Researching 18th Century Judicial Cases from the Parlement of Paris

The latest issue of French History offers an illuminating  article by the legal historian David Feutry on the difficulties of researching judicial cases from the Parlement of Paris, an important judicial appellate body during the Ancien Régime.  The Parlement’s defense of aristocratic privileges and corruption has influenced French thinking about the the proper role of the judicial branch since the French Revolution.

Feutry explains that the organization of the Parlement’s documents and finding aids and the often labyrinthine procedural histories of the cases make researching the files a daunting task.

“It is a complex business to find a case or judgment in the registers of the Parlement. Not only is the date of a decision required, but the way in which the matter was decided; something brought for a hearing might have been through every stage, from hearing right through to a final decision by one of the chambers of Inquests. In that case different stages of its progress would be recorded separately in all the series of the Parlement’s records.” … “a case is unlikely to be found in a single user friendly archival unit.”

In addition to the complexity of Parlement registers, the author reminds us that fires and deliberative destruction destroyed many valuable records.The article also provides an excellent diagram showing the many different paths a case could take through the chambers of the Parlement of Paris.

The Historian’s Mountain of Paper: the Parlement of Paris and the Analysis of Civil Suits in the Eighteenth Century
David Feutry
translated by Bill Doyle
26 French History 277 (2012)

Universal Human Rights Conference: 500th Anniversary of Antonio de Montesinos

Universal Human Rights Conference: 500th Anniversary of Antonio de Montesinos
humanrights500.org

From the conference description and promotional materials:

On December 2-4, 2011, a coalition of universities and other institutions are hosting a  conference and celebration in Washington, D.C. to assess what has been achieved in 500 years of human rights advocacy.  The conference is scheduled to include Sunday, 4 December, the conventionally identified date in 1511 when Antonio de Montesinos, O.P. delivered a sermon in Santo Domingo calling for reform of Spanish policy toward the indigenous.  That sermon launched a Spanish debate about the human rights of the Indians, which in turn contributed to advocacy of the universality of human rights.  While concerned with the history of human rights, the conference will have as its focus current institutional and legal approaches to refine and enhance protections of human rights.

Working with international partners, Alma College’s Public Affairs Institute and Center for Responsible Leadership; George Mason University’s School of Conflict Analysis and Resolution; Georgetown University’s Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs; Justice for North America for the Dominican Family; Partnership for Global Justice; the Osgood Center for International Studies; the Washington Theological Consortium; the Aquinas Institute; and the Fundacja Centrum Solidarnosci are hosting a conference focused on assessing what has been achieved in 500 years of human rights advocacy. The conference will include Sunday, December 4, 2011, the conventionally identified date in 1511 when Antonio de Montesinos delivered a sermon in Santo Domingo calling for reform of Spanish policy toward the indigenous. That sermon launched a Spanish debate about the human rights of the Indians, which in turn contributed to later advocacy of the principle that human rights apply to all people, regardless of nationality.  The new Spanish film Tambien La Lluvia (Even the Rain) has as its core purpose considering the legacy of Montesinos.

The conference is really a series of coordinated events that will bring together international scholars, graduate and undergraduate students, religious leaders, attorneys, civic leaders and workers in NGOs concerned with human rights (their history, definition, protection and enforcement). We will produce a “Proceedings,” collecting as many of the presentations as would be appropriate. Either as part of the “Proceedings” or in separate printed material, we anticipate assembling consensus documents that address contemporary human rights challenges.

We events will be held over the weekend of  Friday, Dec. 2, 2011 through Sunday, December 4, 2011. The weekend will include the following parts:

  1. Conference of experts, both practitioners (attorneys, NGO leaders, public officials) and scholars, including graduate students, held at George Mason University’s Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution in Arlington, Virginia on Friday and Saturday, Dec. 2 and 3, 2011;
  2. Luncheon and seminar on Religion and Human Rights, held at the Georgetown University, Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and Foreign Affairs on Friday afternoon, Dec. 2;
  3. An undergraduate human rights conference held in conjunction with the Osgood Center for International Affairs in Washington on Dec. 2-3, 2011.
  4. Performance of Jean Claude Carriere’s The Controversy of Valladolid on Saturday evening, Dec. 3;
  5. A celebration of the Montesinos homily at St. Matthews Cathedral on the afternoon of Sunday Dec. 4, 2011; and
  6. Development of one or more consensus documents during small group sessions on Sunday, December 4.

Papers and panels are invited on the following topics:

The history and philosophy of universal human rights, while we anticipate special interest in the Americas and in imperial nations, we encourage wider perspectives;

The institutional structure and processes for protecting universal human rights (including the responsibility to protect), especially from Nuremberg to the ICC;

The relationship of human rights to issues such as sovereignty, migration, labor rights, gender, development, and security/terrorism;

The relationship of universal rights to different national, regional, historical, and indigenous cultures; and

Religion and human rights.

Please submit paper or panel proposals by OCTOBER 17, 2011.

 

Legacy of Emperor Justinian in Argentina: Primer Digesto Jurídico Argentino

Taking a cue from the Byzantine Emperor Justinian’s Corpus Juris Civilis, Argentina is in the final stages of creating a compilation of national legislation known as the “Primer Diegsto Jurídico Argentino” This is a project to analyze, systematize and harmonize all national laws since the 1850s. Redundant and obsolete laws will be identified and removed from the statute books.

Over 200 academics, judges, attorneys and legislators have been working on this monumental project since 2005. They have analyzed around 30,000 laws since 1853.

In July, the Argentine executive branch presented an initial draft to the congress. On Thursday and Friday of this week, a major conference will convene in Buenos Aires to discuss how specific areas of law will be impacted by the Digesto Jurídico Argentino.

Information about the national conference, including a list of speakers is available at:
Primer Congreso Nacional del Digesto Jurídico Argentino
September 1 and September 2, 2011
http://www.mpf.gov.ar/ics-wpd/DocumentosWeb/LinksNoticias/Primer_Congreso_Nac_Digesto_Jur_Arg.pdf

Mitra Sharafi’s South Asian Legal History Resources

Professor Sharafi’s Web on South Asian Legal History site includes a list of citation abbreviations of  law reports from the colonial era for Bangladesh, Burma (Myanmar), India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.  It also includes a useful “Research Guide to the Case Law,”  which explains the role of precedent, details major published and unpublished sources of cases, and describes how cases were cited.

 Mitra Sharafi’s South Asian Legal History Resources

http://hosted.law.wisc.edu/wordpress/sharafi/

 

 

Documentary on Jean Monnet

Professor Don Smith of the University of Denver Strum College of Law has produced and posted a 90 minute documentary  on the life of Jean Monnet, one of the architects of the European Community. The film provides an interesting look into the genesis of the institutions that produced the European Union and the remarkable life of Jean Monnet.

Jean Monnet Father of Europe

http://www.law.du.edu/index.php/jean-monnet-father-of-europe

From the project description:

Jean Monnet has been called “The Father of Europe” by those who see his innovative and pioneering efforts in the 1950s as the key to establishing the European Coal and Steel Community, the predecessor of today’s European Union.

Jean Monnet’s concept of “European community” was aimed at ending the ceaseless wars on the European continent and enhancing prosperity. And yet today in Europe – to say nothing of the rest of the world – Monnet is often a forgotten historical figure, his contributions to peace and prosperity in Europe largely overlooked.

In commemoration of this 20th century giant, 18 months ago Don C. Smith, who teaches “European Union Law & Policy” and “European Union Environmental Law & Policy” at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law, embarked on an effort to produce a video documentary explaining who Monnet was and what his legacy is.

Mr. Smith’s interviews capture the observations and insight of those who worked with Monnet in the key years of the 1950s as well as individuals who have been influenced by Monnet’s contributions to European integration.

hat tip to Joan Policastri

Roman Legal Tradition Journal

Roman Legal Tradition

http://www.romanlegaltradition.org/

From the journal description:

Roman Legal Tradition is a peer-reviewed journal published online by the Ames Foundation and the University of Glasgow School of Law. ISSN 1943-6483.

The journal aims to promote the study of the civilian tradition in English. The editors welcome contributions on any aspect of the civilian tradition in ancient, medieval, and modern law.

All articles and reviews published in Roman Legal Tradition are available from this site free of charge. In addition, all articles and reviews are also available to subscribers of HeinOnline. We encourage readers to use and distribute these materials as they see fit, but ask readers not to make any commercial use of these materials without seeking the consent of the editors and relevant authors.

 

Jerusalem Review of Legal Studies

New journal from the Hebrew University Faculty of Law: Jerusalem Review of Legal Studies

Volume 1 is available online full-text:

http://law.huji.ac.il/eng/pirsumim.asp?cat=2062&in=1957

Jerusalem Review of Legal Studies is a law journal dedicated to in-depth discussions of important studies of and in law. Each issue consists of two symposia on a book or a research-project, which entail critical comments by commentators and a response by the person whose research project it is.

Additional information about the journal available on the Legal Theory Blog:

http://lsolum.typepad.com/legaltheory/2010/09/journal-announcement-the-jerusalem-review-of-legal-studies.html


Bibliography on British and Irish Legal History

Bibliography on British and Irish Legal History

complied by Jacqueline Woolham

40 Cambrian Law Review 107 (2009)

“This bibliography is confined to items of more than a few pages in length relating to British and Irish legal history which hav ebeen published in the last few years.”

Roman Law at the University of Buenos Aires

Researchers of Latin American law often encounter references to Roman law in doctrinal works and secondary resources. The University of Buenos Aires School of Law  maintains a Web page dedicated to Roman Law. The site contains articles on various topics, conference papers, links, and an in-depth introduction to legal Latin. All content is in Spanish.

Cátedra de derecho romano del Dr. Norberto Darío RinaldiUniversidad de Buenos Aires, Facultad de derecho

http://www.edictum.com.ar/

Click on “Romanistas” to access to majority of the content:

http://www.edictum.com.ar/miWeb4/profesores.htm

Online Italian language legal dictionaries

Edizione Giuridiche Simone has made available a collection of Italian language dictionaries free of charge. The Law Dictionary (Dizionario giuridico) includes annotations  to legislation. Other dictionaries  inclide canonical law, political philosophy and the Historical Dictionary of Italian and European Law (Dizionario storico del dritto italiano ed europeo).  These dictionaries are searchbale free of charge, but all content is in Italian. Grazie mille ai nostri amici dell’ EGS.

Edizione Giuridiche Simone online dictionaries

http://www.dizionarionline.it/