Announcement: Conference in Helsinki, 26-28 September 2017


UPDATE (24 February): Call for Papers for the Doctoral school session

Historiography of Commercial Law: Past, Present, and Future

Helsinki, 26-28 September, 2017


The fifth conference of the project aims to examine the historiography of commercial law in a broad perspective. First, there will be presentations by invited scholars from various European countries discussing the historiography in their respective regions (The Past). The second conference day will begin with a debate with invited historians and positive-law scholars discussing, e. g., the relationship between history and positive law in commercial matters (The Present). The final part of the conference is dedicated to a doctoral school for Ph.D. students introducing their current research (The Future).

Six Ph.D. students will be selected through this open call to participate in the doctoral school session. The presentations (15 min) will first be commented by a senior researcher (10 min) followed by a discussion (10 min) Papers may cover the history of commercial law from the medieval to the modern period. Presentations should be in English. For the six selected students, hotel accommodation in single rooms for two nights in Helsinki and travel costs up to 500 euros per person will be paid. More students may be selected to participate at their own cost and conference fee of 50 euros.

To offer a paper, please send the title of the paper, a short abstract (200-400 words), and a short CV to the project coordinator Jussi Sallila (jussi.sallila[at] by 31 March, 2017. Accepted papers will be announced by 15 April, 2017.

Preliminary programme

First Day (Tuesday, Sept 26): The Past

13.00 Opening

13.15 – 18.00 Presentations on the historiography of commercial law

Stefania Gialdroni (Rome): Benvenuto Stracca

Anja Amend-Traut (Würzburg): Johann Marquard (1610-1668) and his Contribution to the Commercial law’s development

Estelle Rothweiler (Strasbourg): Believer in Strong Capitalism and Free Trade in the Eighteenth Century

Norman Poser (New York): Lord Mansfield’s influence on the commercial law of England and other common-law countries

Dave De ruysscher (Tilburg): Reception of French Commercial Law Literature in the Low Countries

Heikki Pihlajamäki (Helsinki): Scandinavian Commercial Law Scholarship in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

18.30 – 19.30 Keynote (public lecture): Sheilagh Ogilvie (Cambridge): Public-Order versus Private-Order Institutions in Commercial Contract Enforcement

19.30 Drinks  and finger food


Second Day (Wednesday, Sept 27): The Present and the Future

9.00 – 12.00 Debate: Historians and Positive-Law Scholars on the History and Present of Commercial Law

Histories of commercial law: What is needed? What is the use? What is the relationship between history and positive law in matters commercial?

Discussants: Ellen Eftestøl-Wilhelmsson (Helsinki), Jukka Mähönen (Oslo), Vincenzo Zeno-Zencovich (Rome). 20 minute presentations and panel discussion.

12.00 – 13.00 Keynote: Albrecht Cordes (Frankfurt): The Codification of Sea Law in Northern and Western Europe in the 13th Century

13.00 – 14.00 Lunch

14.00 – 18.00 Doctoral school

Six (6) Ph.D. students selected by steering group on basis of an open call. Each student gives a short presentation (15 min) and is then commented first by one of the senior researchers (10 min), followed by discussion (10 min). Ph.D. papers will be circulated well in advance to save time for discussion.

 19.00 Dinner

Third Day (Thursday, Sept 28)

9.00 – 12.00 Excursion


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