A History of European Law by Paolo Grossi

By Paolo Grossi

This booklet explores the improvement of legislation in Europe from its medieval origins to the current day, charting the transformation from legislations rooted within the Church and native group in the direction of a popularity of the centralised, secular authority of the country.

  • Shows how those alterations replicate the broader political, financial, and cultural advancements inside ecu history
  • Demonstrates the variety of traditions among ecu states and the probabilities and obstacles within the look for universal eu values and goals

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Ius commune was a law created by jurists, by those steeped in legal learning – judges, notaries, advocates and above all scholars. indd 29 1/20/2010 10:54:51 AM 30 medieval roots immersed in the tangible nature of the legal experience. They did not hesitate to make themselves available, whether as advisers to those who wielded power; as legal counsel to the parties in a case or to the judge; or as practising advocates or notaries. The ius commune was born out of the complex dialogue that these jurists set up between the facts of contemporary life and the rules laid down in the texts of ancient Rome.

Situations of effective use of goods were now elevated to the rank of dominium utile (‘ownership through use’). This gave rise to the long-lived theory of divisible property, which survived up to the eve of the French Revolution. The ius commune was a pluralistic endeavour which spoke with the voice of an entire community of jurists and knew no borders. This late medieval law without a state can be likened to the handiwork of a class of skilled tradesmen engaged in the construction of a large building.

Although it was certainly absorbed by very diverse local traditions, every jurist, whether a theorist or a practitioner, was able to draw from it tools and solutions suited to his legal innovations. The ius commune was born in the culturally fertile terrain of northcentral Italy, specifically in the University of Bologna: the alma mater of legal scholarship. It then spread out across the whole of Europe, uniting it under one legal vocabulary and set of concepts and so allowing any jurist to feel at home wherever his travels across the politically fractured continent took him.

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