Workshop in Helsinki: The cultural breach of 2nd World War and ‘Europe’ in historiography and legal thought

The “Reinventing the Foundations of European Legal Culture 1934-1964″ project is organizing a workshop in Helsinki on the 27th of January, 2015. The theme of the workshop is “The cultural breach of 2nd World War and ‘Europe’ in historiography and legal thought”. All sessions will take place at the social sciences faculty room (Unioninkatu 37, 00170 Helsinki). Please find the programme below.

9.15-10.45 Session 1
Chair: Kaius Tuori
Emanuele Conte: The Medieval “Order” as an Alternative to Individualist Rule of Law. The Enduring Fascination of the German Constitutional History.
Pia Letto-Vanamo: From Bologna to Brussels – Legal Historians and European Integration.

11.15-12.45 Session 2
Chair: Jacob Giltaij
Timo Miettinen: How to do philosophy with the past? Phenomenology and the origins of European universalism.
Kaius Tuori: The narrative of ‘European’ in legal history.

15.15-16.00 Session 3
Chair: Ville Erkkilä
Timo Pankakoski: European Legacies: The Perspective of Carl Schmitt Scholarship.

FoundLaw researchers at SIHDA 2014

Three of the project’s researchers gave presentations at the SIHDA 2014 (Société Internationale Fernand de Visscher pour l’Histoire des Droits de l’Antiquité). Jacob Giltaij spoke of “Legal method and legal ethics in Schulz, Principles of Roman Law“, while Tommaso Beggio gave a paper on “Il Diritto romano quale ‘Juristenrecht’ nel pensiero di Paul Koschaker”, and Kaius Tuori on “Judge Julia Domna? The Rule and the Exception on Imperial Adjudication”.

Upcoming events in May

Professor Thomas Bennett (University of Cape Town), a noted expert of customary law and international law, will give a paper titled “Ex Africa semper aliquid novi: Ubuntu, the African doctrine of equity” on Wednesday, May 14 at 2 pm at the Faculty of Law, Suomen Laki -hall in Porthania (Yliopistonkatu 3). The lecture is open for all.

Ex Africa semper aliquid novi: Ubuntu, the African doctrine of equity

Although an afterthought in South Africa’s Interim Constitution (1993), the term ‘ubuntu’ proved to be a vital means for giving the country’s majority African population a sense of ownership of the country’s new constitutional order. Ubuntu has been appropriated by courts and law-makers to function as a foundational principle in the South African legal system. The concept is obviously general and polysemous, and, as such, provides an idea of equity – previously lacking in South African law – that has been used to reconcile conflicts between rules and to decide hard cases. The development of an ubuntu jurisprudence is noteworthy because it marks the first time in Southern Africa that an indigenous concept has been introduced into the imported colonial laws (a precedent that has not gone unnoticed in other countries on the continent).

Oula Silvennoinen, the controversial historian of holocaust, will be coming to speak about “Holocaust Studies and the European Politics of Memory” on Tuesday, May 20 at 6 pm in the faculty room at the 5th floor of Porthania.

A presentation by Dr. Tommaso Beggio

On April 10th, at 4.15 pm, Dr. Tommaso Beggio (Dr. Univ. Pavia) will give a presentation on “Observations on the aes Italicense (or Senatusconsultum de pretiis ludorum gladiatorum minuendis, ILS 5163)”. The location of is the seminar room of Classical Philology in Metsätalo (Unioninkatu 40/Fabianinkatu 39, A-wing, 2nd floor. Entrance through the 3rd floor). Welcome!

Call for Papers: Totalitarianism, Law and the idea of Europe. 15-17 May, 2014, University of Helsinki, Finland

Deadline: February 15, 2014.

The purpose of the project “Reinventing the Foundations of European Legal Culture 1934-1964″ ( is to trace the genealogy of the idea of a common European legal past, its creation, influence and implications of the theory as an ideological project.

As the project’s first major event, we are organizing a workshop in Helsinki on the history of totalitarianism, nationalism and legal tradition(s). We therefore invite papers that explore the complex relationship between history and law from a variety of perspectives to advance our understanding of how legal traditions are created. Confirmed keynote speakers are Wolfgang Ernst (Zürich), Peter Fritzsche (Illinois), Nancy Partner (McGill), and Bo Stråth (Helsinki).

Potential themes include but are not limited to:
– Totalitarian ideologies and individual identities
– History and narratives
– Nationalism and law
– The discovery of Europe as a theme
– Continuity and discontinuity of the European (legal) tradition

The conference is organized by the FoundLaw project, funded by the European Research Council.

Please submit your abstract (300 words) as a [word/pdf] file to Heta Björklund at

Please include your name, academic affiliation and address in your email.

The deadline for submission of abstracts is February 15, 2014. We will inform of the selections by the end of February.

There is no registration fee. The organizers are unfortunately unable to aid in the travel arrangements or accommodation of participants.

FoundLaw welcomes Tommaso Beggio as our new post-doctoral researcher

The project has hired Dr. Tommaso Beggio for the second position of a post-doctoral researcher. Dr. Tommaso Beggio holds a PhD from the University of Pavia. His research interests include Roman Law, Latin Epigraphy and History of Roman Law, with a particular attention to the topics of the Roman Public and Criminal Law. His dissertation deals with the so-called Aes Italicense or Senatusconsultum de sumptibus ludorum gladiatorum minuendis, an epigraphical source, and it was composed partially during two research visits, one to the Leopold-Wenger Institut of the Ludwig-Maximilian Universität at Munich, the other to the Institut für geschichtliche Rechtswissenschaft of the Ruprechts-Karls-Universität at Heidelberg.