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Glenn Kumhera

In The Benefits of Peace: Private Peacemaking in Late Medieval Italy Glenn Kumhera offers the first comprehensive account of private peacemaking, weaving together its legal, religious, political and social meanings across several cities (13th-15th centuries). The ability of peacemaking to hinder criminal prosecution has often been considered the result of government powerlessness. Kumhera, however, examines the benefits of private peacemaking, detailing how its flexibility was crucial in creating a viable criminal justice system that emphasized violence prevention and recognition of jurisdiction while allowing space for friends, neighbors and clergy to intervene. Additionally, he explores the roles of women and clergy in peacemaking, how peace operated in a vendetta culture and how the medieval understanding of reconciliation affected the practice of peacemaking.

Politics of Honor in Ottoman Anatolia

Sexual Violence and Socio-Legal Surveillance in the Eighteenth Century

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Başak Tuğ

In Politics of Honor, Başak Tuğ examines moral and gender order through the glance of legal litigations and petitions in mid-eighteenth century Anatolia. By juxtaposing the Anatolian petitionary registers, subjects’ petitions, and Ankara and Bursa court records, she analyzes the institutional framework of legal scrutiny of sexual order. Through a revisionist interpretation, Tuğ demonstrates that a more bureaucratized system of petitioning, a farther hierarchically organized judicial review mechanism, and a more centrally organized penal system of the mid-eighteenth century reinforced the existing mechanisms of social surveillance by the community and the co-existing “discretionary authority” of the Ottoman state over sexual crimes to overcome imperial anxieties about provincial “disorder”.

The Acquisition of Africa (1870-1914)

The Nature of International Law

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Mieke van der Linden

Over recent decades, the responsibility for the past actions of the European colonial powers in relation to their former colonies has been subject to a lively debate. In this book, the question of the responsibility under international law of former colonial States is addressed. Such a legal responsibility would presuppose the violation of the international law that was applicable at the time of colonization. In the ‘Scramble for Africa’ during the Age of New Imperialism (1870-1914), European States and non-State actors mainly used cession and protectorate treaties to acquire territorial sovereignty (imperium) and property rights over land (dominium). The question is raised whether Europeans did or did not on a systematic scale breach these treaties in the context of the acquisition of territory and the expansion of empire, mainly through extending sovereignty rights and, subsequently, intervening in the internal affairs of African political entities.

Rule-Formulation and Binding Precedent in the Madhhab-Law Tradition

Ibn Quṭlūbughā’s Commentary on The Compendium of Qudūrī

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Talal Al-Azem

In Rule-Formulation and Binding Precedent in the Madhhab-Law Tradition, Talal Al-Azem argues for the existence of a madhhab-law tradition’ of jurisprudence underpinning the four post-classical Sunni schools of law. This tradition celebrated polyvalence by preserving the multiplicity of conflicting opinions within each school, while simultaneously providing a process of rule formulation ( tarjīḥ) by which one opinion is chosen as the binding precedent ( taqlīd). The predominant forum of both activities, he shows, was the legal commentary.

Through a careful reading of Ibn Quṭlūbughā's (d. 879/1474) al-Taṣḥīḥ wa-al-tarjīḥ, Al-Azem presents a new periodisation of the Ḥanafī madhhab, analyses the theory of rule formulation, and demonstrates how this madhhab-law tradition facilitated both continuity and legal change while serving as the basis of a pluralistic Mamluk judicial system.

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Manon van der Heijden

Crime is men’s business, isn’t it? Women are responsible for 10 percent of crime in Europe. Yet, if we look at the Dutch Republic in the early modern period, we find that in the towns of Holland women played a much larger role in crime. In a number of early modern towns about half of the criminals convicted in court were women. These women were in vulnerable positions and thus more likely to become involved in crime. They also had a relatively independent status and led remarkably public lives. Manon van der Heijden convincingly shows that it is the very combination of women’s vulnerability and independence that accounts for the high female crime rates in Holland between 1600 and 1800.

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Gregory S. Moule

In Corporate Jurisdiction, Academic Heresy, and Fraternal Correction at the University of Paris, 1200-1400, Gregory S. Moule explains how the theological faculty acquired independent jurisdiction over cases of academic heresy among its membership. He convincingly demonstrates that the faculty's jurisdiction and procedures were modelled on the pattern of a bishop and his cathedral canons.
Gregory S. Moule's analysis of Pierre D'Ailly's Apologia confirms the faculty's jurisdiction and establishes that the censures of Denis Foulechat and John of Monteson were instances of judicial rather than fraternal correction. Medieval discussions of Judas Iscariot further clarify fraternal correction's role in the process of censure. Canon law, corporate theory, scholastic theology, and biblical commentary are employed to produce a wide-ranging, original, and thought-provoking study.

Law, Territory and Conflict Resolution

Law as a Problem and Law as a Solution

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Edited by Matteo Nicolini, Francesco Palermo and Enrico Milano

Prompted by the de facto secession of Crimea in early 2014, Law, Territory and Conflict Resolution explores the role of law in territorial disputes, and therefore sheds light on the legal ‘realities’ in territorial conflicts. Seventeen scholars with backgrounds in comparative constitutional law and international law critically reflect on the well-established assumption that law is ‘part of the solution’ in territorial conflicts and ask whether the law cannot equally be ‘part of the problem’. The volume examines theory, practice, legislation and jurisprudence from various case studies, thus offering further insights on the following complex issue: can law act as an effective instrument for the governance of territorial disputes and conflicts?

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Bruce Brasington

In Order in the Court, Brasington translates and comments upon the earliest medieval treatises on ecclesiastical legal procedure. Beginning with the eleventh-century “Marturi Case,” the first citation of the Digest in court since late antiquity and the jurist Bulgarus’ letter to Haimeric, the papal chancellor, we witness the evolution of Roman-law procedure in Italy. The study then focusses on Anglo-Norman works, all from the second half of the twelfth century. The De edendo, the Practica legum of Bishop William of Longchamp, and the Ordo Bambergensis blend Roman and canon law to guide the judge, advocate, and litigant in court. These reveal the study and practice of the learned law during the turbulent “Age of Becket” and its aftermath.

The Protectors of Indians in the Royal Audience of Lima

History, Careers and Legal Culture, 1575-1775

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Mauricio Novoa

In The Protectors of Indians in the Royal Audience of Lima: History, Careers and Legal Culture, 1575-1775 Mauricio Novoa offers an account of the institution that developed in the vice-royalty of Peru for the protection of Indians before the high courts of justice. Making use of historical materials, Novoa provides a comprehensive view on the formation of the legal elite in Lima during the colonial period; reviews the litigation undertaken by indigenous plaintiffs, and explains the legal culture that allowed the development of juristic doctrine around the Indian personal status.

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Joanna Carraway Vitiello

In Public Justice and the Criminal Trial in Late Medieval Italy: Reggio Emilia in the Visconti Age, Joanna Carraway Vitiello examines the criminal trial at the end of the fourteenth century. Inquisition procedure, in which a powerful judge largely controlled the trial process, was in regular use in the criminal court at Reggio. Yet during the period considered in this study, technical procedural developments combined with the political realities of the town to create a system of justice that prosecuted crime but also encouraged dispute resolution. Following the stages of the process, including investigation, denunciation, the weighing of evidence, and the verdict, this study investigates the court’s complex role as a vehicle for both personal justice and prosecution in the public interest.