Category Archives: Legal History

‘Engstrom on Class Actions (x 2)’

“David Freeman Engstrom, Stanford Law School, has posted two papers on the history of class actions. The first, forthcoming in University of Pennsylvania Law Review 165 (2017), is ‘Revolution of 1978 and the Puzzle of American Procedural Political Economy’: ‘In 1978, top DOJ officials in the Carter Administration floated a revolutionary proposal that would have […]

‘A Call for Projects and Proposals from the American Society for Legal History’

“The Projects and Proposals Committee of the American Society for Legal History exists to encourage new initiatives in the study and presentation and production of legal historical scholarship and in the communication of legal history to all its possible publics and audiences. It is the mission of the committee to find ways to bring talented […]

‘Property law and flooding’

“Continuing our trend on water, the Osgoode Society recently announced that Jason Hall has won its Peter Oliver Prize for best published student writing for his article, ‘High Freshets and Low-Lying Farms: Property Law and St John River Flooding in Colonial New Brunswick’. The abstract: ‘ Although New Brunswick was founded on private land ownership, […]

Alecia Simmonds, ‘“She Felt Strongly the Injury to Her Affections”: Breach of Promise of Marriage and the Medicalization of Heartbreak in Early Twentieth-Century Australia’

Abstract: This paper examines the relationship between law, medical knowledge and romantic suffering in early twentieth-century Australia. Drawing upon a sample of breach of promise of marriage actions from 1824 to 1930, it argues that where the plaintiff’s pain was largely presumed in the nineteenth century, by the twentieth century mastering the language and performance […]

‘Québec National Assembly Guide on History of the Civil Code’

“The website of the Québec National Assembly has created a thematic guide to the history of the Civil Code of the province from its origins in France’s Napoleonic Code of 1804 to today …” (more) [Michel-Adrien Sheppard, Slaw, 11 June]

‘Research Fellowships in Legal History at St Andrews’

“Four Research Fellowships in Legal History are available at the University of St Andrews to work with Professor John Hudson on the ERC Advance Grant funded project ‘Civil Law, Common Law, Customary Law: Consonance, Divergence and Transformation in Western Europe from the late eleventh to the thirteenth centuries’ …” (more) [Legal History Blog, 22 May]

Andreas Blank, ‘Common usage, presumption and verisimilitude in sixteenth-century theories of juridical interpretation’

Abstract: The question of how common usage could be constitutive for the meaning of linguistic expressions has been discussed by Renaissance philosophers such as Lorenzo Valla, and it also played an important role in Renaissance theories of juridical interpretation. An aspect of the analysis of common usage in Renaissance theories of juridical interpretation that concerns […]

Anna Robilant, ‘A Research Agenda for the History of Property Law in Europe, Inspired by and Dedicated to Marc Poirier’

Introduction: … However, my driving commitment is towards understanding the development of property law and theory in the context of the larger, long-term social, economic, and political transformations of modern Europe and beyond. In the sections that follow, I will outline the main lines of this research agenda: (a) understanding the relation between property and […]

‘“Coke-Upon-Littleton of the Fist”: Law, Custom, and Complications’

Robert Deal, The Law of the Whale Hunt: Dispute Resolution, Property Law, and American Whalers, 1780-1880 (2016). Robert Deal is a historian at Marshall University. His book is a nuanced account of the nineteenth-century British and American whaling industry and how it was misunderstood by contemporary lawyers and judges and continues to be misunderstood by […]

Katharina Schmidt, ‘Henry Maine’s “Modern Law”: From Status to Contract and Back Again?’

Abstract: In this Article, I conduct a long overdue assessment of Henry Maine’s ‘from Status to Contract’ thesis in light of two essentially modern phenomena: contract standardization and relational contracting. Drawing on comparative legal history, classical sociological and anthropological literature, contemporary contract law theory, and recent works in the field of (behavioral) law and economics, […]