Deconstructing Iurisdictio: The adventures of a legal category in the hands of the humanist jurists

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Abstract

This chapter looks at the legal humanists' approach on the concept of iurisdictio, and at the reaction of civil lawyers to the humanists' critique. It explores the reasons why legal humanists rejected the traditional interpretation of iurisdictio as found in the Accursian Gloss and subsequently developed by the mainstream civilians, and it highlights the difficulties that the same legal humanists encountered when they sought to provide a new and coherent interpretation. While quite united in their offensive against the civilians' understanding of iurisdictio, legal humanists could hardly agree on anything when it came to offer an alternative interpretation. The problem was not (or not so much) that each humanist had a different view as to the precise meaning of some Latin terms. Faithfulness to the pristine sources and Classical Latin came at price: once rejected the Bartolist architecture, the whole legal framework would just collapse. This was the main reason why civilians sought to reply to the humanists' attack and to shield the concept of iurisdictio from the accusation of unfaithfulness to the Roman sources. Civilians were as deeply imbued with Classical culture as their humanist counterparts, so they took the accusation of unfaithfulness to the Roman sources very seriously. But civilians were first and foremost lawyers. Important as they were, Roman sources remained a means to an end.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationReassessing Legal Humanism and its Claims
Subtitle of host publicationPetere Fontes?
EditorsPaul J. Du Plessis, John W. Cairns
Place of PublicationEdinburgh
PublisherEdinburgh University Press
Chapter3
Pages59-87
Number of pages29
ISBN (Electronic)9781474408868, 9781474408875
ISBN (Print)9781474408851
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2015
EventAd fontes: Reassessing Legal Humanism and its Claims - Old College, Edinburgh Law School, Edinburgh, United Kingdom
Duration: 7 Jun 20138 Jun 2013
http://www.centreforlegalhistory.ed.ac.uk/past_events/ad_fontes_reassessing_legal_humanism_and_its_claims

Publication series

NameEdinburgh Studies in Law
PublisherEdinburgh University Press
Volume15

Conference

ConferenceAd fontes: Reassessing Legal Humanism and its Claims
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
CityEdinburgh
Period7/06/138/06/13
Internet address

Keywords

  • jurisdiction
  • judge
  • legal humanism
  • Bartolism
  • late ius commune

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