Edinburgh Roman Law Group, 11 March 2016

Guest Post by Peter Candy

The Edinburgh Roman Law Group was pleased to welcome Professor Caroline Humfress on Friday 11 March 2016 to present her research concerning ‘Natural Laws and the “Hypothetical Case” in Roman Juristic Texts’.

Set against the backdrop of the recent publication of R. H. Helmholz’s Natural Law in Court, Professor Humfress argued that natural law was one component of the conceptual armoury that the Roman jurists drew upon when calculating legal opinions. This was demonstrated in relation to the jurists’ fondness for the hypothetical case method. Professor Humfress argued that it is in these cases that we find juristic natural law reasoning at work.

Following the paper an eager audience engaged in a lively discussion of the paper. Questions ranged from those concerning the place of natural law within jurists’ conceptual framework, its relationship with the law of slavery, and the impact of Christianity in late antiquity. After drinks the group capped off an excellent evening with a meal at Ciao Roma: the next meeting is very much looked forward to.