Creation of the Ius Commune: From Casus to Regula

The above book has just been published, edited by John W. Cairns and Paul J du Plessis, and copies should soon be generally available. Dealing with the techniques used by jurists to move from the casuistic style of Roman law to the regulae that underpin modern legal systems, it provides an innovatory approach, and constitutes a major and novel contribution to the literature.

After an introduction by the editors, the chapters are as follows: "The Sources of Medieval Learned Law" by Harry Dondorp and Eltjo Schrage; "The Infrastructure of the Early Ius Commune: The Formation of Regulae, or Its Failure" by Kees Bezemer; "Ius Quaerens Intellectum: The Method of The Medieval Civilians" by James Gordley; "Medieval Family and Marriage Law: From Actions of Status to Legal Doctrine" by Laurent Waelkens; "The Roman Concept of Ownership and the Medieval Doctrine of Dominium Utile" by Thomas Rüfner; "Succession to Fiefs: A Ius Commune Feudorum?" by Magnus Ryan; "Towards the Medieval Law of Hypothec" by Paul J du Plessis; "The Ignorant Seller’s Liability for Latent Defects: One Regula or Various Sets of Rules?" by Jan Hallebeek; "The Glossators’ Monetary Law" by Wolfgang Ernst; "Citations and the Construction of Procedural Law in the Ius Commune" by R H Helmholz; "Doctoribus bona dona danda sunt: Actions to Recover Unpaid Legal Fees" by James A Brundage.

The book is based on the papers delivered at a small, highly successful, expert conference held in the University of Edinburgh on 12-13 December 2008, and organised by the Edinburgh Roman Law Group and the Centre for Legal History. Support was generously given by the School of Law and the Edinburgh Legal Educational Trust, while publication was undertaken in the Edinburgh Studies in Law Series edited by Mrs Elspeth Reid. 



Ulric Huber – New Book

The Gerard Noodt Instituut of Nijmegen, as no 52 of its series, Rechtshistorichse Reeks van het Gerard Noodt Instituut, has just published M. L Hewett, Ulric Huber (1636-1694), De Ratione Juris Docendi & Discendi Diatribe per Modum Dialogi (2010) ISBN 978-90-71478-79-6, at 40 euros. A doctoral dissertation of the University of Amsterdam, it contains the Latin text and translation of Huber's Dialogus, very important for understanding the history of legal education, with introduction and chapters discussing the work in context. Dr Hewett is well known to legal historians for her translations of the old Dutch authorities. This is an important addition to the literature. It can be ordered through a bookshop or by email to




Important new Book on the History of Scots Law

Reflecting the recent work on the history of Scots law, it is important to note the publication of Civil Justice in Renaissance Scotland: The Origins of a Central Court, by A. Mark Godfrey. Since the earlier work of Hannay, the foundations of the College of Justice have deserevd a proper re-assessment in the light of the new research. Godfrey's excellent new book does that. Though published by Brill at an eye-watering € 152.00 / US$ 243.00, it deserves to be widely read. It has implications far beyond the history of Scots law. Taken with John Finlay's Men of Law in Pre-Reformation Scotland, published by Tuckwell in 2000, we now have a real understanding of this era and these events.

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