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This course is about the history of legal development in Europe, from the fall of the Roman Empire right up to the modern times.

The focus is on broader themes of legal development — in particular, considering the emergence and evolution of various schools of legal thought, such as the humanists, the scholastics and the natural law theorists, and the influence these schools have had upon the individual legal systems of Europe.

Most legal systems are derived from one or other of the great legal systems that developed in Europe from around the 11th and 12th centuries.

In this course, we seek to outline the change in Ius Commune, or European Common law, in different times and places. Throughout, we will compare and contrast the development of legal systems within individual countries, in an effort to explain how each legal systems experience reflected the broader trends of the European legal tradition.

Module A: The Foundation: Roman and Canon Law 500-1100


Module B: Interactions of Roman and Local Law: Twelfth-Sixteenth Centuries


Module C: National Laws and Codification: Sixteenth-Nineteenth Centuries


Module D: Modern Perspectives On the Ius Commune



Each module will be assessed by a 45-minute unseen written examination.


Module A first has to be completed first.

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