Category Archives: Legal History

John Rothchild, ‘How the United States Stopped Being a Pirate Nation and Learned to Love International Copyright’

ABSTRACT From the time of the first federal copyright law in 1790 until enactment of the International Copyright Act in 1891, US copyright law did not apply to works by authors who were not citizens or residents of the United States. US publishers took advantage of this lacuna in the law, and the demand among […]

Emily Kadens, ‘Cheating Pays’

ABSTRACT Common private-ordering theories predict that merchants have an incentive to act honestly because if they do not, they will get a bad reputation and their future businesses will suffer. In these theories, cheating is cheating whether the cheat is big or small. But while reputa­tion-based private ordering may constrain the big cheat, it does […]

Leslie Katz, ‘The Testamentary Condition in Restraint of Marriage Essential to the Plot of Our Mutual Friend’

ABSTRACT Essential to the plot of Our Mutual Friend was a condition in a will made by John Harmon the elder, although it transpires that the will containing that condition was afterwards superseded. The condition was that, before obtaining his entitlement under the will, John Harmon the younger marry Bella Wilfer. The paper discusses the […]

‘Cardozo’s Great Proximate Cause Decision?’

Kenneth S Abraham and G Edward White, ‘Recovering Wagner v International Railway Company‘, 34 Touro Law Review 21 (2018). Featuring the memorable phrase ‘Danger invites rescue’, Cardozo’s opinion in Wagner v International Railway Co is engaging and beautifully written. The same can be said of ‘Recovering Wagner v International Railway Company‘ (hereinafter ‘Recovering Wagner‘) – […]

Neal Wiley, ‘Through a Glass, Darkly: Reading Justinian through his Supreme Court Citations’

ABSTRACT This article applies the analytical paradigm of classical reception theory, widely used within Humanities disciplines but relatively uncommon in the legal academy, to an old problem of legal history. Has Roman law, especially as exemplified by Justinian’s Corpus Juris Civilis, had a direct substantive impact on American jurisprudence? This Article arrives at an affirmative […]

Nathan Oman, ‘John Calvin’s Quarrel with Civil Recourse Theory’

ABSTRACT This essay traces in skeletal form a history of the Christian critique of litigation, with a focus on the well-articulated argument of the Reformation theologian John Calvin. Most of contemporary private law theory focuses on the idea of liability. For law and economics liability is a price placed on certain conduct in order to […]

Pérez and Ligüerre, ‘From Nuisance to Environmental Protection in Continental Europe’

ABSTRACT This paper analyzes the evolution and complexity of the legal response to neighboring conflicts in European civil law countries. All of the civil codes analyzed (France, Germany, Spain, Netherlands, and Catalonia) are based on Roman Law rules that are not always clear. The fuzziness of those Roman Law rules explains, in part, why despite […]

‘JOBS: PhD and Postdoc Scholarships, Max Planck Institute for European Legal History, Frankfurt am Main (DEADLINE 31 MAY 2019)’

“Every year we welcome numerous researchers and scholarship holders from all over the world who come to Frankfurt in order to get in touch with other researchers in a productive working atmosphere and to conduct research in our library with its many special collections …” (more) [ESCLH, 14 February]

Shivprasad Swaminathan, Review of Law in Theory and History: New Essays on a Neglected Dialogue (Del Mar and Lobban eds)

“… The volume is an important contribution to the topic, which has seen something of a resurgence lately and one from which both legal theorists and legal historians will greatly benefit. The essays in the volume emerge from a conference ‘Legal Theory and Legal History: A Neglected Dialogue?’ held at Queen Mary University of London […]

‘An International Workshop on the History of Commercial Law’

“On August 24th and 25th, 2018, the International Workshop on the History of Commercial Law was held at the Law Faculty of the University of Bergen (Norway), hosted by prof. Søren Koch of the Research Group for Legal Culture, Legal History and Comparative Law. Many experts in the field of commercial law and its history, […]