Clio@Themis, n° 15, 2019 (Droit et Anthropologie : archéologie d’un savoir et enjeux contemporains)

Frédéric Audren et Laetitia Guerlain

Clio@Themis, n° 15, 2019 
Droit et Anthropologie : archéologie d’un savoir et enjeux contemporains

Introduction. Un nouvel agenda pour l’anthropologie du droit ?

En s’emparant de la thématique des rapports entre droit et anthropologie, ce numéro de Clio@Themis s’inscrit, à l’instar de numéros précédents, dans la perspective d’une histoire sociale et intellectuelle du droit. C’est à partir des rapports difficiles entre droit et anthropologie que ce volume poursuit plus spécifiquement l’enquête sur le couple droit et (autres) sciences sociales, entendu ici, non seulement comme objet, mais également comme méthode. Que les relations entre droit et anthropologie (…)

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Louis Assier-Andrieu

Difficulté et nécessité de l’anthropologie du droit

Abstract : This article aims to deepen the understanding of the Western legal tradition with the instruments of cultural anthropology. Recalling the properties of legal reason, it opens the way for a new relationship between law and anthropology. It also warns against the temptation to extend the domination of this Western reason over other societies and cultures.

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Géraldine Cazals

Les juristes humanistes de la Renaissance, des anthropologues en puissance ? Réflexions autour de quelques études (principalement françaises) de cas

Abstract : Questioning the role played by jurists – mainly French – in the history of anthropology during the Renaissance, this article highlights the way in which humanist jurists found themselves, through their philological and historical work, at the heart of an immense collection of ethnographic knowledge. It shows how the extend of the progress in cosmography and legal comparatism allowed them to develop reflections of an anthropological nature. In doing so, it is necessary not only to focus on the contribution of humanist jurists to anthropology, but also to include the development of anthropology in the Renaissance in an epistémè belonging the legal field.

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Kaius Tuori

Law and Rationality : A Historiographical Survey of the Understanding of Motivation and Human Agency in Early Legal Anthropology

Abstract : The purpose of this article is to examine how nineteenth-century legal science conceptualized and dealt with otherness in law, with examples of legal phenomena such as ordeal and blood revenge to illustrate how the concept of legal rationality evolved in the early legal anthropology and how it still influences our understanding of legal otherness. It provides new insights on how, in the treatment of specific legal institutions, the ideas of reason and rationality could change as scholars used European medieval history to aid in the understanding of indigenous cultures.

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Silvia Falconieri

Droit colonial et anthropologie. Expertises ethniques, enquêtes et études raciales dans l’outre-mer français (Fin du XIXesiècle-1946)

Abstract : In the context of 19th– and 20th-century French colonialism, anthropological knowledge plays a crucial role when it comes to legally categorising colonised populations. What are the forms, modalities and aims at stake when the law encountered that other knowledge ? What is the anthropology of colonial legal experts ? How are the knowledge, tools and techniques of anthropology mobilised by colonial jurists, and what are the consequences ? In the light of these questions, this article tackles the issues at stake when colonial law met physical and racial anthropology in the shaping of the statuses of subject and citizen in the French Empire. The analysis of the particular case of the non-recognised Métis being granted French citizenship shows that specialists in colonial law made extensive use of contemporaneous anthropological studies. Not only did they appropriate the contents of anthropological research, but they also learned a method which was to be mobilized in the judicial proceeding. In the 1920s, « ethnic expertise » and investigation became the pillars of a new legal proceeding that was, in large part, the result of the rapprochement of colonial law and racial anthropology.

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Alain Chenu

René Maunier, Album graphique de la statistique criminelle de l’Égypte (1890-1918). Un inédit centenaire présenté par Alain Chenu

Abstract : As the head of statistics at the Egyptian ministery of Justice, René Maunieur drew up a « graphic album of penal statistics in Egypt » (1918), describing the trends in crime and offences registered by the « indigeneous jusrisdictions » from 1890 to 1918. This set of tables, curves, maps, and histograms follows an « explanatory note » where the author defined his guidelines and reviewed the literature in the field of criminal statistics in Egypt. In his presentation, Alain Chenu invites to an upgrading of Maunier’s involvement in the use of statistical methods, and tries to answer a question : why has Maunier, later on, left behind statistics ?

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Laetitia Guerlain

Entre science juridique et savoirs anthropologiques : évolutionnisme et histoire comparée du droit chez Émile Jobbé-Duval (1851-1931)

Abstract : This paper sketches the intellectual portrait of Roman law professor Émile Jobbé-Duval. It tries to analyse the way the author combines legal history with the anthropological and evolutionnist literature of the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century. This article therefore reassesses the contribution of the French jurists to the making of legal anthropology. Their works have indeed been deeply influenced by their anthropological readings, which they have mobilised by using intertextuality.

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Albane Geslin

Une brève historiographie de « pluralisme juridique » : quand les usages d’une notion en font un instrument de luttes politiques

Abstract : My basic argument is that “legal pluralism” (concept and words) is, in anthropological discourses, not only a descriptive notion, but above all a political struggles tool. Those struggles take place on three fields : scientific, academic, and ethical. All of them contest State and its law, its role in social-lige and how jurists legitimize this role.

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Irène Bellier

La reconnaissance des peuples autochtones comme sujets du droit international. Enjeux contemporains de l’anthropologie politique en dialogue avec le droit

Abstract : This article explains how the relational political category [Indigenous Peoples] raises new debates in anthropology and law. By returning to linguistic issues – as the statement of this international category varies according to the dominant languages and its uses fall into various political contexts – it specifies the stakes of the differentiation between the terms « people » and « population », the [s] making a difference in English (the working language of the United Nations) between people (individuals) and peoples (collective). The treatment of indigenous issues induces a series of epistemological transformations stimulating an analytical reflection on the institutions and forms of government of the collective. New areas of dialogue between anthropology and law emerge from this perspective, particularly on the meaning of law, on land issues that must be reconsidered in the light of the pressure of multinational companies (extractive or agro-industrial) on indigenous territories and on systemic classifications.

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Fernanda Pirie

Legalism : a turn to history in the anthropology of law

Abstract : Notorious definitional debates have characterized the anthropology of law, and scholars have not reached consensus over how “law” is to be distinguished from other social phenomena. This article suggests that light can be shed upon this issue by combining the insights of anthropologists and historians. Careful comparison among empirical examples highlights the importance of texts and the legal form. Case studies from Tibet are used to illustrate these points and draw attention to the phenomenon of legalism, that is, the use of generalizing rules and abstract categories to describe and organise the world. This provides a basis for exploring the nature and significance of law, both in the modern world and societies of the past.

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Frédéric Audren | Jacques Flach

DOCUMENT : L’ethnologie juridique au Collège de France : le cours de Jacques Flach sur les Institutions primitives (1892-1904)

Abstract : This paper presents Jacques Flach’s Collège de France course in primitive law, which he taught from 1892 until 1904. It insists on the specificity of his historical and comparative approach. Ever attentive to studying institutions in their context, Flach proposes an innovative interpretation of feudalism, seeks to write a global history of law and endeavours to stress the institutional alterity of primitive societies. Flach is therefore among the first scholars to teach social and legal anthropology in France.

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Annelise Riles (auteur)

Le droit est-il porteur d’espoir ?

Abstract : This essay asks what legal studies can contribute to the now vigorous debates in economics, sociology, psychology, philosophy, literary studies and anthropology about the nature and sources of hope in personal and social life. What does the law contribute to hope  ? Is there anything hopeful about law ? Rather than focus on the ends of law (social justice, economic efficiency, etc.) this essay focuses instead on the means (or techniques of the law). Through a critical engagement with the work of Hans Vaihinger, Morris Cohen and Pierre Schlag on legal fictions and legal technicalities, the essay argues that what is “hopeful” about law is its “As If” quality.

Laetitia Guerlain (présentatrice) | Prune Decoux et David Foulks (traducteurs)  

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L. Guerlain et N. Hakim, Littératures populaires du droit. Le droit à la portée de tous, Paris, LGDJ, coll. Contextes, 2019.

La littérature populaire du droit existe-t-elle ? La question peut paraître incongrue alors que le droit est un savoir spécialisé et un privilège de la communauté des juristes. Le juriste n’est-il pas celui ou celle qui maîtrise tous les textes du droit ?
C’est toutefois oublier que dans les caves et greniers ou dans les bibliothèques traînent une foule de livres qui ne sont ni scientifiques, ni réservés aux juristes. C’est également faire fi d’une question essentielle qui n’est autre que le droit intéresse tout un chacun et que « nul n’est censé ignorer la loi ».

De cette ambivalence relative à l’arme du droit naît un genre littéraire : les textes publiés à destination des profanes, cette littérature « populaire » en ce qu’elle n’est ni réservée aux juristes, ni forcément écrite par des juristes de profession. Il y a ainsi une littérature grise qui ne retient guère l’attention et qui pourtant véhicule ce qu’est le droit pour toute une population de professionnels divers et variés, de curieux et d’utilisateurs allant de l’artisan ou de l’architecte jusqu’à « l’homme de la rue » et qui n’ont jamais mis les pieds dans une faculté de droit, un cabinet d’avocat ou même dans un tribunal.

Ni inventaire ni quête du droit dans la littérature, les études d’histoire du droit réunies dans ce volume, majoritairement issues d’un colloque organisé à la Maison française d’Oxford, se proposent ainsi d’explorer tout un continent inconnu en tentant de le cartographier, de le sonder et d’interroger son ancienneté et sa variété dans plusieurs pays européens.

Laetitia Guerlain et Nader Hakim sont historiens du droit à l’Université de Bordeaux et se consacrent à l’histoire contemporaine de la pensée juridique et à l’inscription du droit dans les sciences sociales.
La littérature populaire du droit existe-t-elle ? Sous le sacré… le profane
Laetitia Guerlain et Nader Hakim Université de Bordeaux ………………………………………………….. 3
Un’edizione popolare e divulgativa della Legge delle XII Tavole
Oliviero Diliberto Università di Roma “Sapienza” Zhongnan University of Economics and Law (Wuhan, Chine) ……………. 41
Aperçus des littératures populaires du droit en Italie au XIXe siècle
Annamaria Monti Università Bocconi ………………………………………………………………………………… 49
Implementing Juridical Reform : Popular Jurisprudence in Late Medieval and Early Modern Germany
Hiram Kümper Université de Mannheim …………………………………………………………….. 67

Codes, codification et presse américaine : une rencontre en demi-teintes
Prune Decoux Université de Bordeaux ……………………………………………………………….. 79
L’ABC du droit : la lexicographie juridique et le profane
Pierre-Nicolas Barenot Université de Saint-Étienne ………………………………………………………….. 101
Littératures populaires et droit canonique au XIXe siècle, l’impossible mariage
Cyrille Dounot Université d’Auvergne ……………………………………………………………………………. 115
Le Droit Populaire : une tentative de journal juridique populaire à l’aube de la Troisième République
Kevin Bremond Université de Bordeaux…………………………………………………………. 131
Les « guides du sinistré » (1915-années 1920) : le sinistré, entre sujet de l’administration et stratège
Guillaume Richard Université Paris Descartes ……………………………………………………. 149
Le premier et le second Journal du Droit administratif (JDA) : littératures populaires du droit public ?
Mathieu Touzeil-Divina Université Toulouse 1 Capitole …………………………………………………… 179
Littératures populaires du droit. Le droit à la portée de tous
1re édition
Laetitia Guerlain, Nader Hakim
Editeur : L.G.D.J
Collection : Contextes
ISBN : 978-2-275-05722-4
216 pages – Parution : 02/2019

CALL FOR PAPERS: Court proceedings treasures

Court proceedings treasures
The archives of the Imperial Chamber Court of Wetzlar
(15th– 19th century)

Archéoforum de Liège (Belgium)
21 October 2019

Hundreds of linear metres of archives from Ancien Regime courts still need to be processed and explored. But the case files of the Imperial Chamber Court conserved at the State Archives in Liège are now sorted and ready to be used in research that started in the 1970s in Germany.
The Imperial Chamber Court has produced thousands of proceeding files, of which over 2,000
are conserved at the State Archives in Liège. Their historical and archival importance cannot be underlined enough. These proceedings are mainly characterised by their written nature. Research might be of particular interest about the supporting documents whose iconographical and aesthetical value commands admiration.
In 1495, the Holy Roman Empire Saint-Empire was given a new court of justice. The
Reichskammergericht became the supreme court for civil matters. At first it was an ambulatory
court, before establishing in the land of Hesse, more precisely in the city of Wetzlar. Since then, the city’s name is closely associated with the history of the Imperial Chamber Court and its archives.
While historical science has mainly been focussed on politics, diplomacy and military history in the course of the 19th and early 20th centuries, it now delves into social history and microhistory.
An interesting reflection is taking place about the relation between archives and (state) power,
between the archivist and his or her commitment. From a civil point of view, archives might form a sort of “total history”. But this bears the question: can these archives considered as “total archives”? There are, among others, still many gaps in the history of law in the early modern period, regarding access to justice, efficiency of the justice system, quality and corruption of the judiciary, and the role of women.
As a follow-up to colloquium “Case closed! Case files from the Ancien Regime and perspectives for historical research” held on 11 March 2013 in Brussels, and the related inventory and works, as well as the exposition about the case files from the Imperial Chamber Court concerning Liège, the State Archives in collaboration with the Gesellschaft für Reichskammergerichtsforschung organises a new colloquium on 21 October 2019.

Draft papers (maximum 500 words including bibliography and notes) can be submitted until
1 March 2019 



Call for contributions :  Filosofia del diritto consuetudinario

Call for contributions

 Revue Noesis

 Filosofia del diritto consuetudinario




La rivista Noesis, giornale del Centre de Recherches en Histoire des Idées dell’Université de Nice, lancia una call for contributions per un doppio volume intitolato “Filosofia del diritto consuetudinario”, previsto per la primavera 2020. Questa pubblicazione è il frutto del convegno internazionale “Les enjeux philosophiques du droit coutumier” organizzato a Maggio 2019 presso l’Université Nice Sophia Antipolis, con la collaborazione dell’Université Côte d’Azur, della MSH-Sud Est e dell’UFR LASH. Gli articoli selezionati con questa call completeranno gli articoli scelti tra i lavori presentati in sede di convegno.


Noesisè una pubblicazione soggetta a peer reviewche fa riferimento a un comitato scientifico. Gli ultimi numeri sono disponibili presso l’editore Vrin. I numeri precedenti gli ultimi due anni sono accessibili online sulla piattaforma



L’espressione «diritto consuetudinario» non indica affatto un oggetto evidente; la call for contributions prova a esplorare e, ove possibile, risolvere le tensioni create dalla giustapposizione di queste due forme di regolazione sociale tanto coesistenti quanto distanti : il diritto e la consuetudine. A tal fine ci si interrogherà in particolare sull’ambiguità che si nasconde dietro il qualificativo di “consuetudinario”. Esso designa una tra le tante manifestazioni del giuridico, oppure una forma a esso estranea, dotata di caratteristiche peculiari e irriducibile al diritto?


La risposta a queste domande dipende senza dubbio da un’esplorazione tanto teorica quanto empirica delle modalità di funzionamento specifiche del diritto consuetudinario. Se questo diritto è definito consuetudinario, è evidentemente perché la consuetudine occupa uno spazio privilegiato in qualità di fonte del diritto. Comprendere le qualità specifiche del diritto consuetudinario significa perciò sforzarsi di capire come questo spazio condiziona la natura stessa del diritto.


Bisognerà perciò interrogarsi sul modo in cui lo spazio dedicato alla consuetudine determina l’esistenza di istituzioni specifiche e di criteri autonomi inerenti ai diritti individuali. Ogni sistema di diritto, a partire dal momento in cui comporta un elemento consuetudinario, deve stabilire i princìpi spazio-temporali e logici della prova consuetudinaria. La Common Law anglosassone e i suoi princìpi specifici non devono tuttavia offuscare i tentativi di individuare e stabilire i princìpi e le peculiarità del diritto consuetudinario, ed è necessario prestare particolare attenzione al modo in cui la consuetudine si colloca nei contesti pluralisti, in cui diversi diritti consuetudinari possono trovarsi in un rapporto di concorrenza. In queste condizioni, l’interazione tra diritto e consuetudine prende la forma di un conflitto normativo più che di un diritto consuetudinario omogeneo.


Esplorare i limiti e il carattere fittizio delle procedure relative alla consuetudine della Common Lawpuò servire da punto di partenza per ri-dispiegare le potenzialità del diritto consuetudinario e metterne in discussione i fondamenti. In particolare, sarebbe interessante studiare le diverse sembianze del diritto consuetudinario in un’epoca in cui il modello della Common Lawsi impone su diverse scale e in diversi ambiti, come il diritto internazionale; e in cui il diritto consuetudinario si attua in contesti di pluralismo giuridico nel quadro di regioni decolonizzate.


Le implicazioni e conseguenze specifiche relative a questi contesti non possono che portare a interrogarsi sui limiti e sulla flessibilità del diritto consuetudinario. Le variazioni di scala e di ambito intaccano l’essenza del diritto consuetudinario, ammesso che ve ne sia una? Oppure rivelano al contrario una sua natura al di là delle specifiche incarnazioni? Si tratta, inoltre, di indagare l’efficacia specifica del diritto consuetudinario e in particolare di determinare se il diritto consuetudinario riposa sulle stesse forme di coercizione del diritto, e se dispone di istituzioni e applicazioni specifiche. La questione della collocazione della sanzioneè, a questo proposito, essenziale.


Proseguendo in queste riflessioni è necessario notare che in ogni diritto consuetudinario la consuetudine è ridotta a sorgente del diritto, e in quanto tale si vede privata di una forma di normatività autonoma. Vi è consuetudine solo quando riconosciuta in quanto tale, secondo i processi canonizzati e inquadrata in istituzioni e criteri definiti dal diritto. In questo caso, la consuetudine non è che una delle possibili fonti del diritto, in concorrenza con altre, e non gode di un’esistenza giuridica se non subordinata.


È il motivo per cui John Austin ha potuto negare così facilmente l’autonomia della consuetudine, sostenendo sulla scorta di Hobbes e contro la scuola storica che la natura stessa del diritto impedisce alla consuetudine di essere efficace al di fuori del suo riconoscimento diretto o indiretto, esplicito o tacito, da parte del sovrano. Una delle ambizioni principali del convegno è appunto di verificare la tesi di Austin, cosa che potrebbe permettere di affrontare la questione della priorità del sostantivo o aggettivo nell’espressione “diritto consuetudinario”. Sottotraccia giace la questione stessa dell’autonomia della consuetudine come forma di regolazione sociale.


Per queste ragioni potremmo essere portati a considerare ciò che scompare e ciò che resta della consuetudine nel diritto consuetudinario, così da comprendere realmente la natura di quest’ultimo. Questo non può che condurci a interrogarci sul tema specifico della codificazione della consuetudine, atto fondatore del diritto consuetudinario. Questa codificazione non è mai, di fatto, un atto neutro, e sarebbe opportuno evidenziare, dalle diverse prospettive possibili, tutte le tensioni che circondano questa codificazione, cristallizzando equilibri di potere o lotte socio-economiche. Un asse di studio interessante, già spesso evocato nelle scienze sociali ma raramente in filosofia, sarebbe quello delle interazioni tra diritto formale e consuetudine nei paesi decolonizzati.


La codificazione del diritto d’altra parte è uno dei momenti in cui saperi e poteri si incontrano con la maggiore intensità. La scuola storica del diritto ha affermato con forza la necessità di inglobare lo studio del diritto all’interno delle discipline umanistiche: l’affermazione può essere allargata oggi all’insieme delle scienze umane e sociali, dall’antropologia all’economia e alla sociologia. Ci interrogheremo perciò sulla possibile collocazione di queste discipline nella codificazione e nell’istituzionalizzazione della consuetudine, sulla legittimità e sui metodi dei loro approcci.

Infine si pone naturalmente la questione dello spazio da dare allo studio degli specifici casi. È evidente che essi dovranno essere centrali nello studio del diritto consuetudinario, ma anche che nessuna riflessione può limitarsi a proporre analisi di diritti consuetudinari differenti.


Il seguente elenco di domande, assolutamente non esaustivo, permette di tracciare alcune piste possibili che possono essere esplorate dai contributi:


L’espressione « diritto consuetudinario » designa una specifica modalità di regolazione sociale tra il giuridico e la consuetudine? I costumi sono una fonte autonoma del diritto? La consuetudine può essere considerata come un al di quao al di làdel diritto?


Esiste una «forma» specifica del diritto consuetudinario malgrado la molteplicità delle sue manifestazioni? Esiste un modello di diritto consuetudinario, come potrebbe essere il diritto internazionale?


Quali trasformazioni subisce la consuetudine quando integra il diritto consuetudinario? Quali implicazioni filosofiche solleva la codificazione della consuetudine nel diritto? Quali implicazioni presenta l’esistenza del diritto consuetudinario nei contesti pluralisti/decolonizzati? Quali sono i rapporti del diritto consuetudinario con gli standard sia morali sia giuridici come lo sono, per esempio, i diritti dell’uomo? Qual è il posto del diritto consuetudinario rispetto alla dinamica del cambiamento sociale?


Quali interazioni e quali implicazioni di potere esistono tra le scienze umane e sociali e il diritto relativamente alla questione della consuetudine? Quali legami intrattiene il diritto consuetudinario con le località, i territori, le loro storie e le loro organizzazioni sociali? Come le diverse discipline delle scienze umane e sociali permettono di rendere conto di queste dinamiche e del loro conflitto contro il formalismo del diritto?


Informazioni pratiche


Gli articoli completi non devono superare le 35.000 battute (per il corpo del testo; esclusi quindi titolo, abstract, note, ecc.). La rivista non valuterà abstract. Gli articoli possono essere scritti in inglese, francese, italiano. Per ulteriori dettagli, a questo link c’è il foglio di stile.


Gli articoli dovranno essere inviati ai tre diversi indirizzi email entro e non oltre il 01 giugno 2019:,,


Al fine di valorizzare la neutralità della selezione, chiediamo che il documento (in formato Word oppure openOffice) sia anonimo, e inviato tramite allegato di una mail che indichi nome, cognome e coordinate dell’autore. Una risposta della selezione sarà data entro il 01 agosto 2019.


Agli autori degli articoli selezionati sarà richiesto un piccolo lavoro di editing, in modo da consegnare la versione finale entro il 15 settembre 2019 per l’editing tecnico e l’impaginazione.

Call for Papers: The Philosophy of Customary Law

Call for Papers: The Philosophy of Customary Law

 Special edition of the French journal Noesis




For more than 20 years, the peer-reviewed journal Noesishas been at the forefront of French contemporary philosophy. Affiliated to the Center for Research in the History of Ideas(CRHI) of the University of Nice Sophia Antipolis, Noesispublishes two special editions a year, collecting papers around a topic chosen by its scientific committee. The Philosophy of Customary Lawwill be the name of the Spring 2020 double issue. It follows the organization of a conference on the “Philosophy of Customary Law” in May 2018.


The call


Far from considering the phrase “customary law” as a self-evident truth, papers will aim at identifying and trying to solve the many tensions created by the juxtaposition of two separate but parallel forms of social regulation: law and custom. What matters then is to investigate the ambiguity behind the very idea of customary law. Does it point out one more sort of law, or does it designate an autonomous kind of law, with its own features and not reducible to the law?


Answering these questions requires without any doubts an enquiry about the peculiar dynamics of customary law, grounded on both empiricist and theoretical perspectives. To know whether it is a form among others of law or it is specific enough to be called a genus of law, it is crucial to define its principles. If this law is called customary it is because custom is key to it as a sourceof law. Understanding the specific features of customary law means therefore striving to understand what role custom plays to shape the very nature of customary law.


It will be necessary to investigate the way the main role assigned to customs determines the very existence of specific institutions and peculiar criteria of the bigger law frame that regulates the individual. Any legal system that includes custom as its element must establish spatial, temporal and logical frame of custom proofs. Nevertheless, Anglo-Saxon Common law and its peculiar principles mustn’t overshadow any attempt to grasp the principles and the peculiarities of customary law; and we will be particularly sensitive to the way the customary law settles in pluralist contexts, where different customary laws can be concurrent. In these conditions the interaction between law and custom takes the shape of a normative conflict more than of a coherent customary law.


Exploring the limits and the fictions of customary procedures adopted by the Common Law could be the first step of both a new deployment of the customary law potential and an enquiry about its foundations. Indeed, it would be of extreme interest to study the different forms of customary law in eras where the Common Law model is spreading at different levels and domains, especially in international law, and where customary law is adopted in de-colonized regions where the law system is marked by a strong plurality of contexts.


Peculiar stakes of these contexts force to investigate both the limits and the flexibility of customary law. Do evolutions of scales and domains concern the essence of customary law, if this nature exists? Or are they only variations of a single nature beyond the peculiarities of each embodiment?  It will also be necessary – among other issues – to address the specific effectiveness of customary law, and to determine if it lays on the same constraint as the law; and if it is supported by peculiar institutions and applications. The question of the role of the sanctionis in this respect essential.


In the wake of these reflections it is necessary to note that custom is reduced to the status of simple source of the law in every law called customary, and is therefore deprived of every autonomous form of normative power. It is not custom that is not acknowledged as custom according to the processes required and in the name of the institutions and criteria defined by law. In this case, custom is not anything more than one of the many possible sources of law, and concurring with them; it has not a primary juridical existence.


This is the reason why John Austin could so easily disqualify custom self-sufficiency, arguing – with Hobbes and against the historical school – that the very nature of law prevents custom to be effective on its own besides the implicit or explicit, direct or indirect acknowledgement by the sovereign. One of the main ambitions of this collective publication would be indeed to question Austin’s position. This could in turn allow to address the issue of the substantial or accessory priority of the phrase “customary law”. Beyond this lies the very issue of the autonomy of custom as a social regulation tool.


In order to do that, one could be tempted to consider what disappears of custom and what does not, in customary law, so as to really understand its very nature. This brings us to discuss the specific subject of the codification of custom, the cornerstone of customary law. This codification is neverdefactoa neutral act, and it will be more relevant to point out from every point of view all the implicit tensions of the codification, which standardize and stabilize power balances or social and economic struggles. One of the axes of the study, already well known in social science but overlooked by philosophy, would be that of interaction between formal law and custom in de-colonized countries.


Legal codification is one of these moments when powers and knowledge meet with most intensity. The “historical school” of law maintained the necessity of combining law studies with humanities, and we can now include social sciences such as economy, anthropology and sociology. We will therefore investigate which place these disciplines can or should have within the codification and definition of custom; we will also enquiry about their legitimacy, methods and approaches. 


The question arises of which place one should give to specific case studies in this volume. It is clear that they must be crucial while studying customary law as a theoretical object; but no discourse should be limited to a series of descriptions of different customary laws.

The following, non-exhaustive list of questions should allow to prefigure various leads:


Does “customary law” locutionshow a specific mode of social regulation between the juridical and the customary? Is custom a source of law? Or could be considered as an object beyond or before it? Does a specific form of customary law exist despite its different expressions? Does a model of customary law exist – such as the international law?


Which transformations does custom endure when integrated with the “customary law”? Which philosophical implications does codification of custom produce within customary law? Which are the stakes of the very existence of customary law in pluralist and decolonized contexts? What are the relationships between customary law on one side and moral or juridical standards such as human rights on the other? What is the place of customary law within social change dynamics?


Which interactions and which concerns exist about humanities, social sciences and law with respect to custom? Which are the links of customary law with localities, territories, their history and their social displaying? How different disciplines of social and human sciences allow to reflect upon these phenomena and their conflict with law’s peculiar formality?




The committee and the editors will make their selection from a set of complete papers only. Proposals will not be reviewed.


Papers may be as long as 35.000 signs / 7.500 words. This does not include: the main title, abstracts, footnotes, the author’s presentationetc. Only the main text counts in the total of words.


Papers may be written in French, English and Italian only. They should be sent to the following email addresses altogether, by June 1st, 2019.


To ensure an unbiased selection, the document must be anonymous. It must be modifiable, therefore .doc files are preferable. Please include in your email a separate document that states your name, affiliation, topics of interests. We should provide an answer by August 1st, 2019


Then, selected papers might need some modifications. The final versions of the papers will be due by September 15, 2019

Call for papers: FEDER UND RECHT

Feder und Recht.
Schriftlichkeit und Gerichtswesen in der Vormoderne

17. Nachwuchstagung des Netzwerks Reichsgerichtsbarkeit
vom 19. bis 21. September 2019 in Mühlhausen

Einsendeschluss: 15.03.2019

 Seit Jahrzehnten arbeiten Rechtshistoriker, (Kultur-)Historiker und Archivare gleichermaßen intensiv mit schriftlich überlieferten Quellen der vormodernen Gerichte. Es scheint deutlich zu sein: Schriftlichkeit vor Gericht ist vor allem dokumentiert durch gerichtliche Akten, aber auch durch Protokoll- und Urteilsbücher. Nicht alle Verfahrensarten und Verfahrensstadien sind jedoch gleichermaßen durch Aktenüberlieferung verschriftlicht worden, obgleich komplexe Sachverhalte wohl nur im Rahmen eines überwiegend schriftlichen Verfahrens sachgerecht zu durchdringen sind.
Vor allem zu Beginn der Frühen Neuzeit traten vermehrt auch in der Niedergerichtsbarkeit Elemente der Schriftlichkeit im Rahmen des Verfahrens in den Vordergrund. Dabei ist das schriftliche Urteil, das im Zivilprozess den Parteien eröffnet oder zugestellt wurde, nur die Spitze des Eisbergs. Abgesehen davon, dass es dem Anspruch des Klägers schon deshalb größeres Gewicht verlieh, weil der Urteilsspruch die Gegenseite ohne weitere Zwischenschritte zur Rechtsbefolgung animieren konnte, wurde dem Kläger auf dieser Grundlage auch ein Titel zur Vollstreckung verliehen. Sofern es sich bei den Kontrahenten um Herrschaftsträger handelte, konnte das Urteil überdies auch im Rahmen späterer Auseinandersetzungen zum Nachweis von festgestellten Rechtspositionen dienen. Neben der Schriftlichkeit des Urteils ist die Schriftlichkeit des dem Urteil vorausgehenden Verfahrens augenfällig. Obwohl die Gerichte im Heiligen Römischen Reich in all ihrer Vielfalt zunehmend von einem überwiegend schriftlichen Gerichtsverfahren geprägt waren, fehlt dennoch bislang eine die Gerichtslandschaften übergreifende Untersuchung von Schriftlichkeit im Gerichtswesen.

CfP_Feder und Recht


Latest issue of the Cahiers Jean Moulin (n° 4, 2018, La dignité)

4 | 2018 : La dignité

Le mot dignité revêt essentiellement deux sens qui ont en commun d’animer le monde des idées politiques et de recevoir une expression juridique : la dignité des fonctions et la dignité humaine. Le mot présente alors « le tour de force de hiérarchiser les êtres et de les égaliser en même temps » (Cassia).

En proposant « la dignité » pour sujet d’étude de ce quatrième volume, les Cahiers Jean Moulin n’entendaient pas enfermer le thème dans une approche prédéfinie ou l’orienter vers une voie exclusive.

À l’heure de la publication, notons que la seconde dimension, celle de la dignité humaine, a davantage suscité l’intérêt, sans doute parce qu’elle correspond aux enjeux les plus contemporains et les plus disputés. Ce sont ainsi certains des territoires nouveaux de ce concept que le présent numéro propose d’explorer.

BOOK: Qu’est-ce qu’une discipline juridique ?

Qu’est-ce qu’une discipline juridique ? Fondations et recompositions des disciplines dans les facultés de droit

Frédéric AUDREN et Ségolène BARBOU DES PLACES (dir.)

L.G.D.J. (Contextes), 2018 – ISBN 978-2-275-04672-3

Comment les savoirs juridiques se constituent-ils en « disciplines » ? 
Quel rapport existe-t-il entre discipline, matière et branche du droit ? 
Quelles relations se nouent entre les divisions du droit, les catégories doctrinales, les exigences pédagogiques ou encore les divisions institutionnelles universitaires ? Comment distinguer entre la discipline juridique et les autres disciplines des sciences sociales ? Cet ouvrage, qui réunit les contributions de juristes, historiens, politistes et sociologues, est la première enquête d’ampleur sur la notion de discipline et son rôle dans les facultés de droit françaises. Les contributions présentées aident à comprendre les rapports qui se nouent entre le fond du droit positif, les savoirs juridiques, la communauté académique et les éléments institutionnels environnants. Elles éclairent, par conséquent, les mutations du paysage disciplinaire juridique contemporain et sa remise en cause sous l’effet de la montée de l’interdisciplinarité et de la « recherche par projet ». 

Sous la direction de Frédéric Audren et Ségolène Barbou des Places, avec les contributions de Pascal Ancel, Julie Bailleux, Loïc Cadiet, Véronique Champeil-Desplats, Jean-Pascal Chazal, Jacques Chevallier, Jean-Louis Fabiani, Catherine Fillon, Benoit Frydman, Pascale Gonod, Nader Hakim, Jean-Louis Halpérin, Daniel Jutras, Danièle Lochak, Rémy Libchaber, Laurent Mucchielli, Horatia Muir Watt, Emmanuelle Picard, Sébastien Pimont, Guillaume Richard, Ruth Sefton-Green, Denys Simon et Patrick Wachsmann.

Publisher’s website

Have a look at the book here

WORKSHOP: Formation des juristes, professions judiciaires

Formation des juristes, professions judiciaires.
Débats historiographiques et perspectives de recherches (France – Belgique, 19e-20esiècles)

Vendredi 14 décembre 2018
Université Libre de Bruxelles 
Centre d’histoire du droit et d’anthropologie juridique

Frédéric Audren (CNRS/Sciences Po) – Jérôme de Brouwer (Université libre de Bruxelles)

Book: Il figlio del rabbino

Il figlio del rabbino 
Lodovico Mortara, storia di un ebreo ai vertici del Regno d’Italia

Massimiliano Boni

Roma: Viella, 2018 – ISBN: 9788833130286

Publisher’s website

Brillante avvocato, acclamato universitario, potente magistrato, ambizioso politico, Lodovico Mortara (1855-1937) ha attraversato da protagonista buona parte dell’età liberale, prima che i colpi del fascismo portassero al crepuscolo un intero establishment.

Figlio del rabbino di Mantova, nato cittadino austriaco, Mortara si affermò come maestro della procedura civile del nuovo Stato unitario, fino a diventare presidente della Cassazione romana, ossia “primo magistrato d’Italia”. A lungo amico intimo di Nitti, nel suo primo governo ne divenne ministro Guardasigilli. Anche se la morte gli evitò di subire la persecuzione delle leggi razziali, lo stesso non fu per la sua famiglia, tra cui il figlio Giorgio, statistico di fama internazionale, e la figlia Nella, libera docente in fisica sperimentale all’Università di Roma.

Il volume illustra i primi passi di Mortara nel mondo forense; la fama accademica raggiunta a Pisa e Napoli, e gli scontri con Scialoja e Chiovenda; l’improvviso passaggio in magistratura, segnato dal voto concesso alle donne e dalla lotta per conquistare lo scranno della Cassazione; il percorso politico, caratterizzato da una lunga serie di riforme nel campo della giustizia civile e penale. Una sezione a parte, infine, è dedicata all’ebraicità di Mortara, e ai suoi rapporti con il mondo ebraico italiano, di cui fu, anche nei momenti di maggiore e aspro dissenso, uno dei più importanti esponenti dell’epoca.

  • Premessa
  • 1. Il contesto storico e familiare (1855-1873)
    • 1. Mantova nel XIX secolo
    • 2. La figura del padre
  • 2. L’ingresso nella scena pubblica: da avvocato di provincia a pontefice del diritto (1874-1902)
    • 1. L’esercizio della professione legale
    • 2. Maestro di procedura
    • 3. L’apogeo scientifico
    • 4. La direzione della «Giurisprudenza italiana»
    • 5. La riforma del processo sommario
    • 6. L’incredibile abbandono della cattedra
  • 3. Gli anni della magistratura (1903-1923)
    • 1. Una nuova vita
    • 2. Membro libero del Grande Oriente d’Italia
    • 3. In Corte d’Appello: il voto alle donne
    • 4. Procuratore generale della Cassazione romana: le inaugurazioni dell’anno giudiziario
    • 5. Primo presidente di Cassazione: la lotta per la nomina
    • 6. Segue. La presidenza Mortara
    • 7. Segue. L’epurazione del 1923: il caso dei decreti legge
    • 8. Epilogo: la messa a riposo di un magistrato scomodo
  • 4. L’attività politica
    • 1. Consigliere comunale a Mantova; scritti politici; contro il dispotismo illuminato
    • 2. L’amicizia con Nitti. Il carteggio
    • 3. Lo scandalo del Palazzaccio
    • 4. Commissario per il dopoguerra
    • 5. L’homo novus a capo del ministero
    • 6. L’attività di legislatore: la riforma del processo penale e quella mancata del processo civile
    • 7. In Senato
    • 8. I rapporti con il fascismo
    • 9. Il declino dell’astro
  • 5. I rapporti con il mondo ebraico
    • 1. Una nuova minaccia: il sionismo (1897)
    • 2. Il Comune ebraico di Firenze (1920)
    • 3. L’organizzazione giuridica delle comunità israelitiche (1930)
  • 6. I Mortara dopo Mortara (1938-1943)
    • 1. Una famiglia in fuga
    • 2. L’esilio di Giorgio
    • 3. La resistenza di Nella e Silvia
  • Conclusioni
    • 1. Ragione, senso pratico, giustizia
    • 2. Il suo lascito
    • 3. L’identità ebraica
  • Riferimenti bibliografici
  • Indice dei nomi