Announcement: Conference in Fiskars, 7-8 January 2016

Influence of Colonies on Commercial Legal Practice

Fiskars (Finland), 7-8 January, 2016

The aim of this workshop is to bring together recent findings on the influences overseas trading (with a particular focus on Early Modern and Modern Times) and in particular colonial settlements (whether crown or charter colonies) have had on commercial law and legal practices in a broad sense. Over the past years, scholars have been studying “colonial law and justice”, emphasizing on the transplant and adaptation of legal rules and courts to the colonies, also as concerns commercial law and practices. It appears that colonial experiences not only led to the development of a particular so-called “colonial law” but also influenced commercial practices of the major colonial Empires, as well in their relations with their overseas colonies as on an international level. In view of this, many ideas about the influence of colonial experiences on the making of commercial law should be reconsidered. This round-table conference will therefore bring together topics that can be addressed within this “colonial” framework as maritime commercial law, risk and insurance, commercial contracts, company law, State and Private enterprises, conflicts of law and conflict resolution.

The workshop is the third in a series on the history of commercial law, organized during the 2014-2017 period in Helsinki, Brussels and Frankfurt. The conferences will be organized in the framework of the project “The making of commercial law: common practices and national legal rules from the early modern period to the modern period.



Wednesday 6 January 2016
Arrival in Helsinki (Original Sokos Hotel Helsinki Kluuvikatu 8)
18h.30 : Welcome drink (meeting in the hotel lobby at 18h.20)
20h.00 : Dinner (not covered by the organisers)

Thursday 7 January 2016
7h.45 : Transfer from Helsinki to Fiskars

9h.30 : Arrival at Fiskars


10h.00-10h.20 : Coffee

10h.20 : Short Introduction

10h.30-12h.00 : First session
David MIRHADY (Simon Fraser University, Vancouver), The Rhetoric of Commercial Law in 4th-century BC Athens.
Paul J. DU PLESSIS (University of Edinburgh), Trading along the wall – what the Vindolanda tablets reveal about Roman commerce.

12h.00-14h.30 : Lunch and free time in Fiskars

14h.30-15h.45 : Second session
Luisa BRUNORI (CNRS – Lille University), The first treaty on colonial commercial law: Tomàs de Mercado’s « Summa de tratos y contratos »1569.
Alain CLEMENT (Tours University), English mercantilist thought and the matter of colonies from the 17th century to the first half of the 18th century.


15h.45-16h.00 : Coffee break


16h.00-17h.15 : Third session
Oscar CRUZ BARNEY (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México), Trade and Law in New Spain in the XVI and XVII centuries.
Matthew MIROW (Florida International University), Scots traders and Spanish law in East Florida.


17h.15-17h.30 : Break


17h.30-18h.45 : Fourth session
David GILLES (University of Sherbrooke), How to “Mashup” Lex Mercatoria From Civil Law to Common Law: Genesis of Lex Mercatoria in Lower-Canada History 1760-1866.
Philipp LIPTON (Monash University Melbourne), The Transplant and Adaption of Company Law in Colonial Victoria, 1850-1900.


19h.00-20h.00 : Finnish Sauna.


20h.30 : Dinner.


Friday 8 January 2016
9h.00-10h.15 : Fifth session
Alexander CLAVER (Leyde University), From challenge to opportunity. Chinese Commerce under Dutch Law in the Netherlands Indies.
Petra MAHY (University of London), The Comparative evolution of Company Law in Indonesia, Malaysia and the Philippines: colonial Polices and their Legacies.


10h.15-10h.45 : Coffee Break


10h.45-12h.00 : Sixth session
Luigi NUZZO (Salento University, Lecce), Lease Agreements. Banks and Commercial Practices in a colonial City: Tianjin 1860-1920.
Umakanth VAROTTIL (University Singapore), Corporate Law in colonial India : Rise and Demise of the Managing Agency System.


12h.00-14h.00 : Lunch and free time in Fiskars


14h-15h15 : Seventh session
Jakob ZOLLMANN (Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung), “Neither the State nor the Individual goes to the Colony in order to make a bad Business”. State and Private Enterprise in the Making of Commercial Law in the German Colonies, ca. 1884 to 1914.
Bas DE ROO (Ghent University), Negotiating colonial tariff policies. Customs and commerce in the Congo (1885-1914).


15h15-15h45 : Coffee break


15h45-17h00 : Eight session
Sandra GERARD-LOISEAU (CNRS – Lille University), How to understand commercial norms under “colonial” protectorate : the Tunisian example (1881-1952).
Nathalie TOUSIGNANT (Saint-Louis University Brussels), Commercial law and colonial legal journals. The case of Belgian Congo (1908-1962).


17h.00-17h.20: Final conclusions by Bernard DURAND (Montpellier University)

18h.00 Transfer to Helsinki

20h.00 Closing dinner


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