects: Ulrike Babusiaux (Zürich), Mia Korpiola (Turku), Wim Decock (Leuven), Jan Hallebeek (Amsterdam), Aniceto Masferrer (Valencia), Stephen Skinner (Exeter).
The ESCLH invites advanced doctoral candidates and post-doctoral researchers to submit abstracts for presentation. The abstract should be of no more than 300 words and give the title of your research project, your field of research, and your personal data (full name, email address, affiliated university, CV) to:

The conference language is English and abstracts must be submitted in English. The closing date for receipt of abstracts is 31 October 2017. 12 applicants will be selected and invited to participate in the conference. Successful applicants will be informed by 15 December 2017. Participants are expected to cover their own travel expenses. Accommodation and catering will be provided without charge.

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Nya böcker från Max Planck-institutet: Global Perspectives on Legal History 8 och 9

Från Max Planck-intsitutet för europeisk rättshistoria har vi fått information om två nya, intressanta böcker i serien Global Perspectives on Legal History:

Global Perspectives on Legal History is a book series edited and published by the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

As its title suggests, the series is designed to advance the scholarly research of legal historians worldwide who seek to transcend the established boundaries of national legal scholarship that typically sets the focus on a single, dominant modus of normativity and law. The series aims to privilege studies dedicated to reconstructing the historical evolution of normativity from a global perspective.

It includes monographs, editions of sources, and collaborative works. All titles in the series are available both as premium print-on-demand and in the open-access format.

More information on the series and forthcoming volumes:

Global Perspectives on Legal History 8

L’eterno ritorno del Droit des gens di Emer de Vattel (secc. XVIII-XIX)

Elisabetta Fiocchi Malaspina

L’eterno ritorno del Droit des gens di Emer de Vattel (secc. XVIII-XIX)

L’impatto sulla cultura giuridica in prospettiva globale

Frankfurt am Main: Max Planck Institute for European Legal History 2017. 364 p., € 17,69 D

ISBN: 978-3-944773-07-0

Open Access Online Edition:


The numerous editions and early translations produced throughout the eighteenth century enabled the broad dissemination of Emer de Vattel’s juridical-political work Droit des gens. This book investigates the global impact of the Droit des gens with regard to the different political realities, the historical and legal contexts as well as the attempts, mechanisms and strategies used to put these ideas into practice and establish new doctrine between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

The Droit des gens had an extremely diverse impact, owing to its varied reception in different political situations, historical and legal contexts, and attempts at practical and theoretical implementation. The fact that Vattel’s book was a point of reference for a considerable number of jurists and politicians further demonstrates its authority in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.

The question naturally arises whether the continuous references to the work may be regarded as «typical citations of style», simply confined to referencing Vattel’s thought, or whether they are a clear sign of a deeper significance; one springing directly from the characteristics of the Droit des gens, with its capacity to organise and regulate the State in its domestic and international relations.

Global Perspectives on Legal History 9

Außergerichtliche Konfliktlösung in der Antike

Guido Pfeifer, Nadine Grotkamp (eds.)

Außergerichtliche Konfliktlösung in der Antike

Beispiele aus drei Jahrtausenden

Frankfurt am Main: Max Planck Institute for European Legal History 2017. 182 p., € 10,37 D

ISBN: 978-3-944773-08-7

Open Access Online Edition:


Antiquity is often utilized as a reference to provide a historical dimension for contemporary phenomena. This also holds true for the prevailing scientific discourse on alternative or adequate remedies of dispute resolution. In this context, historical perspectives seem to be in vogue as narratives to legitimize one or another role model, whereas studies on practical examples from ancient legal orders tend not to be given serious consideration in the current debate.

Just as in the case of contemporary legal research, ancient legal history also distinguishes litigation at court from other mechanisms of conflict resolution. Nevertheless, where do the boundaries of judicial and extra-judicial mechanisms of dispute resolution lie within the framework of ancient societies? Are they alternatives in a narrower sense? Is there evidence for concerning the reason there was no (or at least no exclusive) judicial decision? This volume offers a selection of studies of pertinent illustrative material pertaining to these questions. While the relevant sources stemming from the prehistorical period, the Ancient Near East, Hellenistic Egypt and Classical Roman law may vary greatly, this just serves to widen our perspective on ancient times.

Heidi Peter-Röcher focuses on strategies of conflict resolution in prehistoric times corresponding to different forms of violence. Hans Neumann, Susanne Paulus, Lena Fijałkowska and Alessandro Hirata delve into case studies situated in the Ancient Near East from Sumerian to Neo-Babylonian times. Three other contributions examine Graeco-Roman Antiquity: Marc Depauw considers non-Greek, i.e., demotic, material from a Hellenistic kingdom, Anna Seelentag embraces the phenomenon of public clamour in the Roman Republic, and Christine Lehne-Gstreinthaler provides a fresh look at the classical arbitration from the perspective of ancient legal history.

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