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Lex posterior derogat priori, lex specialis derogat generali, Guidelines for a history of conflicting norms with a focus on these two competing solutions. – The two Latin maxims, Lex posterior derogat priori and Lex specialis derogat generali, sometimes presented as evidentially logical, have a complex history and a delicate relationship (whereas the latter can contradict the former). They take their origins in the Digest, but in rather paradoxical forms: Lex posterior is coming from a text written in Greek by Modestinus, lex generalis is induced from a general regula exposed by Papinianus. How have these two ways of resolving the problem of conflicting norms emerged in Roman law? How have they been quoted and explained in canon and in civil law during the Middle Ages? How have they been used by sovereigns and in which scope do they serve the foundations of modern States? This paper tries to answer these questions by analyzing texts where the two maxims are mentioned and proposes to treat this subject as a significant chapter of the history of the sources of law.

In: Tijdschrift voor Rechtsgeschiedenis / Revue d'histoire du droit / The Legal History Review
In: State Law and Legal Positivism
In: State Law and Legal Positivism
The Global Rise of a New Paradigm
Volume Editors: Badouin Dupret and Jean-Louis Halpérin
This volume formulates the hypothesis of a truly global revolution that reflected a Great Divide between ancient and new legal regimes. The volume brings together several case studies of transition from an ancient to a new legal regime characterized by the positivization of the law. This was an effect of Western imperialism, but also of local elites’ conviction that positive law was an efficient instrument of governance. The contributors emphasize the depth and scale of the positivist legal revolution and explore the phenomenon whether it was the outcome of either direct colonialism (Morocco, Egypt, India) or indigenous reformism (Ottoman empire, China, Japan).