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Lodovico Pontano (ca. 1409-1439)

Eine Juristenkarriere an Universität, Fürstenhof, Kurie und Konzil

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Thomas Woelki

The short but fiery career of the famous jurist Lodovico Pontano (†1439) led from the universities of Bologna, Florence, Rome and Siena, the Roman curia and the court of Alfonso V of Aragón to the Council of Basel where he became rapidly one of the major conciliarist leaders and died at the age of only 30 years of the plague. Pontano’s biography and the sequential analysis of his largely unedited works shows how a man of learning managed to present his legal skills, later enhanced by persuasive theological arguments, as an expertise indispensable for government and to make himself so essential that he could regularly afford to break his contracts. The first edition of ten important tracts and speeches completes the work.

Royal Police Ordinances in Early Modern Sweden

The Emergence of Voluntaristic Understanding of Law

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Toomas Kotkas

Royal Police Ordinances in Early Modern Sweden offers a comprehensive account of the legal regulation of 16th- and 17th-century Swedish society. In comparison to present-day usage, during the early modern period the term ‘police’ had a broader meaning. It referred to ‘good societal order’ covering a variety of areas of societal life such as public finances, commerce, professions, infrastructure, public health and poor relief, public morality, public security, and so on.
Through an analysis of a large body of ordinances Toomas Kotkas claims that in 17th-century Sweden a new, voluntaristic understanding of law emerged. Royal police ordinances were no longer perceived merely as a means of enforcing older medieval law but instead as an instrument of directing society towards aspired-to goals.

The History and Theory of Legal Practice in China

Toward a Historical-Social Jurisprudence

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Edited by Philip C.C. Huang and Kathryn Bernhardt

The History and Theory of Legal Practice in China: Toward a Historical-Social Jurisprudence goes beyond the either/or dichotomy of Chinese vs. Western law, tradition vs. modernity, and the substantive-practical vs. the formal. It does so by proceeding not from abstract legal texts but from the realities of legal practice. Whatever the declared intent of a law, it must in actual application adapt to social realities. It is the two dimensions of representation and practice, and law and society, that together make up the entirety of a legal system. The assembled articles by the editors and a new generation of Chinese scholars illustrate a new “historical-social jurisprudence,” and explore the possible conceptual underpinnings of a modern Chinese legal system that would both accommodate and integrate the unavoidable paradoxes of contemporary China.