While comparative constitutional law is a well-established field, less attention has been paid so far to the comparative dimension of constitutional history. The present volume, edited by Francesco Biagi, Justin O. Frosini and Jason Mazzone, aims to address this shortcoming by bringing focus to comparative constitutional history, which holds considerable promise for engaging and innovative work along several key avenues of inquiry. The essays contained in this volume focus on the origins and design of constitutional governments and the sources that have impacted the ways in which constitutional systems began and developed, the evolution of the principle of separation of powers among branches of government, as well as the origins, role and function of constitutional and supreme courts.

Contributors include: Mark Somos, Gohar Karapetian, Justin O. Frosini, Viktoriia Lapa, Miguel Manero de Lemos, Francesco Biagi, Ctherine Andrews, Gonçalo de Almeida Ribeiro, Mario Alberto Cajas-Sarria, and Fabian Duessel.
Editor: Katja Tikka
The Development of Commercial Law in Sweden and Finland provides a broad perspective on recent research into the history of North European commercial law in a comparative and international framework. The book brings together themes that have previously been considered largely from a national perspective.

Despite Sweden's and Finland's peripheral locations in Europe, global legal phenomena took place there as well. These countries were at the crossroads of cultures and commercial interests, allowing us to re-examine them as lively laboratories for commercial laws and practices rather than dismissing them as a negligible periphery. The importance of trade and international transactions cannot be disclaimed, but the book also emphasizes the resilient nature of commercial law.

Contributors are: Dave De ruysscher, Stefania Gialdroni, Ulla Ijäs, Marko Lamberg, Heikki Pihlajamäki, Jussi Sallila, and Katja Tikka.
Equity in Early Modern Legal Scholarship takes the reader through the vast amount of legal writings on equity that were published in continental Europe in early modern times. The book offers the first comprehensive overview of the development of the legal concept of equity through the sixteenth and seventeenth century. During this time, equity scholarship broke with its medieval past and entered a lively debate on the nature and function of the concept. Lorenzo Maniscalco links these developments to the early modern identification of equity with Aristotelian epieikeia, a conceptual shift that brought down the barrier that divided theological and legal writings on equity and led to its development as a tool for the interpretation and amendment of legal rules.
A Diachronic Semantic Analysis of Consideration in the Common Law
Author: Caroline Laske
In this monograph, Caroline Laske traces the advent of consideration in English contract law, by analysing the doctrinal development, in parallel with the corresponding terminological evolution and semantic shifts between the fourteenth and nineteenth centuries. It is an innovative, interdisciplinary study, showcasing the value of taking a diachronic corpus linguistics-based approach to the study of legal change and legal development, and the semantic shifts in the corresponding terminology. The seminal application in the legal field of these analytical methodologies borrowed from pragmatic linguistics goes beyond the content approach that legal research usually practices and it has allowed for claims of semantic change to be objectified. This ground-breaking work is pitched at scholars of legal history, law & language, and linguistics.
Nordic Inheritance Law through the Ages – Spaces of Action and Legal Strategies explores the significance of inheritance law from medieval times to the present through topical and in-depth studies that bring life to historical and contemporary inheritance practices. The contributions cover three themes: status of persons and their options in the process of property devolution; wills, gift-giving and legal disputes as means to shape the working of the law; processes of inheritance legislation.

The authors focus on instances where legal strategies of various actors particularly reveal inheritance law as a contested and yet constrained space of action, and somewhat surprisingly show similar solutions to family law issues dealt with in other Western European countries.

Contributors are: Simone Abram, Gitte Meldgaard Abrahamsen, Per Andersen, Agnes S. Arnórsdóttir, John Asland, Knut Dørum, Thomas Eeg, Ian Peter Grohse, Marianne Holdgaard, Astrid Mellem Johnsen, Már Jónsson, Mia Korpiola, Gabriela Bjarne Larsson, Auður Magnúsdóttir, Bodil Selmer, Helle I. M. Sigh, and Miriam Tveit.
Pre-modern long-distance trade was fraught with risks which often created conflicts of interest. The ensuing disputes and the ways the actors involved dealt with them belong to the field of conflict management. How did victims of maritime conflicts claim compensation? How did individual actors and public institutions negotiate disputes which transcended jurisdictional boundaries? What strategies, arrangements and agreements could contribute to achieve the resolution of such conflicts, and to what effect? These and other questions have mainly been studied separately for the Mediterranean and Atlantic regions. Here, the two seascapes are connected, allowing for a comparative long-term perspective. The different contributions enhance our understanding in the complexity of various approaches to conflict management.

Thierry Allain, Cátia Antunes, Eduardo Aznar Vallejo, Catarina Cotic Belloube, Kate Ekama, Tiago Viúla de Faria, Ana Belem Fernández Castro, Jessica Goldberg, Roberto J. González Zalacain, Ian Peter Grohse, Thomas K. Heebøll-Holm, Laurence Jean-Marie, Daphne Penna, Pierrick Pourchasse, Pierre Prétou, Ana María Rivera Medina, Carlo Taviani, and Dominique Valérian.
Editor: Edward Cavanagh
Emphatic of the importance of legal thought to the rise and fall of empires, this book highlights the centrality of empires to the development of legal thought.

Comprehension of the development of legal thought over time is necessary for any historical, philosophical, practical, or theoretical enquiry into the subject today, it is argued here. When seen against the background of broad geopolitical, diplomatic, administrative, intellectual, religious, and commercial changes, law begins to appear very resilient. It withstands the rise and fall of empires. It provides the framework for the establishment of new orders in the place of the old.

Today what analogies, principles, and authorities of law have survived these changes continue to inform much of the international legal tradition.

Contributors are: Clifford Ando, Lia Brazil, Joseph Canning, Edward Cavanagh, Zachary Chitwood, Emanuele Conte, Matthew Crow, Alberto Esu, Tiziana Faitini, Dante Fedele, Naveen Kanalu, Alexandre A. Loktionov, P. G. McHugh, Jordan Rudinsky, Mark Somos, Joshua Smeltzer, Lorenzo Veracini, Halcyon Weber, and Sarah Winter.
Historical, Legal and Philosophical Perspectives
The essays in this volume explore the ways rights were available to those in the margins of society. By tracing pivotal judicial concepts such as ‘right of necessity’ and ‘subjective rights’ back to their medieval versions, and by situating them in unexpected contexts such as the Franciscans’ theory of poverty and colonization or today’s immigration and border control, this volume invites its readers to consider whether individual rights were in fact, or at least in theory, available to the marginalized. By focusing not only on the economically impoverished but also those who were disenfranchised because of disability, gender, race, religion or infidelity, this book also sheds light on the relationship between the early history of individual rights and social justice at the margins.

Contributors are: Wim Decock, Heikki Haara, Virpi Mäkinen, Alejandra Mancilla, Julia McClure, Ilse Paakkinen, Mikko Posti, Jonathan Robinson, John Salter, Pamela Slotte, and Jussi Varkemaa.

Abstract

The 1880s saw a unique confluence of means, motives, and opportunities which led the British and their agents on African frontiers to enter into hundreds of pre-printed form treaties with local groups. By treating indigenous groups as interchangeable counterparties to their agreements, the new tools carried by these diplomats in canoes carried both the benefits of expediency and the problems of alienation. The mass production of international law – made by relatively unskilled labour, in bulk, with limited variation – had arrived. This practice connects the emerging modernity of the cultures of international law, diplomacy, printing technology, and domestic law.

In: Journal of the History of International Law / Revue d'histoire du droit international