Studies in Legal History

Studies in Legal History

This series, published in collaboration with the American Society for Legal History, consists of books that address key issues in legal history. The series hosts work of unusual distinction by older and younger scientists. Most of the published volumes in the series deal with American legal history, although a considerable number deal with European topics. There are no chronological, cultural or geographical boundaries for the volumes in the series. For more information, see on the series` website. This book offers a legal historical overview of colonial slavery laws and the plantation system in the British West Indies. The volume is a work of comparative legal history of the English-speaking Caribbean that focuses on how England`s laws served to catalyze slavery. The history of law enriches our understanding of the law, improves our understanding of current problems and allows us to imagine new alternatives. Researchers study how legal ideas, doctrines, and institutions change over time, and examine how they shape and are shaped by social, cultural, political, and economic contexts. Legal historians are guided by figures such as judges and legislators, as well as ordinary people, who express their own ideas about what law is and what it should be.

„An essential component of well-rounded professional education is a broad foundation in the history of law.“ – A History of Columbia Law School Two courses provide background information and insights into important parts of the Anglo-American legal past. In his seminar on English Legal History: Foundations of American Law, Professor James Oldham uses original sources to process the manuscripts in order to introduce students to the English common law system of the 18th century, much of which was transplanted to the colonies. American legal history, taught by Professor Daniel Ernst, takes up the years since Reconstruction with particular emphasis on the development of the American state. Heikki Tapio Pihlajamäki is Professor of Comparative Legal History at the Faculty of Law, University of Helsinki, Finland. He has published numerous works in several languages on various aspects of comparative legal history. Roman law has evolved over a thousand years and continues to influence contemporary legal systems around the world. In this course, we will examine the parts of Roman private law that correspond to the Anglo-American law of family, property, wills, and succession. The readings consist of extracts (in translation) from Roman legal sources, mainly the Digest of Justinian. No basic knowledge of Roman law or Roman history is required. The rest of the offerings allow students to conduct their own research in particular areas of expertise of their professors, including jury history, history of ideas, social history of gender and family, and constitutional history of discourse in the United States. With turning points in the civil rights movement such as Brown v.

Board of Education (1954) and the civil rights laws of the 1960s, eliminating racial subordination in America seemed an achievable goal. Yet racial minorities in America today continue to suffer social and economic disadvantage, and race relations remain strained in many ways. Whether the law has supported or hindered the cause of civil rights in the past, and to what extent the law can contribute to the resolution of racial problems now and in the future, are highly controversial issues. This course will examine the law`s response to racial issues in a variety of legal contexts. Topics likely include the extent of racial and racial discrimination, intimate relationships, child placement, employment, education and integration, policing and criminal sanctions, freedom of expression and political participation. Courses focus on open discussions and participatory exercises on the issues raised by the assigned material. The course will cover most of the historical „race cases“ decided by the U.S. Supreme Court.

This course will examine contemporary strategies used by movements seeking rights and social change. An early wave of criticism in the analysis of law and social change focused on the distinction between rule change and cultural change, highlighting the shortcomings of litigation and reliance on the courts to bring about profound or lasting change. Today, most legal organizations have significantly shifted the process-driven model to pursue a more coherent strategy with multidimensional advocacy, an approach to social change that confidently uses multiple strategies for change, including litigation, legislation, administrative and policy advocacy. This series covers the general field of comparative legal history and includes contributions that focus on both „internal“ legal history, i.e. doctrinal and disciplinary developments in law, and „external“ legal history, i.e. legal ideas and institutions in broader contexts. Taking into account the different legal traditions around the world, the series also hosts works dealing with other laws and customs from around the world. Temporally or geographically, the series considers both similar legal and normative traditions. Funding will be given to work that includes views from different schools of thought and contributions from comparative and transnational historiography, including interdisciplinary approaches.

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