Workshop: Ius Commune in the Making Networks in the History of Private Law

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The Workshops on ‘Comparative Legal History–Ius Commune in the Making’ aim to reveal and understand the nature and effects of various legal formants in the development of law. Indeed, forces of legal formants are too often lost or hidden beneath a superficies of commonalities. In the past, we have explored the role of legal actors (Edinburgh 2014), legal sources (Maastricht 2016), force of local laws (Utrecht 2017) and methods and dynamics of law (Amsterdam 2018). The current Workshop aims now to explore our contemporary emerging concept of ‘networks’ in a comparative-historical perspective. These networks shape and challenge boundaries of traditional legal categories (e.g., persons, things, contracts, torts, actions) as semi-autonomous social fields (Sally Falk Moore 1973), and thus have always grown and waned, and have had an impact on law and society. Networks are a form of social arrangement, and grow and nurture in that sfumato and agonal human environment–these days even electronically. History shows that at all times these social arrangements have taken shape; actors tend to group themselves in clusters to survive, attain synergy, to strengthen their positions to serve common interests. Networks have different origins, objectives, and attain different effects. Some networks interact for a common goal, while others act in isolation. Networks can have a temporary presence or even attain a more permanent and even formal place in society, contributing to its resilience or decline. In legal terms: they may have influence in, on the one hand, persons reaching consensus and (legally) acting in the private life (e.g., persons, things, obligations, torts, actions) or, on the other hand, the public life (e.g., legislation, administration, judicial decisions). Networks–or social arrangements–may be found all over. Different time-periods in the order of law, including Roman law, the learned ius commune, nineteenth-century codification, and the more recent efforts towards a European private law harmonization will offer us insights on the role of networks. Law in the making can be better explained by a look into the role of networks at different times and places.
Period28 Nov 2019
Event typeWorkshop
Conference number24
LocationLeuven, BelgiumShow on map