Workshop Jurisdictional complexity in Western legal history, c1600-1900
06-07-2012 15:00 tot
|Door wie||Karin Pensaert|
Like modern comparative law, the knowledge of our past can reveal important similarities to and differences from our present domestic laws. Histories of hybridity serve an especially useful critical function. They undermine, for example, the anachronistic application of modern legal nationalism and positivism, legal centralism and unity, into the past. They remind us that the ‘state’ has been historically, and in much of the world remains, only the most obvious and formalised creator of norms. They challenge ideas of deep correspondence between laws and societies and the division of multifarious traditions into reasonably discrete, closed legal systems or ‘families’. The plural Western past can also tell us much about the global present. In doing so, histories of hybridity may prepare us for the future and new - or are they old? - possibilities. Things have, after all, been different; they will be again.