Studies in the History of Private Law is a peer-reviewed book series on the history of private law in the broadest sense. It focuses on the history of the two major families of private law in the world, European and Anglo-American private law. The history of civil procedure is expressly included in the series. There is no restriction in terms of chronology or geography as long as the particular object studied finds its origin in these two families. The approach is preferably comparative in nature, both vertically and horizontally, although studies that approach the subject matter from a different perspective are not automatically excluded. The aim of the series is to study the historical development of particular areas and topics of private law and to explain existing differences and similarities between and within the two major families from a historical perspective. An additional aim is to contribute to a mutual understanding of different approaches to similar problems within the various legal systems. The series also studies the growing need for a
ius commune in today’s globalising world and provides the necessary historical information for those working in the field of harmonisation projects. The series not only incorporates dogmatical studies, but also offers a forum for interdisciplinary studies that do not only concentrate on private law and legal history but which, nevertheless, have private law and legal history as their main theme. In addition, it welcomes studies that study private law in relationship to other fields of law, for example constitutional law.
Making Manslaughter, Susanne Pohl-Zucker offers parallel studies that trace the legal settlement of homicide in the duchy of Württemberg and the imperial city of Zurich between 1376 and 1700. Killings committed by men during disputes were frequently resolved by extrajudicial agreements during the late Middle Ages. Around 1500, customary strategies of dispute settlement were integrated and modified within contexts of increasing legal centralization and, in Württemberg, negotiated with the growing influence of the ius commune. Legal practice was characterized by indeterminacy and openness: categories and procedures proved flexible, and judicial outcomes were produced by governmental policies aimed at the re-establishment of peace as well as by the strategies and goals of all disputants involved in a homicide case.
consilia and decisiones, Wouter Druwé studies the multinormative framework on loans and credit in the Golden Ages of Antwerp and Amsterdam (c. 1500-1680). He analyzes the use of a wide variety of legal financial techniques in the Low Countries, such as money lending and the taking of interest, the constitution of annuities, cession and delegation, bearer bonds, bills of exchange, partnerships, and representation in financial affairs, as well as the consequences of monetary fluctuations. Special attention is paid to how the transregional European system of learned Roman and canon law (
ius commune) was applied in daily ‘learned legal practice’. The study also deals with the prohibition against usury and with the impact of moral theology on legal debates.
Conquest and the Law in Swedish Livonia (ca. 1630-1710), Heikki Pihlajamäki offers an exciting account of the law and judiciary in seventeenth-century Livonia. Immediately after Sweden conquered the province in the 1620s, a reorganization of the Livonian judiciary began. Its legal order became largely modelled after Swedish law, which differed in important ways from its Livonian counterpart. While Livonian legal tradition was firmly anchored in the European
ius commune, the conquerors’ law was, by nature, not founded in legal learning. The volume convincingly demonstrates how the differences in legal cultures decisively affected the way Livonian judicial and procedural systems were shaped. Based on archival sources, the study presents an important contribution to the comparative legal history of the early modern period.
The Laws of Late Medieval Italy Mario Ascheri examines the features of the Italian legal world and explains why it should be regarded as a foundation for the future European continental system. The deep feuds among the Empire, the Churches unified by Roman papacy and the flourishing cities gave rise to very new legal ideas with the strong cooperation of the universities, beginning with that of Bologna. The teaching of Roman law and of the new papal laws, which quickly spread all over Europe, built up a professional group of lawyers and notaries which shaped the new, 'modern', public institutions, including efficient courts (like the Inquisition). Politically divided, Italy was partly unified by the legal system, so-called (Continental) common law (ius commune), which became a pattern for all of Europe onwards.
Early modern Europe had for long time to work with it, and parts of it are still alive as a common cultural heritage behind a new European law system.
Accidents often occur not only through the fault of the wrongdoer but also partly through the conduct of the injured party. This contributory conduct of the injured party and its consequences for the delictual liability of the wrongdoer have been central issues in the study of private law for centuries. In
Contributory Negligence. A Historical and Comparative Study Van Dongen presents a detailed study of how from Antiquity to today the negligent behaviour of the injured party has influenced claims for damages based on delictual liability and how it evolved into the modern concept of contributory negligence. His research comprises a comparative legal study of the main current developments concerning the concept of contributory negligence in France, Germany and the Netherlands.
first status quaestionis – Much has already been written on the emergence and development of a commercial law in the early modern period. Certain developments in the learned literature of iuscommune concerning loans, annuity contracts, the transfer of bonds, partnership agreements and the
influential sources of law. 51 An early exception was the work by Woldemar Engelmann on the essential role of the consultations for the reception of the iuscommune in Italian legal practice. He especially pointed at the importance of consilia for judges who wanted to avoid their liability under the
practice. Consequently, if certain techniques – like endorsement or assignaties of the Wisselbank – did not give rise to printed consilia and decisiones , they are not dealt with in depth. §2 Cession and Assignment A Introduction Introductory remarks: Iuscommune and particular law – This first