Category Archives: books



Geoffrey Samuel

Edward Elgar Publishing 2018  9781784712600

‘Rethinking’ legal reasoning seems a bold aim given the large amount of literature devoted to this topic. In this thought-provoking book, Geoffrey Samuel proposes a different way of approaching legal reasoning by examining the topic through the context of legal knowledge (epistemology). What is it to have knowledge of legal reasoning?

At a more specific level the pursuit of this understanding is conducted through posing a number of questions that are founded on different approaches. What has legal reasoning been? What are the institutional and conceptual legacies of this history? What is the literature and textual heritage? How does it compare with medical reasoning and with reasoning in the humanities? Can it be demystified? In exploring these questions Samuel suggests a number of frameworks that offer some new insights into the nature of legal reasoning.

The author also puts forward two key ideas. First, that the legal notion of an ‘interest’ might perhaps be a very suitable artefact for rethinking legal reasoning; and, secondly, that fiction theory might be the most viable ‘epistemological attitude’ for understanding, if not rethinking, reasoning in law.

Contents: Preface General introduction 1. What was the contribution of the medieval civilians? 2. What was the contribution of the Roman lawyers? 3. What was the contribution of the later civilians and the common lawyers? 4. What is the institutional legacy? 5. What is the legal literature legacy? 6. How do legal reasoners treat facts? 7. Is legal reasoning like medical reasoning? 8. Is legal reasoning like reasoning in film studies? 9. Is legal reasoning based on fictions? 10. Can legal reasoning be rethought? 11. Rethinking legal reasoning: should jurists take interests more seriously? 12. Should jurists take interests more seriously (continued)? Concluding Remarks Bibliography Index

Book : A Cultural History of Law Volumes 1-6 (ed. Gary Watt, 2018)

About A Cultural History of Law

How have legal ideas and institutions affected Western culture? And how has the law itself been shaped by its cultural context?
In a work spanning 4,500 years, these questions are addressed by 57 experts, each contributing an authoritative study of a theme applied to a period in history. Supported by detailed case material and over 230 illustrations, the volumes examine trends and nuances of the culture of law in Western societies from antiquity to the present. Individual volume editors ensure the cohesion of the whole, and to make it as easy as possible to use, chapter titles are identical across each of the volumes. This gives the choice of reading about a specific period in one of the volumes, or following a theme across history by reading the relevant chapter in each of the six.

The six volumes cover: 1 – Antiquity (2500 BCE-500 CE); 2 – Middle Ages (500-1500); 3 – Early Modern Age (1500-1680); 4 – Age of Enlightenment (1680-1820); 5 – Age of Reform (1820-1920); 6 – Modern Age (1920-present).

Themes (and chapter titles) are: Justice; Constitution; Codes; Agreements; Arguments; Property and Possession; Wrongs; and the Legal Profession.

The total page extent for the pack is approximately 1200 pages. Each volume opens with a Series Preface, an Introduction and Notes on Contributors and concludes with Notes, Bibliography and an Index.

The Cultural Histories Series
A Cultural History of Law is part of the Cultural Histories Series. Titles are available both as printed hardcover sets for libraries needing just one subject or preferring a one-off purchase and tangible reference for their shelves, or as part of a fully searchable digital library available to institutions by annual subscription or on perpetual access (see

Table of contents

Volume 1: A Cultural History of Law in Antiquity 
Edited by Julen Etxabe, University of Helsinki, Finland

Volume 2:A Cultural History of Law in the Middle Ages
Edited by Emanuele Conte, Roma Tre University, Italy and EHESS, Paris, France and Laurent Mayali, University of California at Berkeley, USA

Volume 3: A Cultural History of Law in the Early Modern Age
Edited by Peter Goodrich, Cardozo School of Law, New York, USA

Volume 4: A Cultural History of Law in the Age of Enlightenment 
Edited by Rebecca Probert, University of Exeter, UK and John Snape, University of Warwick, UK

Volume 5: A Cultural History of Law in the Age of Reform
Edited by Ian Ward, Newcastle University, UK

Volume 6: A Cultural History of Law in the Modern Age 
Edited by Richard K Sherwin, New York University Law School, USA and Danielle Celermajer, University of Sydney, Australia

IMPRINT:Bloomsbury Academic
SERIES:The Cultural Histories Series
ILLUSTRATIONS:237 bw illus

Publisher’s website :

Book: Negotiating the Ottoman Constitution 1839-1876

Negotiating the Ottoman Constitution 1839-1876

 Aylin Koçunyan

Leuven: Peters Publishers, 2018 –  ISBN 978-90-429-3506-8

Publisher’s website

This book traces the transcultural and transnational dimension of the internal genesis of the Ottoman Constitution, which was promulgated on December 23, 1876. It shows that the constitutional process incorporated, from domestic authorities to foreign Powers, a plurality of formal and informal agents of different ethno-religious, cultural, and ideological backgrounds and that its investigation goes beyond the study of a national narrative. 
Considering the issue of constitutional reforms from different angles (foreign influence and pressure, the agency of domestic actors and through discourse analysis of reform decrees), the book brings a critical approach to the existing historiographical narratives, which reduce Ottoman constitutional history to a simplistic process of transplanting western legal artefacts and regimes without measuring the selective control of dominant domestic groups over the process. Instead, the book shows the evolution of a continuous set of negotiations of various actors on the idea of constitution in the Ottoman Empire and thus sheds light on the social construction of the idea of justice and constitutional law. The draft constitutions studied throughout the book are the textual embodiment of these negotiations and unveil the ways in which concepts and issues such as legitimacy, the restriction of political power, lawful government, liberty, equality, the rule of people and the treatment of minorities reached the Ottoman context and the ways in which they acquired new meanings or equivalents during their adaptation to the imperial political culture. 

Henri Lévy-Bruhl, juriste sociologue

Henri Lévy-Bruhl Juriste sociologue
Sous la direction de : Emmanuelle Chevreau, Frédéric Audren, Raymond Verdier

Figure respectée des facultés de droit, Henri Lévy-Bruhl (1887-1964) occupe une place singulière dans le champ juridique en raison de ses options méthodologiques et de son engagement socialiste. Traversant tout à la fois les territoires du droit romain, de l’histoire du droit commercial, de l’ethnologie juridique ou de la sociologie criminelle, son oeuvre abondante, construite d’une manière très cohérente, reste pourtant trop mal connue.

Ce livre, issu d’un colloque organisé en mars 2015, se propose d’explorer l’itinéraire et l’oeuvre de ce grand historien du droit, en tentant d’en restituer la richesse et d’évaluer autant que possible sa place et son action dans l’histoire des sciences juridiques et sociales.

Cet ouvrage est également une vaste bibliographie des écrits de Henri Lévy-Bruhl et constitue un indispensable instrument de travail pour les juristes et les historiens.

Pages : 350 pages
Parution : août 2018
ISBN : 978-2-84934-347-0
36 €

Link to the publisher’s website :

BOOK: Law and Language in the Middle Ages

Law and Language in the Middle Ages

Editors: Matthew W. McHaffie, Jenny Benham and Helle Vogt

Law and Language in the Middle Ages

Leiden : Brill, 2018 – ISBN: 978-90-04-37576-5

Publisher’s website

Law and Language in the Middle Ages investigates the encounter between law and legal practice from the linguistic perspective. The essays explore how legal language expresses and advances power relations, along with the ways in which the language of law legitimates power. The wide geographical and chronological scope showcases how power, legitimacy and language interact, moving the discussion beyond traditional issues of identity or the formation of nation-states and their institutions. What emerges are different strategies reflective of the diverse and pluralistic political, legal, and cultural worlds of the Middle Ages. 


part 1 Translation and Interpretation of Law

1 Why Laws Were Translated in Medieval England: Access, Authority, and Authenticity , Bruce O’Brien 

2 Translating Justinian: Transmitting and Transforming Roman Law in the Middle Ages , Ada Maria Kuskowski 

3 Leges Iutorum: The Medieval Latin Translation of the Law of Jutland, Michael H. Gelting 

4 The Languages and Registers of Law in Medieval Ireland and Wales, Paul Russell 

part 2 The Languages of Legal Practice and Documentary Culture

5 Latin and the Vernacular in Medieval Legal Documents: The Case of Denmark, Anders Leegaard Knudsen 

6 Between the Language of Law and the Language of Justice: The Use of Formulas in Portuguese Dispute Texts (Tenth and Eleventh Centuries) , André Evangelista Marques 

7 The Dangers of Using Latin Texts for the Study of Customary Law: The Example of Flemish Feudal Law during the High Middle Ages, Dirk Heirbaut 

8 Sources of Legal Language: The Development of Warranty Clauses in Western France, ca.1030–ca.1240, Matthew McHaffie 

part 3 Methodology, Interaction, and Language

9 Law and Language in the Leges Barbarorum: A Database Project on the Vernacular Vocabulary in Medieval Manuscripts, Anette Kremer and Vincenz Schwab 

10 ‘And since We are No Lawyers, We Will Void the Lawsuit with Battle Axes’! Voiding a Lawsuit in Old Icelandic Procedural Law, Werner Schäfke 

11 Biblical Analogues for Early Anglo-Saxon Law, Carole Hough 



BOOK: Vectoren van het recht

Vectoren van het recht

Sebastiaan Vandenbogaerde

Brugge: die Keure, 2018 – ISBN 9789048632626

Publisher’s website


This book searches the roots, the actors and most significant topics in Belgium’s legal periodicals published since 1830. In its etymological sense are legal periodicals vectors of law. They carry legal information, whether it be case-law, legislation or doctrine to the reader. The periodical press surpasses the carrier-function since editors have a certain goal in mind which might be political inspired. This means that the selection of contribution is seldom neutral. Through their publications, editorial boards and authors have the possibility to influence the readership, mostly legal professionals, which allows legal titles to shape law and legal practices.

Legal periodicals respond not only to societal and legal evolutions but also to each other. For instance, the linguistic issue in Belgium generated a  particular dynamism in which Flemish titles need to be seen in relation to their francophone counterpart. Moreover, especially during the nineteenth century, the circle of editors and authors was rather limited, hence a small elite dominated legal thoughts and mentality. After the Second World War, when the number of jurists in Belgium soared, one can notice a change in publication strategies of the legal periodical press. A proactive approach of publishing houses professionalized and commercialized legal titles.

The author connects several legal titles over a timespan of almost two centuries around the central questions: who are the actors in the journals? What is their background and which goals do they want to achieve? How do editors want to fulfil their objectives and do they succeed? How are different legal titles related to each other? And are they vectors of law? Those questions are answered through the journal’s content and archival sources.

BOOK: Norberto Bobbio. Una biografia culturale

Norberto Bobbio
Una biografia culturale

Mario G. Losano

Roma: Carocci, 2018 – ISBN: 9788843092697

Sito dell’editore


Parte prima
Bobbio e il suo mondo
1. Un secolo di filosofia del diritto a Torino: 1872-1972
Esiste una “Scuola di Torino”?/Le origini risorgimentali: Pietro Luigi Albini dall’“Enciclopedia giuridica” alla Filosofia del Diritto/Tra idealismo e positivismo: la filosofia della storia del diritto di Giuseppe Carle/Tra socialismo e idealismo: la filosofia sociale del diritto di Gioele Solari/Tra positivismo giuridico e filosofia analitica: la filosofia del diritto di Norberto Bobbio
2. La vita di Bobbio, a grandi linee
Le radici piemontesi/I tre anni di Camerino (1936-38)/I due anni di Siena (1938-40)/Gli anni padovani, la “filosofia militante” e il carcere (1940-48)/Il ritorno a Torino nel 1948/Dalla dittatura alla libertà del dopoguerra: tre viaggi di Bobbio/Bobbio nella nuova Cina/Gli scritti di Bobbio: uno sguardo d’insieme
3. Le opere di Bobbio, a grandi linee
Studi giuridici e studi politici/Bobbio come osservatore critico della politica italiana ed europea/Le opere sino alla fine della Seconda guerra mondiale (1934-45)/Bobbio nel vicolo cieco della fenomenologia e dell’esistenzialismo/Bobbio avvocato di Sartre/I fecondi decenni del dopoguerra/Bobbio e la filosofia del diritto nella casa editrice Einaudi/Un minimo itinerario bibliografico per accostarsi al pensiero di Bobbio
Parte seconda
Bobbio e la filosofia del diritto
4. I fondamentali temi giuridici di Bobbio
Le tre virtù del Bobbio studioso: dialogo, chiarezza, comprensione/Gli anni universitari: Bobbio crociano/Gli anni universitari: Bobbio husserliano/L’analogia, ridotta ai minimi termini per mezzo della logica/La consuetudine, messa alla pari del diritto legislativo/Bobbio e il positivismo giuridico di Hans Kelsen/Il diritto come ordinamento: una teoria generale/Positivismo e giusnaturalismo in Norberto Bobbio/La revisione del positivismo giuridico
5. Bobbio dalla struttura alla funzione del diritto
La fase postpositivista: verso una visione funzionale del diritto/Bobbio davanti allo sviluppo postbellico dell’Italia/Liberismo e statalismo tra economia e politica/Genaro Carrió e la «gravissima malattia riduzionistica» della teoria giuridica/La funzione promozionale del diritto e il “desarrollismo” sudamericano/La funzione del diritto tra Stato sociale e neoliberismo/La funzione del diritto: un tema in attesa di approfondimenti
Parte terza
Bobbio e la filosofia della politica
6. I fondamentali temi politici di Bobbio
La definizione della politica e la lezione dei classici/Il ventennio di Mussolini e la democrazia riconquistata/I diritti umani, frutto dell’evoluzione storica, non di un valore assoluto/Il socialismo libertario e le sinistre unite: un’aspirazione non realizzata/Pace e guerra: può il pacifismo sconfiggere la guerra?/Federalismo fra uguali: pace durevole e libertà democratiche/Il ventennio di Berlusconi e la democrazia offesa
7. Democrazia e laicità in Bobbio, uomo di ragione e non di fede
Bobbio e la tradizione italiana del laicismo/Il laicismo: difficile definirlo, ancor più difficile praticarlo/L’ora di religione nella scuola pubblica: ora immaginaria, di disagio, di sconfitta/Il referendum abrogativo sull’aborto e le ragioni di Bobbio contro l’aborto/L’incontro con la teologia della liberazione/Le difficoltà – non solo semantiche – della “mitezza”/Religione e religiosità: le ultime polemiche nel segno della coerenza/l laicismo nella vita privata di Bobbio: «Ho compiuto 90 anni»
Commiato da Bobbio
Elenco dei libri citati
Indice dei nomi
Indice analitico






I. Dai progetti cinquecenteschi all’Unità d’Italia
a cura di I. Birocchi
La Facoltà di Giurisprudenza dell’Università di Cagliari. I. Dai progetti cinquecenteschi all’Unità d’Italia

Pisa: 2018, Edizioni ETS – ISBN 9788846752215

sito dell’editore

Sotto una duplice angolazione il libro racconta la storia della Facoltà di Giurisprudenza di Cagliari dai progetti cinquecenteschi di fondazione dell’ateneo fino all’Unità: come luogo di formazione del giurista e, in stretta correlazione, come momento di snodo per l’accesso alle cariche, alle professioni e per una collocazione privilegiata entro la polis. Da qui le domande che riguardano, da un lato, gli aspetti dell’insegnamento (il numero degli studenti, i corsi, la frequenza alle lezioni, i manuali, le biblioteche, gli esami, dal punto di vista dei discenti; il reclutamento, gli impegni accademici, gli strumenti didattici, gli orizzonti scientifici e di metodo, nell’ottica dei docenti); dall’altro gli impatti nel tessuto sociale, secondo indirizzi culturali di cui la Facoltà era espressione e che a sua volta contribuiva a implementare. Anche nei momenti di crisi, essa operava come deposito di conoscenza giuridica, dialogava con il mondo delle professioni e delle istituzioni, formava le élites
Primo volume di una storia che arriverà fino ai giorni nostri e frutto della collaborazione di studiosi dalle competenze diverse, il libro affronta con nuove ricerche archivistiche e con sguardo comparatistico i principali problemi storiografici: il fervore dopo la fondazione, la reductio della sua funzione nei decenni successivi, la faticosa rifondazione boginiana, i giuristi “giacobini”, la Facoltà di massa negli anni a ridosso della “fusione perfetta”. E, mentre ricostruisce un itinerario in cui il tema dominante appare quello della formazione del giurista del diritto patrio, propone anche questioni nuove.


Questa storia
Italo Birocchi

I. Tra Roma e Madrid: la genesi dello Studio generale di Cagliari (1543-1626)
Gian Paolo Brizzi
II. La richiesta di letrados, il ruolo della città e la formazione del giurista
di diritto patrio (1626-1755)
Italo Birocchi
III. Notai d’età moderna. Una prospettiva sociale
Giampaolo Salice
IV. Graduati e professori nell’età preboginiana (1709-1763)
Italo Birocchi

V. L’impianto filosofico e il quadro normativo della riforma boginiana
Italo Birocchi
VI. Tra tradizione e rinnovamento: professori e cultura giuridica dalla
riforma boginiana alla Restaurazione
Eloisa Mura
VII. Il giurista nell’officina del diritto patrio
Italo Birocchi
VIII. Nel mondo degli studenti: prima frequentanti e poi graduati (1764-1848)
Italo Birocchi

IX. Aperture nazionali e nuovo regolamento degli studi all’indomani
del Quarantotto
Eloisa Mura
X. La Biblioteca universitaria di Cagliari e i libri di diritto
Giovanna Granata
XI. Tra etica, diritto ed economia: intrecci di cultura e di pratica
Gian Giacomo Ortu

FIG. 1: Distribuzione dei notai abilitati nel Regno di Sardegna
TAB. 1: Graduati in utroque iure presso l’Università di Cagliari
(1709-23; 1728-31; 1742-57; 1763-64)
TAB. 2: Dottori in utroque iure esaminati e ritenuti idonei all’esercizio degli
uffici di assessore e consultore nelle curie regie e baronali
TAB. 3: Studenti frequentanti e graduati in utroque iure a Cagliari
(1764-97 e 1802-03)
TAB. 4: Iscritti nelle diverse Facoltà dell’Università di Cagliari
(dal 1824-25 al 1841-42 e nel 1848-49)
TAB. 5: Cattedratici di diritto (1709-23; 1728-31; 1742-58; 1763)
TAB. 6: Cattedratici di diritto (1764-1861)


German Private Law and Scholarship in the 20th Century
S. Grundmann, K. Riesenhuber (eds.)
Private Law Development in Context

Cambridge: 2018, Intersentia – ISBN 9781780683928

This book compiles and puts into perspective portraits of 37 professors of private law from Germany, Austria and Switzerland who completed the core of their academic oeuvre in the 20th century. The individual portraits of the life and work of each professor are written by one of their former ‘Schüler’ and taken together show the thread of the intellectual history of legal thinking in 20th century German private law.

BOOK: Carlos Petit, Arte y Derecho mercantil

Arte y Derecho mercantil
Imagen y concepto de los títulos-valores en la España ilustrada

Carlos Petit

Arte y Derecho mercantil

Madrid: Marcial Pons, 2017 – ISBN: 9788491232711


El siglo ilustrado asistió al declive de una concepción transcendente de la existencia humana basada en la virtud de la fe. Mas el tiempo histórico de la nación y de la Öffentlichkeit (Habermas) comenzó a articular la experiencia colectiva desde otra clase de creencias: por ejemplo, la noción de crédito público entendido como «la opinión que los hombres forman de la ajena probidad» (1796). Que, sin embargo, la antigua virtud teologal no fue del todo sustituida por la nueva confianza de los ciudadanos lo demostró el empleo de la iconografía religiosa para reforzar el mensaje de documentos donde la representación de los valores monetarios se hallaba más próxima al cumplimiento de ciertas obligaciones.
La tesis anterior se sustenta en el análisis de los títulos de crédito (vales, acciones, cédulas) producidos y circulantes en la España borbónica. Fue la época dorada de las artes del grabado, una técnica de reproducción documental de inmediato puesta al servicio del dinero. El gobierno oeconómico de la monarquía estuvo detrás de la emisión de los instrumentos financieros pero también de la formación de aquellos artistas que los diseñaron, mostrándonos ahora un insólito cruce entre la historia del arte y la historia del Derecho mercantil.