Comparative Legal History of the Meuse-Rhine Euregion
Full course description
In the Early Modern Period (16th-18th centuries) the Meuse-Rhine region was divided in many autonomous territories like the duchies of Gueldres, Cleves, Julich, the Prince Bishopric of Cologne and Liege etc. Most of these territories underwent a process of legal modernization in this period. One of the most important features of this process was the codification of customary law, as ordered by the sovereigns of these territories. Although the codificators in those territories made use of the Corpus Iuris Civilis as a subsidiary law source, they found different solutions for comparable legal problems, resulting in different mixtures of customary and Roman law, which were studied in regional legal treatises and jurisprudence in the following period. Today, many contemporary treatises on the legal systems of Cleve, Julich, Cologne and Liege are available as facsimile editions online, enabling us to study similarities and differences in the legal systems of the Meuse-Rhine territories.
- Paper (70%)
- Presentation (30%)
1. Acquisition of necessary skills in the field of comparative legal history research (application):
- problem definition and research design: how to choose a topic which is relevant for comparison
- Read, translate and interpret primary legal sources of the early modern period (written in Middle Dutch, Middle French or Middle German)
- compare and describe two or three legal systems of the Meuse-Rhine Euregion
- frame one’s observations in a broader theoretical framework in order to review and evaluate (by means of comparative research) generally accepted or disputed theses and views in the field of legal history
2. Acquisition of insight in the legal history of the Meuse-Rhine Euregion (understanding)
- outline general legal history of the Meuse-Rhine Euregion
- identify, describe and explain specificities of legal history of the Meuse-Rhine Euregion within a wider European context
Elementary legal history; advanced (passive) knowledge of French and/or German and/or Dutch is a prerequisite.
Recommended literature is referred to in the course book.