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Deadline for the XVIth European Forum of Young Legal Historians


Law on Stage

24th-28th March
2010 in Frankfurt am Main

Law appears in various forms. Whether within codes of law, in files, legal documents, by
handshake and contracts vis-à-vis a notary, or as finally implemented in courtrooms – law
adopts a unique expression. Graceful, sacred, authoritative, and pragmatic: law is being

The European Forum of Young Legal Historians seeks to investigate how these particular
forms have emerged and shifted throughout history, and their significance for the legal
culture of that time.

Law is only evident through its forms. The perspective of Legal History, however, offers an
opportunity to approach this relationship between law and its various forms, where these
forms may operate as a facade for normative claims or carry significance on their own. Legal
forms emerge from traditions, as a product of shifting legal customs, and through the
inherent dynamics of form. Also, legal forms have legitimated new legal contents serving
lawmakers’ strategic ends. Change also arises through the action of those subject to the legal
norms. So the question to be addressed is: How does law achieve its forms?

This view on the forms of law is also an invitation to reflect on different theoretical and
scientific approaches taken in the jurisprudence throughout history. Rules and practices of
interpretation, attempts to systematize and integrate legal norms, as well as discussions of
the autonomy of law, were also always questions of form. Did one believe in the “pure core”
of law behind the form or was the form itself of value? The question we would like to explore
is: When and how was the relationship between form and the content of law discussed within

Finally, the variety of forms evokes questions pertaining to the methodology of legal history.
Historical sources can only reveal a fraction of the forms chosen by law in a certain period of
time. In order to properly analyse these forms, we usually draw upon thick contextualisation
of the subject matter; however, there are a variety of difficulties encountered depending on
the period and theme being studied. The Forum should open a space for discussion of such
methodological problems; therefore we invite the participants to offer insight and critical
reflection on their research method.

We are looking forward to receiving contributions addressing the diverse ways of “staging”
law throughout legal history. Please send your abstract (max. 2000 characters) by 16th of
November 2009
as well as a short academic CV at [email protected]. The regular
fee for participants giving a paper will be 50 €, for all other 70 €. We are trying to arrange

Further information on the Association of Young Legal Historians and past Forums as well as
up-to-date information is available on www.aylh.org.

We look forward to your application and to welcoming you in Frankfurt am Main in Spring

Към новина: 28/09/2009 Call for Papers for the XVIth European Forum of Young Legal Historians

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