Legal History

Introduction

Legal History - Research Guide International Law

Legal history or history of law is concerned with how law has developed throughout a certain time period and why is has changed.  It includes the  analysis of particular laws, legal institutions, individuals who operate in the legal system, and the effect of law on society.  Legal history , greatly interwoven with social and cultural history, demonstrates how law is both a reactive mechanism, responding to public problems, and an active mechanism, shaping behavior through its rules and structure in societies.

This Research Guide is intended as a starting point for research on Legal History. It provides the basic legal materials available in the Peace Palace Library, both in print and electronic format. Handbooks, leading articles, bibliographies, periodicals, serial publications and documents of interest are presented in the Selective Bibliography section. Links to the PPL Catalogue are inserted. The Library’s classification index code 13. Sources; Legal History and subject heading (keyword) Legal History are instrumental for searching through the Catalogue. Special attention is given to our subscriptions on databases, e-journals, e-books and other electronic resources. Finally, this Research Guide features links to relevant websites and other online resources of particular interest.

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Leading articles

Documents

Periodicals, serial publications

Bibliographies

New titles


1. Latvijas tiesību sistēmas ģenēzes un evolūcijas aspekti Eiropas tiesību kontekstā
Latvijas tiesību sistēmas ģenēzes un evolūcijas aspekti Eiropas tiesību kontekstā / Sanita Osipova, Jānis Lazdiņš. - Rīga : LU Akadēmiskais apgāds. - Page 311-332 In: @Tiesību harmonizācija baltijas jūras reģionā pēc es paplašināšanās : 2007. gada starptautiskās zinātniskās konferences rakstu krājums / Latviešu valodas tekstu literārā redaktore Ruta Puriņa, ISBN 9789984455310: (2011), Page 311-332. - 2011
Keywords: Latvia, Legal systems, Legal history,

2. Aspects of the Genesis, Evolution (Transformation) of the Latvian Legal System in the Context of European Jurisprudence
Aspects of the Genesis, Evolution (Transformation) of the Latvian Legal System in the Context of European Jurisprudence / Sanita Osipova, Jānis Lazdiņš. - Rīga : LU Akadēmiskais apgāds. - Page 333-356 In: @Tiesību harmonizācija baltijas jūras reģionā pēc es paplašināšanās : 2007. gada starptautiskās zinātniskās konferences rakstu krājums / Latviešu valodas tekstu literārā redaktore Ruta Puriņa, ISBN 9789984455310: (2011), Page 333-356. - 2011
Keywords: Latvia, Legal systems, Legal history,

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  • Hadden, S.E. and A.L. Brophy (eds.), A Companion to American Legal History, Wiley-Blackwell, 2013.

    Hadden, S.E. and A.L. Brophy (eds.), A Companion to American Legal History, Wiley-Blackwell, 2013.

    This book presents a compilation of the most recent writings from leading scholars on American legal history from the colonial era through the late twentieth century. It presents up-to-date research describing the key debates in American legal history, reflects the current state of American legal history research and points readers in the direction of future research and represents an ideal companion for graduate and law students seeking an introduction to the field, the key questions, and future research ideas. A remarkable collection of first-rate historians have contributed to this indispensable guide to the burgeoning field of American legal history. A must-read for students and scholars alike.

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  • Kim, M.S.-H., Law and Custom in Korea: Comparative Legal History, New York, NY, Cambridge University Press, 2012.

    Kim, M.S.-H., Law and Custom in Korea: Comparative Legal History, New York, NY, Cambridge University Press, 2012.

    This book sets forth the evolution of Korea’s law and legal system from the Chos n dynasty through the colonial and postcolonial modern periods. This is the first book in English that comprehensively studies Korean legal history in comparison with European legal history, with particular emphasis on customary law. Korea’s passage to Romano-German civil law under Japanese rule marked a drastic departure from its indigenous legal tradition. The transplantation of modern civil law in Korea was facilitated by Japanese colonial jurists who created a Korean customary law; this constructed customary law served as an intermediary regime between tradition and the demands of modern law. The transformation of Korean law by the forces of Westernisation points to new interpretations of colonial history and presents an intriguing case for investigating the spread of law on a global level. In-depth discussions of French customary law and Japanese legal history also provide a solid conceptual framework suitable for comparing European and East Asian legal traditions.

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  • Watkin, T.G., The Legal History of Wales, Cardiff, University of Wales Press, 2012.

    Watkin, T.G., The Legal History of Wales, Cardiff, University of Wales Press, 2012.
    Wales has been served by a variety of legal systems and laws over the last two millennia. These include the civil law of Rome, which was to be the basis of the laws of much of modern Europe, and the English common law, which was to govern much of the English-speaking world. Alongside these influences, the customs of the native Welsh people maintained an important role not only until Wales was united legally with England in the 16th century but through to the 19th century abolition of Wales’s own law courts, the Great Sessions. Since then, the separate legal identity of Wales as witnessed by its legal history has played a significant part in the rise of national consciousness and the emergence of new, distinctly Welsh, legal institutions, such as the National Assembly, at the end of the 20th century. This book traces the various strands of Wales’s legal history from its beginnings, identifying and assessing the importance of native Welsh, Roman and English influences to Wales’s legal social identity.
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  • Schiavone, A., The Invention of Law in the West, Cambridge, MA, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2012.

    Schiavone, A., The Invention of Law in the West, Cambridge, MA, Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2012.

    Law is a specific form of social regulation that is distinct from religion, ethics, and even politics, and is endowed with a strong and autonomous rationality. The invention of law, a crucial aspect of Western history, took place in ancient Rome. Aldo Schiavone, a world-renowned classicist, reconstructs this process with clear-eyed passion, following its track and structure over the centuries, setting out from the earliest origins and moving up to the threshold of Late Antiquity. The consolidation of the Roman Empire reinforced this foundational movement. The Empire, after all, was marked by an unprecedented accumulation of power capable of creating the conditions for transforming an archaic predisposition to ritual into an unrivaled science and technology for the control of human relations. Schiavone offers us a closely reasoned interpretative essay, set against the vast backdrop of a thousand years of Roman history. He returns us to the primal origins of Western juridical machinery and the discourse that was constructed around it—formalism, the pretense of neutrality, the relationship with political power. This is a landmark work of scholarship whose influence will be felt by classicists, historians, and legal scholars for years to come.

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  • Musson, A. and C. Stebbings (eds.), Making Legal History: Approaches and Methodologies, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2012.

    Musson, A. and C. Stebbings (eds.), Making Legal History: Approaches and Methodologies, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 2012.

    Drawing together leading legal historians from a range of jurisdictions and cultures, this collection of essays addresses the fundamental methodological underpinning of legal history research. Via a broad chronological span and a wide range of topics, the contributors explore the approaches, methods and sources that together form the basis of their research and shed light on the complexities of researching into the history of the law. By exploring the challenges posed by visual, unwritten and quasi-legal sources, the difficulties posed by traditional archival material and the novelty of exploring the development of legal culture and comparative perspectives, the book reveals the richness and dynamism of legal history research.

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  • Thomas, T.A. and T.J. Boisseau (eds.), Feminist Legal History: Essays on Women and Law, New York, NY, New York University Press, 2011.

    Thomas, T.A. and T.J. Boisseau (eds.), Feminist Legal History: Essays on Women and Law, New York, NY, New York University Press, 2011.
    Attuned to the social contexts within which laws are created, feminist lawyers, historians, and activists have long recognized the discontinuities and contradictions that lie at the heart of efforts to transform the law in ways that fully serve women’s interests. At its core, The nascent field of feminist legal history is driven by a commitment to uncover women’s legal agency and how women, both historically and currently, use law to obtain individual and societal empowerment. Feminist Legal Historyrepresents feminist legal historians’ efforts to define their field, by showcasing historical research and analysis that demonstrates how women were denied legal rights, how women used the law proactively to gain rights, and how, empowered by law, women worked to alter the law to try to change gendered realities. Encompassing two centuries of American history, thirteen original essays expose the many ways in which legal decisions have hinged upon ideas about women or gender as well as the ways women themselves have intervened in the law, from Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s notion of a legal class of gender To The deeply embedded inequities involved in Ledbetter v. Goodyear, a 2007 Supreme Court pay discrimination case.
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Blogs

  • In memoriam Professor Emeritus Robert Feenstra (1920-2013), Eminent Legal Historian and Grotius Expert

    Professor Robert Feenstra, one of the most outstanding specialist in the legal writings of Hugo Grotius, died on March 2 at the age of 92. Prof. Feenstra was Professor of Legal History in Utrecht from 1949 till 1952 and Professor of Roman Law at Leyden University from 1952 till 1985. He published extensively on Grotius’s legal heritage.

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