Leiden Islam Blog

Dossier: Legal history

  • Law making by way of preliminary reference

    Law making by way of preliminary reference

    The preliminary reference procedure is not a modern invention. It has travelled a long way through time and space – from southern to northern Europe, from Roman imperial times to the 21st century.
  • The death penalty in medieval Nuremberg

    The death penalty in medieval Nuremberg

    The death penalty is running out of favour. The legal argument is, among others, that erroneous judgments are irrevocable. Moral arguments include the sanctity of human life. Economically, the death penalty leads to high costs. These arguments are not new.
  • Law Making at the Roman imperial Court

    Law Making at the Roman imperial Court

    The law making process and the relation between the legislator and the courts in the Netherlands is greatly influenced by Montesquieu’s theory on the separation of powers (the trias politica). Is there another way? A Roman perspective.
  • Of Judges and Hitmen

    Of Judges and Hitmen

    A common phenomenon: an individual has perverted the course of justice by paying a judge to hand down a judgement in his or her favour. The contract being immoral and void, does the law provide for an action to recover the bribe?
  • What have the Greeks ever done for us?

    What have the Greeks ever done for us?

    Rome had all the good laws and Athens had all the good plays. So, a jurist may wonder what use the Greeks could be to him. But he would do well not to pass tragedy over: it is not only great fun but also a window into the history and nature of law.
  • Death and taxes: the curious case of Mrs. Moschis

    Death and taxes: the curious case of Mrs. Moschis

    Litigants matter. Their social position speaks volumes about access to justice. This is as true now as it was in ancient Rome, except that the Romans are, put bluntly, long dead. But every now and then they can be brought back to life: meet Mrs. Moschis.
  • Some more equal than others

    Some more equal than others

    The creation of European citizenship was not without parallel. In 212 AD, emperor Caracalla granted citizenship to all who lived in the Roman world. To all? Slaves were exempted, and that raises the question who else missed out on becoming a Roman citizen.
  • Judging the Empire: the Emperor as Judge

    Judging the Empire: the Emperor as Judge

    Scattered in the Digests are the remains of a book by the famous jurist Julius Paulus, containing reports of cases judged by several Roman emperors. The Leiden Legal History Department has won an NWO grant to reconstruct this book and its social setting.
  • And it came to pass…

    And it came to pass…

    Roughly 20% of the Dutch population will visit a church this Christmas to hear the story of a birth that happened over 2,000 years ago. How much of it is history?