The Creation of the Lus Commune: From Casus to Regula

The Creation of the Lus Commune: From Casus to Regula

The Creation of the Lus Commune: From Casus to Regula

The Creation of the Lus Commune: From Casus to Regula

Synopsis

This book concerns the transformation of Roman legal rules into the "common law" of Western Europe between 1100 and 1400. In the space of three centuries these rules, collected in the sixth-century compilation executed under the order of Emperor Justinian, were comprehensively interpreted and transformed by several generations of medieval Italian and French jurists into what became the bedrock of Western European law. In these chapters, a number of distinguished scholars survey traditional classifications of private law in order to establish the cognitive techniques used to transform Roman law into the ius commune of Western Europe.

Excerpt

The papers collected in this volume were originally delivered on 12-13 December 2008 at a conference organised in Old College by the Centre for Legal History of the University of Edinburgh and the Edinburgh Roman Law Group. It is worth remembering that the Edinburgh Roman Law Group was established by the late Professor Peter Birks – sometime Professor of Civil Law in the University of Edinburgh – as an interdisciplinary forum dedicated to the study of Civil law and the Civilian tradition in its broadest sense. Its regular meetings attract a wide audience of students, specialists, and members of the public interested in its aims. Usually meeting three times each academic year, it is addressed by distinguished scholars in the field.

The conference out of which this volume has grown was entitled “From Casus to Regula: the Creation of the Ius Commune”. All the papers delivered are included here in a revised form. the conference allowed fruitful discussion between the speakers and between the speakers and the audience, and this discussion is reflected in the versions of the papers presented as chapters here.

The theme of the conference was chosen because there is little detailed work published in English on the development of the historical ius commune beyond grand narratives of considerable generality. If there are valuable individual studies and even monographs in English, the conference and consequent volume allowed a more general detailed assessment, and an assessment that involved proper consideration not only of the interpretation of the Roman-law texts, but also of those of canon law and feudal law, ranging over a wide area of legal practice and scholarship in the Middle Ages. the results allow and encourage development of a more nuanced account of how the medieval jurists took the texts of the Roman and canon laws and moved from casuistic jurisprudence towards the development of what would now be recognised as legal doctrine.

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