PhD Fellowship in Legal History – Catholic University of Leuven

Project title: Humanist Jurisprudence and the Emergence of the Law of Nations

Full time – 4 years

Project description

The purpose of this research project is to analyse the contribution of the humanist jurists of the 16th century, in particular of the French School of Bourges, to the emerging jurisprudence of the law of nations up to Hugo Grotius. First, the ideas of the humanist jurists in relation to some central questions of war and peace will be mapped out. Second, these findings will be confronted with the late-medieval civilian jurisprudence so that it becomes possible to assess to what extent the humanist contribution to the law of nations was not only indebted to Antiquity, but also to the civilian tradition. Third, the impact of the humanist contribution on the great writers of the law of nations of the late 16th and early 17th centuries, in particular Gentili and Grotius, will be indicated.

Supervisor: Professor Randall Lesaffer, professor of legal and cultural history.

Eligibility and assignment

The candidate needs to be holder of Master's degree from a university and needs to have majored in law, history or classics. He/she needs an excellent command of English and a good passive knowledge of Latin, ancient Greek, French and preferably German, Italian or Spanish. Within 4 years, the successful candidate will have to write and defend a Ph D thesis at the Catholic University of Leuven. During this time, he/she will also publish on the field of the project in journals and books and convene an international conference on the subject at Leuven. For the project, the candidate will have to do research abroad, e.g. in Rome and Berkeley.

Other details and further information

The fellowship is sponsored by NOW, the Flemish Government's Foundation for Scientific Research and is assigned to the Department of Roman Law and Legal History at the Faculty of Law of the Catholic University of Leuven. The fellow will receive a monthly fee starting at 2.905,95 euro before taxes. For more information, please contact professor Randall Lesaffer (