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Social Death as a Way of Punishing and Preventing Mass Murder

Juris Diversitas - mer, 04/15/2015 - 17:14
    Tuesday, March 24th, 2015: the crash of the Airbus A320, Flight Germanwings 9525 from Barcelona to Düsseldorf. Because he is aware of the fact that his depressive state and his eye condition will over time cause the loss of his job as a pilot for the subsidiary of a prestigious airline, and realizing that his dream of becoming an aircraft captain on intercontinental flights is doomed to failure, a young copilot chose to end his life, leading 149 other people to death. According to the Marseilles prosecutor’s narrative, the facts speak for themselves: the crime was premeditated. The perpetrator took advantage of the  captain’s brief absence to lock him out the cockpit, cut off any form of communication with the outside, and operate a progressive descent, which about ten minutes later would crash the aircraft on the slopes of the French Alps, causing the death of all passengers and crew members.
    Such a despicable crime defies comprehension. One cannot use the term terrorism, even though the act triggers fear, since there is no ideological or political aim. Although such mass murder is heinous and inhuman, it cannot be considered as a crime against humanity without political, philosophical, racial, or religious motives.
    Yet such a crime is a denial of humanity, not only of one person, but of a large number of victims who were, with a few exceptions, anonymous and had nothing to do with the perpetrator’s frustrating life experience or the organization on which he cast blame.
    Whether domestic or international, criminal law does not provide any specific characterization for this kind of crime, though increasingly frequent. The perpetrator knows his act will have global significance and visibility due to media and social network coverage. More and more anti-heroes kill dozens of people, often randomly, before killing themselves, whether in shootings in schools, universities, shopping malls or other public areas or, such as in the present case, through the destruction of an aircraft and the killing of all those on board.
    Such acts challenge our ability to react. Efforts are made to secure public places; companies and regulatory authorities will revise air transport security protocols, but criminal law cannot have any effect on the criminal who kills himself in the process.
    We are left with the resource of punishing the criminal by depriving him of the posthumous fame he was longing for.
    Pictures of this young man smiling in front of the Golden Gate Bridge or wearing glittering sportswear have been shown all around the world. They ensure the triumph of the diabolical ego of potential mass murderers and are an insult to the families of the victims. Let us punish such odious beings using one of the harshest sanctions the social group can inflict, a total and absolute anonymous treatment. May his face be concealed with black on any video or photographic representation, may his name be ignored forever. In the past, France used to inflict the sentence of “civil death,” a sanction that until 1854 would treat convicts serving a life sentence as dead. Though physically alive, the convict was treated as dead, losing legal personality and all its attributes. Let us impose the sentence of “social death,” by no longer recognizing as human those denying our humanity.If the media and the people relaying the pictures acted this way, we may perhaps defeat plans of other frustrated people who may find less incentive in playing the anti-heroes and causing collective death. Furthermore, such anonymous treatment would help protect the family, friends, and neighbors of the murderer, whose lives are shattered and made unbearable due to journalistic interference, collective stigmatization, and what must be feelings of overwhelming personal guilt by virtue of their relationship with the murderer.
    The idea is not to promote silence when dealing with those terrible events, which obviously have to be discussed. The point is to deprive the murderer of his name and face, to make him sink into his fate of anonymous cursed copilot. Since his crime is unspeakable, we should deprive him of his name and identity; he should become void, as one who has never existed. Not even a stone should bear his name.
    There is no need to amend any law or draft international agreements to do so. Let us act as responsible citizens by changing the law through our collective behavior, which may become a national and international custom. Custom is a way of reclaiming the law where our representatives are slow or powerless in making it evolve. Let us create a usage or common practice of treating collective murderers anonymously, so that neither our contemporaries, nor our descendants will be able to know, or even care to know, the name or the face of those who despise and hate mankind. Some newspapers and television channels already do so. Such behavior must be promoted and generalized. We do not want to allow our contemporaries to make a gruesome connection between happiness and horror; we want to prevent our children from portraying the denial of mankind with smile and innocence.

© 2015 Olivier Moréteau, translated from the French by Sara Vono, with the help of Jennifer Lane and Marie-Antoinette Moréteau.See original in French on Le juriste français 
Catégories: Comparative Law News

JOB: Two Postdocs at the MPI for European Legal History/Goethe University Frankfurt, 'Knowledge of the Pragmatici, late 16th, early 18th Century'; DEADLINE 15 MAY 2015

(image source: MPI Frankfurt)
The MPI for European Legal History in Frankfurt advertises two postdoc positions on early modern legal history.

Project presentation:
By the third decade of the sixteenth-century, once the first settlements had been successfully established in the Caribbean as well as in Central and South America, the Spanish monarchy had to confront the task of establishing its dominion over huge populations and across vast distances, albeit with limited human and material resources. In light of the scarcity and the remoteness, great importance was accorded to propagating and implementing codes of conduct and modes of behavioural control – not just among European settlers, but also over the indigenous populations.
As a part of the Collaborative Research Centre (‘Sonderforschungsbereich’) 1095, which was approved in November 2014 and is slated to begin at the start of 2015 at Goethe University, Frankfurt, bearing the title “Discourses of Weakness and Resource Regimes”, this subproject draws on the broader historical context described above to ask what norms and mediatic forms had been put to service by the Spanish sovereign to regulate codes of conduct in the period spanning between the 16th and mid-17th century. This study centres predominantly on “normativity”, its conventional and mediatic sources, not least on “law” and the functionality of these normative orders. However, the core of this project draws less on conventional sources of legal history, meaning the large stacks of textual collections pertaining to the norm setting practices of higher authorities or other early modern legal sources from the Castilian tradition and ius commune. Instead, special attention is being paid to modalities of normativity and their special mediatic forms primarily established to reach out to “practitioners” – and, in particular, sources from the fields of moral theology, pastoral or catechetic literature. Research on private book collections and on book circulation shows that they predominantly included popular works, namely small compendia, summaries of greater moral theological works, and, in part, also juridical theses that were notably used in Hispanic America.
The project builds on the hypothesis that “pragmatic literature”, in particular, the strand that powerfully refers back to the tradition of moral theology, may have gained in significance and functionality in the remote frontier context of the early modern empire, lacking in any standard of review: particularly because this body of works did not represent complex instructions or a sophisticated normative framework, or even direct command of the authorities. What on the one hand was regarded as “weakness” could now also be viewed as “strength”: precisely its succinct and concise quality may have rendered this strand of pragmatic literature functional; instead of focusing on law and its enforcement, the works concentrate on the innate force of human conscience, inculcated by way of rituals and discourses. These texts were simultaneously “weak” and “strong”, not only because it was possible to tie them in with Christian traditions of a weak discourse. They were perceived as weak for the lack of theoretical complexity compared to the challenging scholarly tractates and, importantly, also because in general they could not be enforced like the rule of law. They were “strong”, on the other hand, in a pragmatic sense, as their flexible normative underpinnings enabled them to take up those notions of legitimacy and basic moral assumptions which became a part of the moral economy of the colonial society. Not least in the imperial peripheries, where the American territories were located at the beginning and where vast swaths of the Americas continued to remain even after different centres were established in the composite monarchy, these adaptable and pragmatic texts addressing codes of conduct, such as confessional writings, catechisms, moral theological instructions, became particularly important: even in places where the reach of law was limited or non-existent, the practice of specific regulations and notions of “proper” behaviour were effectively mediated through ecclesiastic institutions and players, but also through the omnipresent religious symbols and their consistent inculcation.   
There are some indications that this constellation of resources was responsible for generating, even minimally, normative conceptions of social order and thereby also establishing a system of rule: Juridical normativity and institutions consolidated in a process of differentiation, essentially resources central to the formation of the early modern European state, were substituted by religious normativity and pragmatic literature, which characteristically offered greater scope for interpretation. As a result, the situation that emerged could be construed as “weak” when compared to the European context. But set against the backdrop of the challenge of the colonial project – at the outset at least – it could be viewed as a functional normative order built on a distinct configuration of resources.  
If these hypotheses were confirmed, the project would also help to bring to light not just the practical significance and functionality of this strand of sources, which has received scant attention for a long time, but perhaps also its intellectual weight. It is possible that the perceived weaker nature of this literature does not merely suggest – as often assumed – a form of vulgarization; on the contrary, it may be possible to see herein a conscious, and considerable work of abstraction.
Catégories: Comparative Law News

WORKSHOP: "Between slavery and freedom: aspects of manumission in the ancient world. The ancient Near East, Greece, and Rome" (Edinburgh, 1 May 2015)

WHAT Between slavery and freedom: aspects of manumission in the ancient world. The ancient Near East, Greece, and Rome, one-day Workshop
WHEN Friday 1 May 2015, 9:30 am - 6:00 pm 
WHERE Sydney Smith Lecture Theatre, doorway 1, Old Medical Quad, Teviot Place
all information here
Hosted by the School of History, Classics and Archaeology, this workshop will bring together scholars working on manumission and slavery in both the classical world (Greece and Rome), and the Near East to debate specific aspects of the manumission process and the lives of freed slaves.Transition from slavery to freedomRecent monographic work on ancient slavery has included a number of significant studies of manumission and freedmen. But despite these monographic treatments, it has become ever clearer that seminal aspects of the processes involved in slave manumission are understudied (including the workings and the place of peculium, the slave’s ability to amass possessions that enables him or her to purchase their freedom, the role played by the slave’s gender in the manumission process and prospects, etc.).Moreover, the status of freed slaves remains subject to debate. In light of the prominence of evidence for manumission and the importance of status in ancient societies, the transition from slavery to freedom is central to our understanding of the peculiar institution in the ancient world.Workshop programmeThere will be three formal sessions: one on Rome, one on Greece, and one on Near Eastern slavery and manumission.Each speaker is allocated one full hour for paper delivery and ensuing discussion, followed by a plenary discussion session at the end of the day chaired by the workshop organisers.

All participants are invited to present a poster on their work on slavery, which will be displayed at the poster session from 7pm onwards.

SpeakersOur speakers at this event join us from the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Canada and Israel.Near East
  • Dr Cornelia Wunsch (School of Oriental and African Studies, London): ‘Manumission and oblation around the Eastern Mediterranean: a comparative view’
  • Dr Heather Baker (University of Toronto, Canada): ‘Looking for slaves in Assyria’
  • Professor Deborah Kamen (University of Washington, United States of America): ‘Manumission and the quasi-peculium in classical Athens’
  • Professor Rachel Zelnick-Abramovitz (Tel Aviv University, Israel): ‘Partial manumission and its legal, economic, and social significance’
  • Ms Sara Zanovello (University of Edinburgh): ‘Manumission and paramone in the Delphic inscriptions’
  • Dr Paul du Plessis (University of Edinburgh): ‘'Slave interrogations in terms of the Lex Iulia on Adulteries'
  • Dr Juan Lewis (University of Edinburgh): ‘vicarii and manumission at Rome’
FeesThe workshop fee covers the registration for the event, refreshments throughout the day, a light sandwich lunch and a reception at the end of the formal proceedings.Two fee options are available; a reduced fee for all students, unwaged or University of Edinburgh staff, and a standard fee for all other attendees.Reduced fee£15.00Standard fee£20.00RegistrationTo register for this workshop, please visit our online booking system.Slavery in World History: public lectureThe manumission workshop is preceded by the 5th in the School’s ‘Slavery in World History' public lectures.Join Professor John Cairns (University of Edinburgh, School of Law) as he discusses his work on the re-use of Roman ‘slave law’.This lecture will take place on 30 April 2015 at 6.15pm in the Teviot Lecture Theatre.The event is free but ticketed. Registration is now open.Further informationFor further information on this workshop, please contact the organisers: Dr Ulrike Roth and Dr David Lewis.
  • Dr Ulrike Roth
  • Head of Classics Subject Area and Senior Lecturer; Ancient History
  • School of History, Classics and ArchaeologyUniversity of Edinburgh
    Dr Roth's staff profile
    • Dr David Lewis
    • Leverhulme Early Career Fellow; Classics
    • School of History, Classics and ArchaeologyUniversity of Edinburgh
      David Lewis' staff profile
      Catégories: Comparative Law News

      LECTURE: "Manumitting Slaves: Eighteenth-Century Scotland and Ancient Rome" (Edinburgh, 30 April 2015)

      WHAT Manumitting Slaves: Eighteenth-Century Scotland and Ancient Rome, The 5th Slavery in World History lecture
      WHEN Thursday 30 April 2015, 6:15 pm - 7:30 pm 
      WHERE Teviot Lecture Theatre, doorway 5, Old Medical School, Teviot Place
      all information here

      Hosted by the School of History, Classics and Archaeology, this lecture will consider the manumission of slaves in eighteenth-century Scotland, delivered by Professor John W. Cairns from the University of Edinburgh Law School.Manumitting Slaves: Eighteenth-Century Scotland and Ancient RomeManumission has played a complex social role in slave-owning societies. Unlike ancient Rome, eighteenth-century Scotland was not a slave-society; but it was certainly a society in which men, women and children were held as slaves.This was the product of the energetic activity of Scots in the British Empire: most of the individuals held as slaves had been imported from the colonies. Slave-societies typically regulate manumission as part of a complex set of regulations of slavery and slave-ownership.But the legal position of slaves in Scotland as ambiguous; legal practices imported from the colonies and often understood - at least by lawyers - through a lens of Roman law created social and perhaps even legal norms. These ambiguities created uncertainties about manumission and how to make it effective, to allow those freed to maintain their freedom and not be sold abroad.Join us at our 'Slavery and freedom' workshopFollowing this public lecture, there is a workshop on manumission in the ancient world, taking place on 1 May.Full information on the workshop programme, as well as on how to register, can be found on our website.RegistrationThis lecture is free but ticketed. Please visit our online booking system to register.Further informationFor further information on this workshop, please contact the organiser, Dr Ulrike Roth.

      • Dr Ulrike Roth
      • Head of Classics Subject Area and Senior Lecturer; Ancient History
      • School of History, Classics and ArchaeologyUniversity of Edinburgh
        Dr Roth's staff profile
        Catégories: Comparative Law News

        PETITION: Save the Committee for Historical and Scientific Studies (France)

        (image source: Wikimedia Commons)

        The Committee for Historical and Scientific Studies, founded by François Guizot, issued a call for support to the scientific community. The CTHS's activities cover all epochs of human history, counts as a rallying point for scientific societies all over the country and develops wide-ranging, interdisciplinary activities. The committee publishes both on paper and online. Its annual competition, leading to publication of the best doctoral dissertation received, is well known.
        Petition header:
        Le Comité des travaux historiques et scientifiques (CTHS) est né en 1834 de la volonté politique du ministre de l’Instruction publique, François Guizot, qui déclarait : « Cette entreprise ne doit pas être un effort accidentel et passager ; ce sera un long hommage et pour ainsi dire, une institution durable en l’honneur des origines, des souvenirs et de la gloire de la France. » (Guizot - 1834)

        Les missions historiques du CTHS visent à concourir aux recherches et aux publications portant sur les sciences humaines ; favoriser le développement des activités des sociétés savantes et de leurs fédérations ; assurer l’édition de textes, de répertoires, d’orientations de recherche… ; organiser annuellement le Congrès national des sociétés historiques et scientifiques. (cf. arrêté du 12/06/2007 – NOR: ESRS0755546A)

        Le CTHS développe ses activités avec l’aide de 255 membres, chercheurs et universitaires qui favorisent les échanges entre la recherche publique et le monde associatif. Depuis plus de 150 ans, le CTHS publie des ouvrages de référence en sciences humaines. Il a compté parmi ses membres d’éminentes personnalités, telles que Hugo, Mérimée, Viollet-le-Duc, Pasteur, Champollion Figeac, Maspero, Durkheim, Aulard, Tarde…

        Depuis 2007, le CTHS est un institut rattaché à l’École nationale des chartes. Sa tutelle remet en cause l’autonomie de gestion du CTHS tout en lui imposant des coupes budgétaires qui ne lui permettent plus d’assurer ses missions. Deux postes ont déjà été perdus et le maintien d’une partie non négligeable du personnel est sérieusement menacé. Sans le soutien actif de la communauté scientifique, de ses partenaires, de ses lecteurs, le CTHS est voué à disparaître.

        Soutenez le Comité des travaux historiques et scientifiques en apposant votre signature et en diffusant cette pétition qui sera adressée à la ministre de l’Enseignement supérieur, de l’éducation nationale et de la recherche, Madame Najat Vallaud-Belkacem.

        Le personnel du CTHS, son délégué général et son PrésidentThe full petition is available on change.org.
        Catégories: Comparative Law News

        CONFERENCE: Capital, Investment and Innovation in the Roman World (Free University of Brussels (VUB), 28-30 May 2015)

        (image source: Wikimedia Commons)
        The Research Network "Structural Determinants of Economic Performance in the Roman World" (Ghent/Leuven/VUB, funded by the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO)) organises a conference in Brussels (VUB) on 28-30 May 2015 around the theme "Capital, Investment and Innovation in the Roman World".

        Capital may be defined to comprise all man-made resources available for production. These include (1) financial capital : all monetary wealth in whatever form (stocks of currency, bullion, transferable credit bonds, etc.) available to buy whatever is needed or used to realize production: supplies, tools, equipment, labor, licenses, information, etc.; as well as (2) real (or physical) capital: all material resources such as tools, workshops and factories, warehouses, etc. needed or used to realize production. Both forms of capital may be privately or publicly owned. In a wider sense the concept 'human capital' denotes the embodied stock of human competencies, intellectual and other, that allow a person to perform the tasks necessary to create 'labor'. In order to retain a clear focus for the project and monograph, however, we will limit ourselves for this project to these 'classical' definitions of capital. The concept 'social capital', while valuable in itself, would take us too far from what we consider the core issues of our project. We explicitly focus, furthermore, on investments and innovations, i.e. on the quantitative and qualitative changes that stocks of financial, real and human capital underwent in the Roman world. The objective is to produce a coherent and innovative study of capital, investment and innovation in the Roman world.

        Capital and credit are important elements in the furthering or holding back of economic growth. The allocation of capital, labor and natural resources through market and non-market channels determines economic performance.

        Hence, fundamental issues in understanding the functioning of the economy of the Roman world include: who had access to capital, to what extent, and in what form, and how they dealt with it. Various segments of society controlled capital to different extents and used it for diverse purposes.

        Did the social and political elites of the Roman world treat the wealth they controlled fundamentally differently from the magnates of the capitalistic era, or do the different forms and instruments of the Roman business world no more than cloak an essentially identical mentality? To what extent did other segments of society have access to capital, and how did capital circulate through society?

        Asking these questions implies that we should not limit our study to the formal instruments of banking and business, but also take into account the wider institutional framework, both the formal rules and the social networks and informal arrangements that eased or hampered the dissemination of capital. Recent approaches within NIE (North, Wallis & Weingast, Violence and Social Orders, 2009) urge us to look at political and social conditions that constrained the pre-modern economy. According to a pessimistic view, the predatory and exploitative inclinations of the state and of the politically leading rentier class, who extracted the surpluses produced by the peasantry and an underprivileged workforce, hampered the accumulation and productive investment of capital. In other views, it was not the shortage of capital, but the poor allocation of capital that restrained economic performance. The question, however, is whether this is a valid assessment of the situation in the Roman Empire.

        Some questions that we will discuss are:
        •Did the political and social elites perceive money as an economic asset?
        •What part of their property and income consisted of disposable money? How easily and/or readily were assets such as land, buildings, workshops, or slaves transferred into financial capital through factor and commodity markets?
        •To what extent did the political and social elites dominate ownership of capital goods (land, natural resources, raw materials, production facilities, tools)?
        •What is the role of the state (on imperial and local levels) in the accumulation of capital? What was the property rights regime of publicly owned goods ? What is the role of war in the dissemination and destruction of (fixed) capital?
        •What was the role of religious institutions, such as temples, in the creation of capital and in making it available? Were there subject to the same property rights regime as private persons?
        •How well did the credit market function? What does the level of interest tell us about the value of capital? Which requirements and whose needs determined the development of formal and informal instruments of the credit market?
        •What was the role of private voluntary collectives, such as collegia, in the creation of capital and in making it available ? Were there subject to the same property rights regime as private persons ?
        •To what extent was credit necessary for production ? What form did this credit take ? To what extent was consumption credit provided for by commercially oriented financial institutions or entrepreneurs - i.e. by enterprises whose financial assets constituted working capital rather than reserves for future consumption ?
        •How and by whom were capital goods besides land and natural resources (tools, machines, production facilities, work animals) produced and allocated?

        Equally important is the question to which purposes capital was used: what scope for investment did the agricultural and non-agricultural sectors offer, and to what extent was capital invested in means of production that boosted productivity rather than in status-enhancing assets such as urban palaces, benefactions, and expensive cooks? While investments potentially created growth, market oriented capital investment is as much a response to an expanding market as it is an incentive for economic growth in itself. The increasing urbanization and market integration of the Roman world made productive capital investment an increasingly attractive option, as it widened the market and increased the stability of demand. At the same time, to what extent did landowners and businessmen actually respond to these changing conditions of the market? And how did their response to population decline and the shrinking of the urban markets aggravate the economic decline that seems to occur in many parts of the Roman world after the second century AD? The examples of capital investment in agriculture, transportation, and industry in our archaeological and written sources are undeniable, but what limits were there to the investment of capital in the economy ?

        One form of investment that deserves particular interest and which operated at all levels of society is that in knowledge and expertise. As with other forms of investment, a costly and time-consuming effort in gaining specialized know-how and expertise was economically only viable in conditions of sufficient - and sufficiently stable - demand. The ways in which knowledge and expertise were disseminated in pre-modern societies has been used as a marker of the economic development of such societies. In concrete terms, how did servile and freeborn workers and artisans acquire the knowledge they needed? To what extent did this stimulate or constrain economic development? In which ways was professional education embedded in the social and domestic context of business, agriculture, and industry? How is education of labor related to the control of capital and other means of production? Who had what interest in the acquisition and dissemination of expertise and know-how among the free and servile population.

        Some questions that we will discuss are:
        •What forms of investment in agriculture and other sectors of the economy are visible in the archaeological and written sources?
        •What conditions stimulated or constrained investments in the various economic sectors? To what extent did imperial and local taxation stimulate and restrain capital investment? To what extent did investment opportunities stimulate the development of financial institutions?
        •What is the relation between capital investment and productivity? Is capital investment related to economies of scale?
        •To what extent did investments in agriculture lead to an increase in available animal energy and higher labor productivity? To what extent did a fall in demand cause a reversal of this development?
        •How was knowledge and expertise acquired and disseminated in various sectors? What is the relationship between the acquisition of specialized knowledge and capital investment in equipment and infrastructure?

        As with investment, incentives to modernize methods of production in agriculture or other economic sectors can be seen as stemming from the rise in urban markets and the increase of rural industries as much as causing economic growth in the first place. In many societies, capital investment went hand in hand with innovation. The investment in expertise and know-how does not only concern the dissemination of existing knowledge, but also provides the starting point for the creation of new technologies and methods. Innovation in the Graeco-Roman world not only consisted of the introduction of new cash and fodder crops and new agricultural techniques, but also of the introduction of new forms of equipment and technologies, and of the application of existing methods on a vastly larger scale. A fundamental question concerns the goals of innovation, i.e. whether innovation was intended to overcome the constraints of production (as in irrigation in agriculture or the application of new technologies in industry), to introduce new sources of energy, or to reduce the input of labor. Available energy was a constraining factor in pre-industrial economies, which makes energy-enhancing innovations of vital importance for economic growth. Of equal importance for the allocation of production factors, however, is the extent to which such sources of energy could be concentrated or transported (such as coal was from the 18th century onwards).

        Some questions that we will discuss are:
        •What forms of innovation occurred in agriculture, transportation, and industry, and what caused these innovations? To what extent did the costs involved and the risks inherent in novelty cause an aversion to innovation?
        •What is the relation between innovation and technological change? To what extent do we see investment in larger installations?
        •To what extent is the model of the 'low equilibrium trap', which is seen as limiting the need or drive for innovation, a valid model for the Roman world?
        •Which goals determined these innovations? What is the relation between the nature of the workforce and the production process?
        •In what ways is investment and innovation related to the increase in the availability of new sources of energy?Programme:
        Koen Verboven & Paul Erdkamp, Introduction

        Part 1. Capital
        •K. Gunnar Persson, Capital, labour, and income estimates in the Roman world
        •Wim Broekaert / Arjan Zuiderhoek, Capital goods in the Roman economy
        •Norman Underwood, Laboring for God: The Clergy and Human Capital in the Later Roman Empire
        •Leonardo Gregoratti, Temples and traders in Palmyra
        •Koen Verboven, Credit institutions and financial capital in the Roman world
        •Marguerite Ronin, Cooperative investment in rural communities of the Roman Empire

        Part. 2. Investment
        •Christiano Viglietti, Pecunia adpensa. Capital, investment, and  innovation in an uncoined-money economy: Rome c. 700-350 BCE
        •Jean Andreau, Capital and investment in the Campanian tablets
        •Sitta Von Reden, Credit and Investment in Roman Egypt
        •G. Minaud, Chiffre d'affaires, bénéfice et capitalisation
        •Mick Stringer, Impensae, operae and pastio uillatica. New venture investments in the Roman agricultural treatises.
        •Annalisa Marzano, A story of land and water: Capital and Investment in large-scale fishing and fish-salting operations
        •Tim Clerbaut, The Roman villae: new beacons of capital production, capital management and Romanization in the Roman North

        Part. 3. Innovation
        •Paul Erdkamp, Malthusian constraints on the Roman economy. A critique of the ‘low equilibrium trap’
        •Helmuth Schneider, Technical innovations in the Roman world

        •Robin Veal, Forest resources and technical innovation in the Roman economy
        •Andrew Wilson, Concluding remarks
        Abstracts can be found on the conference website.

        Catégories: Comparative Law News

        BOOK: Michael STOLLEIS, Public Law in Germany: an Introduction into its History, 16th-21st Century [Beck'sche Reihe, 6135] (Munich: C.H. Beck, 2014), 228 p. ISBN 9783406659430. € 16,95

        Prof. em. dr. dr. h.c. mult. Michael Stolleis, honorary director of the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History, has published an introduction to the history of public law (in German).

        Die „Geschichte des öffentlichen Rechts in Deutschland“ in vier Bänden von Michael Stolleis gehört zu den herausragenden Gesamtdarstellungen unserer Zeit. Auf mehr als 2000 Druckseiten entfaltet ihr Autor darin weit über den wissenschaftsgeschichtlichen Rahmen hinaus ein rechtshistorisches Panorama Deutschlands von der Frühen Neuzeit bis an die Schwelle der Gegenwart. Nun fasst Stolleis kaum weniger eindrucksvoll den gewaltigen Stoff noch einmal auf rund 240 Seiten zusammen. Der Leser dieser glänzenden Einführung gewinnt ein grundlegendes Wissen über das deutsche öffentliche Recht im Wandel der Zeiten. 
        Catégories: Comparative Law News

        SEMINAR: "Théologie morale et dynamique des fors. La confessionnalisation catholique et les contradictions de la conscience moderne" (Paris, 15 April 2015)

        WHAT Théologie morale et dynamique des fors.  La confessionnalisation catholique et les contradictions de la conscience moderne, seminar
        WHEN 15 April 2015, 11:00-13:00

        WHERE Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Sciences Sociales, EHESS, CENJ, salle 10 (105, bd Raspail) 


        Jean-Pascal GAY (Université de Strasbourg)
        Catégories: Comparative Law News

        CALL FOR ARTICLES: Colonial Legal History - Rechtskultur, European Journal of Legal History (Regensburg) - DEADLINE 31 JULY 2016

         (image source: Rechtskultur)
        The trilingual European Journal of Legal History Rechtskultur (Regensburg: Edition Rechtskultur) plans its fifth edition in 2016 on colonial legal history.

        Call (source: HSoZKult):

        2016 wird der fünfte Band der Zeitschrift "Rechtskultur - European Journal of Legal History - Journal européene d'histoire du droit" erscheinen. Themenschwerpunkt ist die Kolonialrechtsgeschichte.
        Die Herausgeber laden Wissenschaftlerinnen und Wissenschaftler aller einschlägigen Fachdisziplinen zur Einreichung von Beiträgen für Rechtskultur 5 (2016) ein.
        Die Beiträge sollen einen Umfang von 100.000 Zeichen nicht überschreiten und bis zum 31. Juli 2016 bei der Redaktion eingehen, die unter rechtskultur@ur.de erreichbar ist.
        "Rechtskultur" steht Autoren aller einschlägigen Wissenschaftsdisziplinen ohne Ansehen des universitären Status offen. Kriterien sind allein Themenbezug und Qualität eines Aufsatzes. Alle eingehenden Aufsätze werden einer beiderseits anonymen Begutachtung unterzogen. "Rechtskultur" ist eine Zeitschrift mit europäischem Charakter. Das wird bereits durch die Dreisprachigkeit des Blattes deutlich. Die Zeitschrift bietet also ein Forum für eine wirklich europäisch verstandene Rechtsgeschichte genauso wie für die Vergleichende Rechtsgeschichte. Sie möchte die nationalen Wissenschaften weiter aus ihrer Beschränkung heraus-führen und dabei helfen, Anknüpfungspunkte für grenzüberschreitende Zusammenarbeit auszuloten.
        "Rechtskultur" ist strikt themenbezogen. Jedes Heft ist einem Oberthema gewidmet und gibt auf diese Weise die Möglichkeit, verschiedene Forschungsansätze auf einem Feld kennenzulernen. Jedes Heft wird am Ende einen rapport de synthèse enthalten, den ein ausgewiesener Wissenschaftler liefern wird und der die Verbindungslinien zwischen den einzelnen Beiträgen herstellt.
        "Rechtskultur" ist transdisziplinär ausgerichtet, sucht also bewußt den Kontakt zu Nachbarwissenschaften, die sich mit verwandten Fragestellungen befassen oder identischen Quellenbeständen arbeiten. Jedes Themenheft enthält deshalb Beiträge von Wissenschaftlern verschiedener Disziplinen.
        Prof. dr. Martin Löhnig
        Universität Regensburg, D-93040 Regensburg
        Catégories: Comparative Law News

        ARTICLES: Legal Realism and Natural Law, Logic for Legal Historians, Buddhism and the Law (Law and Humanities Blog)

        (image source: Law and Humanities Blog)
         The Law and Humanities blog signalled some interesting new scholarship:
        • Daniel Prey (York), "Legal Realism and Natural Law", in: Maksymilian Del Mar & Michael Lobban (ed.), Law, Theory and History: New Essays on a Neglected Topic (2015) (click here)
        The possibility of any meaningful relationship between the legal realists and natural law looks at first rather far-fetched. When it first appeared on the jurisprudential scene, legal realism was savagely attacked by proponents of natural law theory. To this day legal realism is depicted as a modernist, critical, at times almost nihilist approach to law, the polar opposite of the ancient natural law theory that traces its roots to Greek and Roman philosophy, and insists on unchanging objective values. And yet, two of the most famous legal realists, Karl Llewellyn and Jerome Frank, expressed in some of their writings more than a passing endorsement of natural law theory. The purpose of this essay is to try and explain this seemingly odd aspect of their work and in this way help in reassessing their work. We do so by explaining how they understood natural law and how they incorporated it in their work. Though they did not understand the term in precisely the same way, for both of them natural law was connected to the values of the community, which both of them thought were central to understanding law, for explaining how it could remain relatively certain, and ultimately, how it derived its authority.
        •  Ilan Wurman (Winston & Strawn, LLP), "Law Historians' Fallacies", North Dakota Law Review (click here)
        A common line of attack against originalists is that lawyers just aren’t good at doing history. But in his famous book Historians’ Fallacies, David Hackett Fischer noted that many historians aren’t good at doing history either: They often fall into one or more of numerous fallacies that he catalogued in his celebrated and often devastating three-hundred page book. This Article points out the many ways in which originalists and other legal historians fall into, but also how they may avoid, some of the same fallacies committed by the historians whose works made their way into Fischer’s book. It will then point to corresponding lessons that lawyers-turned-historians ought to employ to write better history. The belief is that lawyers, judges, and legal academics can become good — or at least better — historians.

        Part I confronts two general attacks on the use of history, both of which challenge the possibility of obtaining relevant and objective historical knowledge. Part II establishes the importance of investigative questions and describes fallacies of question-framing that lead originalists astray. Part III explores fallacies of factual verification that stem from reliance on flawed types of evidence. Part IV addresses one fallacy of factual significance — which we shall call the originalist’s fallacy — that leads some originalists to misunderstand the significance of certain evidence. Part V illustrates fallacies of narration, including fallacies of anachronism and presentism, that too often create fruitless investigations and provide ahistorical answers. Part VI, although recognizing the importance of generalization, demonstrates how originalists (and other legal historians) often generalize improperly. 
        • Rebecca French (SUNY Buffalo), "What is Buddhist Law ?", SUNY Buffalo Legal Studies Research Papers (click here)
        This Law Review article, and ones that follow, are an introduction to Buddhist Law and its influence in Asia and the rest of the world. While the legal traditions of all major religious traditions have been extensively studied and written about, there are very few scholars of, and little written in any language on, the legal concepts in the Buddhist tradition. There is basically nothing in the legal academic literature in the U.S. nor are translations of the actual legal texts available for general use when working to understand this form of thinking, or in making comparisons to other religious laws. This series of articles will examine the reasons for this gap, outline the contextual setting, explore the actual rules that were established, note how they influenced social systems in Asia and address other general aspects of Buddhist Law.

        This article will have two types of writing: (1) in regular script, the legal discussion and description common to a Law Review and (2) in italics, translations of actual Buddhist law code texts, particularly the Vinaya, or canonical law code. The second type of writing is presented to familiarize non-Asian lawyers with the style of the text and some of the concepts and ideas that underlie Buddhism and Buddhist Law. Besides the intrinsic interest of a wholly unknown legal system, this material is useful for comparative lawyers, international lawyers, scholars of public policy and anyone doing law in a former or current Buddhist country.
        Catégories: Comparative Law News

        BOOK: Amaya on the Nature of Coherence and its Role in Legal Argument

        Juris Diversitas - mar, 04/14/2015 - 04:57
        Hart Publishing has recently published Amalia Amaya's The Tapestry of Reason: An Inquiry into the Nature of Coherence and its Role in Legal Argument. The abstract reads:
        Recently legal scholarship has been heavily influenced by coherence theories of law and adjudication. These theories significantly advance the case for coherentism in law, yet a number of problems remain. This ambitious new work is the first to develop a coherence-based theory of legal reasoning, and in so doing address, or at least mitigate, these problems. The book is organised in three parts. Part one critically analyses the main coherentist approaches to both normative and factual reasoning in law. Part two investigates coherence theory in a number of fields that are relevant to law: coherence theories of epistemic justification, coherentist approaches to belief revision and theory-choice, coherence theories of practical and moral reasoning and coherence-based approaches to discourse interpretation. Taking this interdisciplinary analysis as a starting point, part three develops a coherence-based model of legal reasoning, building upon the standard theory of legal reasoning, leading to a reconsideration of some of the basic assumptions that characterise this theory and suggesting some lines along which it may be further developed. Thus, the book not only improves upon the current state of coherence theory in law, but also helps to articulate a theory of legal reasoning that results in better decision-making.
        THE AUTHORAmalia Amaya is a Researcher in the Institute of Philosophical Research at the National Autonomous University of Mexico.
        BOOK DETAILSMarch 2015   9781849460705  560pp   Hbk   RSP: £75 / US$150Discount Price: £60 / US$120
        Order OnlineIf you would like to place an order for the book you can do so through the Hart Publishing website (link below). To receive the discount please type the reference ‘CV7’ in the voucher code field and click ‘apply’

        UK, EU and ROW: http://www.hartpub.co.uk/BookDetails.aspx?ISBN=9781849460705
        Catégories: Comparative Law News