Legal History

ldroi1004l  2019-2020  Louvain-la-Neuve

Legal History
Note from June 29, 2020
Although we do not yet know how long the social distancing related to the Covid-19 pandemic will last, and regardless of the changes that had to be made in the evaluation of the June 2020 session in relation to what is provided for in this learning unit description, new learnig unit evaluation methods may still be adopted by the teachers; details of these methods have been - or will be - communicated to the students by the teachers, as soon as possible.
6 credits
60.0 h
Main themes
External history: a comparative approach to the history of the formal 'sources' of the law (custom, statutes, case-law, doctrine, general principles) in different Western European countries, from the Middle Ages to the present day. The interpretative key to these developments will be political history. Internal history: the theme may vary from one year to the next, and may relate to either private law or public law or both. The emphasis is again on the long-term metamorphoses of legal systems and institutions. The themes illustrate the main developments described in the section on external history.
Contents:(see also 'main themes', above): 1. External history; 2. The internal history of one or more particular legal institutions or an area of law; 3. Practicals: reading and analysing primary legal sources (statute law, case law, doctrine etc.) Teaching methods: Parts 1 and 2 are taught systematically, i.e. following a general structure and detailed plan for each part. The teaching is meant to explain and interpret the material made available (textbook and outlines), so as to minimise the need to take notes during the lectures. For the practicals, set questions relating to the texts to be prepared will be discussed.
Other information
Prerequisites: none. Students may wish to widen their notions of European political history, for example by regularly using a scholarly historical atlas cum chronology. Assessment and examination methods: these are detailed at the beginning and the end of the course. The questions relating to Parts 1 and 2 include (a) questions on historical 'facts', and (b) questions on interpretation (requiring the student to balance the pros and cons of a particular historical assessment or statement, e.g. "The French Civil Code of 1804 was a break with the past"). Each examination also includes questions on the texts discussed during the practicals. Course materials: Part 1: R.C. van Caenegem, Introduction historique au droit privé; Part 2: outlines published on the electronic notice board; Practicals: reader available from the students' retail service
Manuel (Alain Wijffels, Introduction historique au droit, Paris, PUF, 2010).
Faculty or entity