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Thomas Finkenauer

The pactum ut minus solvatur and the maior pars in classical law.


Marc Aurel established the institution of a creditors’ meeting, the purpose of which was to find a composition agreement between all creditors and the debtor’s heir. Such a debt cut required a majority decision of those creditors present at the meeting. Without discretion, the praetor had to follow this majority decision. His decretum and thus the quota agreed upon were binding even for dissenting creditors and those not present at the meeting.


A.M. Grebieniow

Laesio enormis and dolus in re ipsa nowadays: the question of fault.


The mediaeval interpreters of Roman law have worked out the dolus re ipsa-concept to explain the mysterious laesio enormis (C. 4,44,2 [a. 285]). They supposed the inequality in exchange to be a result of malicious undertaking, for which paradoxically, no one was personally liable (D. 45,1,36 [Ulp. 48 Sab.]). In course of time, the incorporation of laesio enormis into the scheme of dolus turned into a presumption of a malicious act on the part of the enriched party, even though the laesio enormis is free from subjective criteria. It is astonishing how little the dolus re ipsa is discussed, although the modern paradigm for correcting inequality in exchange is based on the same assumptions. This ‘Wiederkehr der Rechtsfigur’ certainly deserves more attention.


Die Ratio des Schenkungsverbotes unter Ehegatten


Monopolisierung des Ehegüterrechts im Dotalregime


Jakob Fortunat Stagl

The ratio behind the prohibition for spouses to donate to each other. Monopolising matrimonial property law in the dotal system.


The present inquiry is based on the premise that the riddle of the highly contested rationale of the prohibition of donations between spouses can only be solved by taking into account the legal basis of this prohibition. The classical jurists treated the prohibition within the ius dotium, shorthand for ‘matrimonial property regime’, a legal matter heavily transformed by the lex Iulia et Papia which followed the goal of inciting the upper class to get married which would guarantee the desired offspring and control over the Emperor’s subjects. Considering the palingenetic context of the treatises on the prohibition, the lex Iulia et Papia is to be considered the legal basis of the prohibition which, therefore, has the purpose of channelling all economical transactions between the spouses into the ius dotium which in turn serves the goals of the lex Iulia et Papia. To sum it up: The prohibition was another legal ordinance in Augustus’ arsenal serving his fight for moral renewal, that is to say limitation of civil liberties, and the consolidation of his power.


Boudewijn Sirks

In Roman Statutes the Twelve Tables Law have undergone a considerable shift: a considerable part of the delicts (iniuria, arbores furtim caesae and furtum) has been moved from Table VIII to Table II. It is argued that this shift, which breaks with the accepted arrangement, is unwarranted. Further, some observations are made on the edition of several rules in the Twelve Tables.


Gierkes Protest gegen das BGB


Justitia – Italia oder Germania?


Pierre Friedrich

The enactment of the German Civil Code (BGB) marked the triumph of the Romanists in the famous codification debate. However, the Germanists’ resistance endured and found new grounds and means of conflict. This essay throws light on the exploitation of the fine arts for the advancement of the Germanists’ legal policy. With the help of the prominent murals in the plenary hall of the court of appeal in Düsseldorf, executed in 1913, we will examine the continuing influence of the germanistic combat and the socio-political mores of the functionary elite of the late empire. It will be demonstrated that these murals were an expression of the ressentiment of a certain part of these ‘power elites’ towards the liberal constitutional state which had come into existence by the time of the codification of the BGB at the very latest. Nazi ideology was able to appeal to these political dispositions and values after the First World War. This was one of the major routes that led to the Nazi takeover and finally to the decline of the rule of law in Germany.