New Book: Authorities in Early Modern Courts in Europe

Edinburgh University Press is shortly to publish Authorities in Early Modern Courts in Europe, edited by our colleague Guido Rossi, Reader in European Legal History. Arising from a conference hosted by the Centre for Legal History, the volume, as well as an important introduction by the editor, contains the following chapters:

The Imperial Chamber Court and the Development of the Law in the Holy Roman Empire, Peter Oestmann

The Parliament of Paris and the Making of the Law at the beginning of the Eighteenth Century, Isabelle Storez-Brancourt

Law Reports of the Parliament of Flanders and their Authority in the Parliament’s Practice, Géraldine Cazals, Sabrina Michel, and Alain Wijffels

Legal fragmentation in the Dutch republic during the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries, Philip Thomas

Law Reports as Legal Authorities in Early-Modern Belgian Legal Practice, Alain Wijffels

Legal Authorities in Castilian Courts’ Practice: Decisiones and Consilia to study the arbitrium iudicis, Javier García Martín

Legal Authorities in the Making of Portuguese Private Law: Emphytheusis and Majorat in Practical Literature, Gustavo César Machado Cabral

Under the legal authority of the Senate of Milan (16th-17th centuries), Annamaria Monti

Law Reporting, Authority and Precedent: The Common Law Paradigm, David J Ibbetson

Paradigms of Authority in the College of Justice in Scotland, John D Ford

Legal Authorities in the Seventeenth-Century Swedish Empire, Heikki Pihlajamäki

Iura Scripta and Operae Iurisperiti in Municipal Courts of Kingdom of Poland in 16th-18thCenturies, Maciej Mikuła

Reflecting current movement in research, this volume looks at the comparative development of legal practice in the early modern period across Europe. Focusing deliberately on the impact of law courts on substantive law – and not on its systematisation by learned jurists – it studies similarities and differences in the development of the law across different jurisdictions. In doing so it evaluates whether and to what extent it is possible to consider this development as a unitary and truly European phenomenon. This collection re‑evaluates current debates surrounding the development of civil law in the early modern period in the context of the grand narratives of European legal history and sets out to challenge current orthodox views about early modern civil law.

In this it finds support in recent research on central courts. One starts to see a true and nuanced European legal history emerge.