“Europäische Rechtsgeschichte – Rechtsgeschichte Europas – Globalisierungsgeschichte(n) in Europa”

“European Legal History - Legal History of Europe - History/ies of Globalization in Europe”

Questions and perspectives on legal history are simply vital to a reading of law as a cultural fact. This is why the Käte Hamburger Center for Advanced Study in the Humanities “Law as Culture” has again and again housed fellows who engaged in studies on Roman Law, Medieval Law and Canon Law, or even on legal history of the Occident in a wider perspective – in the, indeed, Weberian sense.

Once methodological doubt has been cast on whether such complex normative constructs as “Roman Law” can be captured with the singular term legal history, questions concerning the object or even the subject of a legal history of Europe are quick to follow.

Professor Thomas Duve, recently appointed director of the “Max Planck Institute for European Legal History”, has highlighted this problem in a very pointed article. Following the preprint, it is now also accessible in an online edition of the opening contribution to the journal “Rechtsgeschichte – Legal History”: http://rg.rg.mpg.de

In the "Forum Law as Culture", Professor Duve will provide an overview of this complex topic. After all, it is not clear what “Europe” even means (a system of values, a political construct, a market community, etc.). Perhaps Hallstein’s definition of a “legal space” is not so far off the mark – granted, without having delivered the criteria for “Europeanness”. What does it mean, then, to interpret Europe as a legal-historically formed fact and an instance that forms law? What is the role of what kind of legal history? Does it even have to be discussed from the perspective of cultural science?

Following that question, legal historian and church law scholar Professor Andreas Thier from Zurich will hold a lecture entitled “European Legal History between Cultural Science, Social Science and Dogmatic Jurisprudence” and present his perspective on this topic.