First panel session
Panel 1: Functional Constitutionalism I: High Points in the Low Countries
Chair: Dr Judit Beke-Martos (Ruhr University in Bochum)
Speakers: : Prof. Frederik Dhondt (Free University of Brussels & Ghent Legal History Institute), Dr Klaas Van Gelder (Ghent University), Dr Brecht Deseure (Free University of Brussels)
The participants take a functional approach to law as an instrument. Through the connecting link of Belgian history, the panelists examine individual chapters, where seemingly contradicting events prove the instrumentality of law. During the period of constitution-making in Belgium, between the end of the 18th and the beginning of the 19th century, numerous events and people (presented in the papers) demonstrate the functionality of the constitution. Professor Dhondt examines resistance against attempts to centralize and unify administration in the Southern Netherlands, and delves in to the legal components of opposing political narratives.
Dr. Van Gelder examines the understanding and evaluation of the Treaty of The Hague (1790) as being at the same time a violation of a constitution (Brabant) and an opportunity to improve the existing legal order (Flanders). Dr. Deseure analyzes the political players during the formation and adoption of the 1831 Belgian Constitution with special emphasis on the effects of the Ancient Constitution as an example of how legal texts function as (political) instruments. The papers contribute to a panel, which explains the constitutional development and political debate of the time period.
Dr Klaas Van Gelder
Klaas Van Gelder (°1983) is a postdoctoral fellow of Flanders Research Foundation, affiliated with the history department of Ghent University, Belgium. He began his academic career as research and teaching assistant at Ghent University from 2005 to 2011, a period in which he completed his PhD on the transition from Spanish to Austrian rule in the Southern Netherlands, and all the problems this entailed with respect to personnel, administration and legitimization. This dissertation is currently in press. Since 2012, he has worked as a postdoctoral fellow on eighteenth-century political history, including research on bureaucratization processes, political culture, state ceremonies such as joyous entries and investitures, and network analysis of the top strata of the Austrian Monarchy. In 2014 he was a half-year visiting fellow at the Institut für Geschichte at Vienna University, Austria. Publications include articles in English, German, French and Dutch, among others in the Zeitschrift für Historische Forschung and the Revue d’Histoire moderne et contemporaine.
Prof. Frederik Dhondt
Free University of Brussels & Ghent University
Dr Brecht Deseure
Free University of Brussels
Prof. Dr. Frederik Dhondt (°1984) is a lecturer in political and constitutional history at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB) and a postdoctoral research fellow of the Research foundation Flanders (FWO) at Ghent University, Belgium. Frederik Dhondt studied law (Ghent, 2007), history (Ghent/Paris-Sorbonne, 2008) and international relations (Sciences Po Paris 2009). He defended his doctoral dissertation in legal history under the direction of Dirk Heirbaut in September 2013, prepared as a Ph.D.-Fellowship of the Research Foundation Flanders (FWO) (dissertation published as Balance of Power and Norm Hierarchy. Franco-British Diplomacy after the Peace of Utrecht, Brill, 2015). Afterwards, he served as a faculty postdoctoral assistant at the Ghent Law School. He was a visiting fellow at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (Geneva), the Max Planck Institutes for European Legal History (Frankfurt am Main) and International Law (Heidelberg). His current research focuses on foreign legal expressions of Belgian 19th Century neutrality. Publications include articles in the Legal History Review, Comparative Legal History and the Journal of the History of International Law.
Dr. Brecht Deseure is an historian specializing in the political history of the revolutionary era. The focus of his research is on the political culture of the succeeding regimes in Belgium between the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth century. He furthermore has an interest in the history of historical consciousness, constitutional history and historical theory. His dissertation (University of Antwerp, 2011) was on the politics of history pursued by the French revolutionary and Napoleonic governments in the annexed territories. He has worked as a postdoctoral researcher and as a lecturer at various universities in Belgium, Holland and Germany. He is currently employed as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Passau, where he is involved in an European Research Council-sponsored project led by professor Ulrike Müßig concerning the genesis of modern constitutions in Europe in a comparative perspective. He has published a monograph and numerous peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters.
Panel 2: The Legal Transplant and the Building of National Legal Identities In Central Eastern Europe
Chair: Philippe Hellwege (University of Augsburg & University of Oxford)
Speakers: Prof. Manuel Gutan (University Lucian Blaga of Sibiu), Dr Martin Belov (University of Sofia "St. Kliment Ohridski"),
Dr Michał Gałędek (University of Gdańsk) & Dr Piotr Pomianowski (University of Warsaw)
This panel is proposing an historical analyses of the theoretical (ideological) and practical strategies developed by the national legal elites of the CEE countries, in the 19th century in order to build a national legal identity, as a response to / in the context of the (more or less) massive legal transplant undertaken from the Western European legal models.
Which would be the scientific relevance of this theme? Different answers are possible but only few are worthy to be emphasized at this moment: to develop a thorough analyses, in English language, of the CEE countries’ legal history, especially about their perspective on the process of legal transplantation; to feed the increase interest in the topic of ‘legal identity’ manifested in Comparative Legal Studies, and to offer the chance to capture, in a comparative-historical perspective, the particularities of the CEE countries’ legal identity; last but not least, to respond to the increasing interest in the topic of ‘legal identity’ manifested in the context of European legal integration.
There is nowadays a significant lack of thorough knowledge among the Western and Eastern European legal scholars as regards the specificity of the CEE countries’ legal history and legal culture and an uncritical disregard of their particularities. This situation is explained both by the lack of language skills and by the lack of comprehensive literature in English language. Moreover, the Western European literature treating the legal transplants are mainly self-centered, focusing either on the recent legal transplants between the ‘Roman-Germanic’ and ‘Common Law’ legal traditions or on the Western legal traditions’ expansion to the Eastern Europe. In this context, a perspective from within, in English language, would have the chance to partially fill the existing gap. On the other hand, a particular comparative analyses regarding the pre-communist paths towards national legal identity in the CEE countries would be enlightening in the framework of Comparative Legal Studies and Comparative Legal History. Analysing the development of national legal identities in particular socio-legal, economic, political and cultural contexts of the CEE countries, as a response to the massive legal transplants undertaken for modernizing purposes, could produce seminal knowledge inside the above mentioned disciplines.
Finally, there is an increasing scientific interest in the national legal identities in the context of European legal integration. The unexpected and, sometimes, undesired magnitude of the legal transplantation process, more or less willingly undertaken by the member states’ legal systems and the manifested (mainly academic)
reluctance towards the process of legal unification at the European level is encouraging the debate about national legal identity (especially about national constitutional identity). This issue has particular coordinates in the CEE region, where (generally) former socialist and transitional countries have joined EU after the fall of the communist regimes. Their transitional status developed European expectations not only as regards their capacity to transplant the huge mass of European regulations and directives but also as regards their capacity to develop necessary legal-cultural sameness with the Western European legal traditions. Unfortunately, some contemporary legal comparatists superficially appreciate the fall of the communism in CEE as a (legal) cultural collapse, creating a legal-cultural void in need of a Western legal model to rebuild from the ground. This perspective ignores an irrefutable truth: not only the CEE countries have had pre-communist national legal traditions, but also they are interested to recover and fructify them after the fall of the communism
It is well-known the fact that the legal modernization in the CEE countries occurred, during the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, through more or less massive appeal to legal transplants from the Western legal traditions. But this process did not imply a comfortable and unrestrained march of the Western legal values, principles and institutions through the legal cultures of the CEE countries. Indeed, in most of the cases, the legal transplantation was willingly done by the legal and political elites. However, legal modernization through legal transplant wasn’t a pure process of westernisation by way of successful adaptation of the transplanted legal institutions to the importing societies. It was frequently marked by failure and resistance. It also frequently implied a wide range of ideological debates and tensions between the adepts of the slow and urgent modernisation, between the ‘fans’ of the organic grow and the ‘fans’ of the artificial synchronization, between the conservative and liberals, between the defenders of the national legal traditions and the promoters of the Western legal traditions. This is why, beyond the effective processes of the legal transplantation and the adaptation of the transplanted institutions in the importing societies, legal modernization meant a deep and intense ideological quest for the national legal-self. The ideological ‘fight’ for the national legal identity as a concrete reaction to the legal modernisation through legal transplant has been a particular mark of the CEE countries in the period of building and consolidating the nation-state.
Prof. Manuel Guțan
Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu
Dr Martin Belov
University of Sofia "St. Kliment Ohridski"
Dr Michał Gałędek
University of Gdańsk
Manuel Gutan, Professor at the Lucian Blaga University of Sibiu, Faculty of Law, where he teaches history of law and comparative law. His mains areas of research are history of constitutional law, history of public administration, constitutional transplants, law and culture. Dr. Gutan is currently the Editor-in-Chief of the Romanian Journal of Comparative Law. He recently published a book on ‘Constitutional Transplants and Constitutionalism in Modern Romania 1802-1866’ (2013, in Romanian). His recent publications include: ‘Legal Transplant as Socio-Cultural Engineering in Modern Romania’, in Konflikt und Koexistenz. Die Rechtsordnungen Südosteuropas im 19. und 20. Jahrhundert Bd. I: Rumänien, Bulgarien, Griechenland, ed. by Jani Kirov, Gerd Bender and Michael Stolleis, forthcoming (2014) Duncker & Humblot; ‘Le droit comparé contemporain et l’actualité de la théorie des « formes sans fond » en Roumanie’ (2013) 90 Revue de droit international et de droit compare; The Challenges of the Romanian Constitutional Tradition. I. Between Ideological Transplant and Institutional Metamorphoses’ (2013) 25 Journal of Constitutional History; Comparative Law in Romania: History, Present and Perspectives’ (2010) 1 Romanian Journal of Comparative Law.
Dr. Martin Belov, Chief Assistant Professor at the University of Sofia "St.Kliment Ohridski" and at the New Bulgarian University. He is lecturer in Comparative and European Constitutional Law at the State Academy of Saxony (Germany). Martin Belov has been visiting researcher at Max-Planck Institute for European Legal History (Frankfurt/Main, Germany), Max-Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law (Heidelberg, Germany), the Institute for Federalism (Fribourg, Switzerland) and ZEDES “Germanicum” (Dresden/Sofia). He has been guest lecturer at the universities of Cologne (Germany), Milan (Italy), Lisbon (Portugal), Warsaw (Poland) and Lodz (Poland). Martin Belov has specialized at the universities of Gent (Belgium), Strasbourg (France), Hamburg, Cologne and Bremen (Germany) and Vienna (Austria) as well as at the European Academy for Legal Theory (Brussels, Belgium). Martin Belov has 7 books and more than 60 scientific papers. He is member of the Board of Coordinators of the Central and Eastern European Forum of Young Legal, Political and Social Theorists.
Michał Gałędek, PhD, in his research explores primarily issues connected to the history of administration and shaping of the Polish legal culture in the 19th century. He was the principal investigator of the Joint Center for History and Economics of Harvard University & University of Cambridge project "How to Rebuild the Feudal World? The Backward Poland at the Turn of the 18th and 19th Centuries in Clash with the Western European Legal, Political and Economic Thought” (2013, co-authored with Dr A. Klimaszewska) and of the National Science Center, "Administrative Thought in the Kingdom of Poland 1814-1831"(since 2014). He is also the key investigator of the projects of the National Science Center “National Codification - a Phantasm or a Realistic Alternative? In the Circle Debates over the Native Court Law System in the Constitutional Kingdom of Poland” (since 2016) and "Implementation of the French Rules of Commercial Law in the Duchy of Warsaw, Constitutional Kingdom of Poland and the Republic of Krakow - Code de Commerce in Clash with the Polish Reality" (since 2014). He holds of a Scholarship awarded by the Minister of Science and Higher Education to Outstanding Young Scholars (since 2013).
Piotr Pomianowski is an assistant professor at the University of Warsaw (Institute of History of Law, Faculty ofﾠLaw and Administration). His scientific interests focus mainly onﾠjudicial law and legal culture in the territory of the former Commonwealth of Both Nations in theﾠ19th century. He graduated from MA studies at the University of Warsaw (2002-2009) and obtained MA diplomas in law, sociology and political science. He was a PhD student in the years 2007 – 2012. During the MA and PhD studies Piotr Pomianowski was an active member of students’ unions (the president of the Board of the University of Warsaw Students’ Union, the president of the Board of the University of Warsaw PhD Students’ Union, the member of Senate and various councils and commissions).
In 2012 he received his PhD degree in law for aﾠthesisﾠentitledﾠThe beginnings of Polish law journals – first series of “Themis Polska”, describing the first Polish scientific law journal (published as a book in 2015). He currently works on a research project The Napoleonic divorce regulation in the practice of Polish courts financed by the National Science Centre.
Moreover, Piotr Pomianowski is a legal advisor specializing in the freedom of information in Poland. He has been a coordinator of several projects connected with the freedom of information financed by the Stefan Batory Foundation since 2010 (focused on members of the Polish Parliament, the Chancellery of the Sejm and Senate and disciplinary proceedings against persons who practise professions of public trust).
Dr Piotr Pomianowski
University of Warsaw
Panel 3: New Vehicles and Transport Infrastructure: International Influences and Instrumentalism in Nordic Law, 1890-1940
Chair: Prof. Steven Wilf (University of Connectictut)
Speakers: Mr Jussi Sallila (University of Helsinki), Prof. Mia Korpiola (University of Turku), Dr Markus Kari (University of Helsinki)
Jussi Sallila is a doctoral candidate in legal history at the Faculty of Law, University of Helsinki. His thesis, to be completed in 2015, is a study of the development of bankruptcy law in Sweden and Finland from the 17th to the 19th century. His study in the project will focus on the modernization of company law in 19th century Finland.
Dr Jussi Sallila
University of Helsinki
Prof. Mia Korpiola
University of Turku
Dr Markus Kari
University of Helsinki
Mia Korpiola became Candidate of Law in 1996, Licentiate of Law in 1998 and Doctor of Law in 2004 (University of Helsinki). She obtained the title of Docent in Legal History in 2007 (University of Helsinki). She has also studied university pedagogy. She had various research and teaching positions at the Faculty of Law of the University of Helsinki in 1997–2010 and 2013. She was a post doc researcher funded by the Academy of Finland in 2007–2009 and a fellow at the Helsinki Collegium for Advanced Studies (HCAS) in 2010–2013. She became professor of legal history in 2014.
Korpiola is a member of the international advisory board of Comparative Legal History and vice-president of the European Society for Comparative Legal History. She is also a member of the editorial boards of the Springer series Studies in the History of Law and Justiceﾠ and the Amsterdam University Press series Premodern Crime and Punishment
Mia Korpiola leads the research project Speeding towards the Future: New Vehicles, Modernization and the Law in Finland, 1830-1950, funded by the Kone Foundation. This research project with four other researchers, explores the legal history of vehicles and legal modernization. She also participates in the international research project ”Foundations and space of action of Nordic inheritance law: Strategies, relations and historical development c. 1100–2020”. In connection to this, she spent six months at the Centre for Advanced Study in Oslo in 2014–2015.
Markus Kari, LL.D., M.Sc.(Econ.&Bus.Adm.), is a post-doctoral researcher in Faculty of Law, University of Helsinki. In February 2016 he defended his doctoral thesis on the legal change of the Finnish
financial markets in the 1980's. In addition to teaching legal history, Dr. Kari is currently finalizing a project on Modernization of law through the history of legal aspects of aviation. He is also preparing a post-doctoral research project on the development of international law after the WWI.