Central Courts in Early Modern Europe and the Americas

Just before Christmas, Duncker and Humblot published Central Courts in Early Modern Europe and the Americas (Berlin, 2020). The editors, A. M. Godfrey of the University of Glasgow University and C. M. van Rhee of that of Maastricht, have appropriately dedicated the volume the late David Sellar of Edinburgh, the founding Director of this Centre.

It is worth listing the contents:

A. M. Godfrey and C. H. van Rhee: Introduction
K. Salonen: The Sacra Romana Rota
N. G. Jones: The English Court of Chancery
W. Prest: An ›ordinary court of justice‹? The appellate jurisdiction of the House of Lords, 1689–1760
A. M. Godfrey: The College of Justice, Court of Session and Privy Council in sixteenth century Scotland, 1532–1603
J. D. Ford: Adjudication in the Scottish Parliament, 1532–1707
P. Oestmann: The highest courts of the Holy Roman Empire: Imperial Chamber Court and Imperial Aulic Council
D. Tamm: The King in Council and the Supreme Court in Denmark, 1537–1660
M. Korpiola: The Svea Court of Appeal: A basis for good governance and justice in the early modern Swedish realm, 1614–1800
H. Pihlajamäki: The Appeals Court of Dorpat in the seventeenth century: Establishing Swedish judiciary overseas
A. Wijffels: The supreme judicature in the Habsburg Netherlands
C. H. van Rhee: Supreme judicature in Holland, Zeeland and West-Friesland after the Dutch Revolt, 1582–1795
D. Freda: The Sacro Regio Consiglio of Naples, 15th–17th century
I. Czeguhn: The history of the supreme courts in the Iberian peninsula from the 14th century to the 18th century
L. López Valencia: The Royal and Supreme Council of the Indies: the Supreme Court of New Spain
S. Dauchy: The Sovereign Council of New France, 1663–1760
W. H. Bryson: The General Court of Virginia, 1619–1776

This is indeed a rich collection by many distinguished authors. This is not the place for a review. But it is worth noting that, as well as exploring central courts in Europe, the volume examines courts either in or concerned with colonies in the Americas, a particularly welcome development expanding the boundaries beyond European legal history. Of course, this makes sense in a volume where a major focus is the link between royal government and the administration of justice. Of course, there were empires within Europe.

This blogger teaches a course on the development of central courts in Scotland within a European context. This will undoubtedly be a much used text.