Representation in Business: Grotius’s Inleidinge and the Ius Commune Tradition in the Low Countries

In: Grotiana
Wouter Druwé Roman Law and Legal History, KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium

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In his Inleidinge tot de Hollandsche Rechts-geleerdheid, Hugo Grotius wrote an accessible introductory overview of Hollandic law, in which he combined insights from the learned law (ius commune) with the particular law of Holland. The Inleidinge was read by generations of Dutch law students, and would thus become very influential in the Roman-Dutch tradition. This contribution studies how the topic of representation, especially in a business context, was treated in Grotius’s Inleidinge. On the basis of an analysis of the Justinianic Corpus iuris, the medieval ius commune tradition and – especially – early modern scholarship from the Low Countries, it is argued that Grotius’s Inleidinge by and large followed the communis opinio among the learned scholars, although on one important point – namely the acquisition by a third party of a claim on the basis of a stipulatio alteri – Grotius went beyond that communis opinio and, thus, opened the way for a gradual wider legal acceptance of active direct representation.

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