News and Notices

of the Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory
(formerly Max Planck Institut for European Legal History) since 2013

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CfA: Max Planck Summer Academy for Legal History 2024

We are inviting highly motivated early-stage research students, primarily PhD candidates, to apply for the Max Planck Summer Academy for Legal History 2024. This immersive program, scheduled from July 1 to July 12, 2024, offers a unique opportunity for participants to delve into both traditional and contemporary approaches in legal history. This year’s theme: The mediality and materiality of law. more

The Language of Ordoliberalism and European Competition Law

Anselm Küster’s innovative study shines a light on the ordoliberal school of competition thought as a distinctive linguistic community whose conceptual and semantic influence extended far beyond the borders of Germany and contributed decisively to the shaping of European competition law. The negotiations on the founding treaties of the European Community were still marked by diverse normative notions of what competition is and what role it should play. However, the scholarly discourse as well as the decisions by the European Commission and the verdicts by the European Courts definitely carried the imprint of ordoliberalism, the competition concept promoted by the Freiburg School. more

EU's Impact on International Law Development

Teresa Vieira da Silva Cabrita delves into the narrative of the EU's distinctive role in international law development, originating from Article 3(5) of the Treaty on European Union and rooted in the 1970s and 1980s. Her project explores this narrative through three lenses: the constitutional perspective of Member State delegations, the judicial perspective of individual judges, and the international perspective of EU lawyers at global organizations. more

Lauren Benton and Thomas Duve

The American Society for Legal History has named Thomas Duve an Honorary Fellow – its highest distinction. The Society recognises outstanding scholars whose research has shaped the broad discipline of legal history and influenced the work of others. The Society honors Thomas Duve as an erudite and seemingly indefatigable historian who created new institutions and ways to promote the next generation of legal historians on a transnational level. more

Common Law Dynamics

Common Law Dynamics

October 10, 2023

Martin O'Donoghue's research project dissects the interplay between British colonial governance and the indigenous legal systems of Ireland and India. By analyzing the intricacies of parliamentary structures, legislative relationships, and the essence of popular sovereignty, he seeks to unveil the layers of constitutional evolution in the post-colonial landscape, shedding new light on the enduring significance of the Westminster model amidst the ebb and flow of changing socio-political landscapes. more

Bruno Lima awarded the Walter-Kolb-Gedächtnispreis

We congratulate Bruno Rodrigues de Lima, who has been awarded the Walter-Kolb-Gedächtnispreis 2022 for his dissertation 'We Have Laws and I Know What I Will" - Luis Gama and the Normative Production of Freedom in Nineteenth-Century Brazil. The prize, which has been in existence since 1957, is sponsored by the City of Frankfurt am Main and awarded every year for academically outstanding doctoral dissertations. more

Law as a science

Law as a science

September 26, 2023

‘Law as a science’ is the topic of a conference taking place here at the mpilhlt dedicated to Jan Schröder’s two-volume work of the same title. Before the event, we had the chance to speak to the author of the history of legal methodology from the late Middle Ages to the end of the 20th century about the concept of ‘science’, the Copernican Revolution in law and the state of ‘law as a science’ in the German-speaking world. more

'A Paradigm Shift in Common Law Theory'

The intersection of theory, practice, and history of law has always been a captivating subject. Few individuals embody this multifaceted approach as effectively as Prof Shivprasad Swaminathan. He's currently on a Humboldt Fellowship at our Institute, where he's studying the theory and method in the common law. In our interview he explores the state of private law in India, the need for a new approach to common law theory, and the potential of historical perspectives in modern jurisprudence. more

Actors, Groups and Identities in Legal History

This year's Summer Academy brought together twenty participants with a broad range of personal and academic backgrounds for two weeks of intensive exchange. As part of an overarching programme of introductory lectures on select research fields in legal history under the theme ‘Actors, groups and identities in legal history’, the early doctoral candidates had the opportunity to present their work to an audience of research colleagues. Lively discussions and fruitful questions emerged over the course of the two weeks between the participants who were all at a similar point in their academic careers. more

Evidences of Truth

Evidences of Truth

August 23, 2023

The writings of Francisco Rodrigues SJ (1515–1573) have influenced generations of confessors in areas under the patronage of the Iberian crowns, including India, China, Japan, and the Philippines. The collective book project ‚Evidences of Truth‘, led by Rômulo da Silva Ehalt, aims to explore the life and times of this often overlooked figure in the history of Jesuit missions in Asia under the Portuguese Padroado, shedding light on Normative Knowledge Production in Early Modern Portuguese Asia. more

In memoriam Michael Stolleis

This volume of the Studien zur europäischen Rechtsgeschichte was published to honour the memory of Michael Stolleis (1941–2021). The contributions shine a light on the many facets of the jurist and historian Michael Stolleis. Essays by colleagues and contemporaries recall his œuvre in the field of legal history, and friends offer personal recollections to paint a rich portrait of this extraordinary scholar. This volume also contains an interview with Stolleis in which he gives an account of his understanding of ‘legal history’, emerging as a life-long narrator of (hi)stories of law. more

The Multifaceted Conception of Freedom

In our society, the concept of "freedom" appears in various forms: be it in the constitution, talk shows, or music. But what does freedom actually mean? Marietta Auer elaborates in a captivating discussion with moderator Charlotte Thielmann on how the notion of freedom has evolved historically and how it is continually reinterpreted depending on context and individual convictions. more

Unveiling Historical Regimes of Normativity

The Irmandade de Nossa Senhora da Misericórdia was a charitable brotherhood that emerged in Lisbon in 1498 and spread into the multiple spaces of the Portuguese empire. In her doctoral project, Karoline Marques Machado aims to analyze the role of the brotherhood during the Early Modern Period to understand how these institutions established themselves in the most distinct areas of the Portuguese Crown. more

The Origins of Legal Protection of Cultural Heritage in the 19th Century

The edicts on the antiquities and artworks issued in the Papal States and Greece in the early 19th century constitute the first comprehensive legislation for the protection of heritage in Europe. In this new volume of the Studien zur europäischen Rechtsgeschichte, such laws are analysed from a cultural, juridical and art-historical perspective. more

Studien zur Rechtstheorie – Norberto Bobbio’s early writings inaugurate our new publication series

The first volume in the publication series edited by the mpilhlt appeared in 1971. After over 340 volumes, this revered series is receiving a companion: “Studien zur Rechtstheorie”. The inaugural publication in the series is an edition comprising two previously unpublished dissertations of one of the most important European legal philosophers and engaging thinkers of the 20th century: Norberto Bobbio (1909–2004). more

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