Griffith Law School’s Legal History Seminar Series is a gesture to the interdisciplinary turns in and the uses of legal history, and a contribution to the innovation at the heart of much contemporary legal history scholarship.
Legal History Seminar
Topic: Historicising Codes
Speaker: Dr Paul du Plessis
Panel: The Honourable Justice James Douglas, Dean William MacNeil, Jonathan Horton
Date: Wednesday 28 August 2013
Time: 5.30pm for a 6.00pm start. The hour-long seminar, with commentary and questions, will be followed by light refreshments
Venue: Banco Court, Queen Elizabeth II Courts of Law, 415 George Street, Brisbane
(Entry via Security at the front entrance, George Street; then the lift to Level 3)
Register: Register now
Dr du Plessis has a prominent research focus on the multifaceted, complex relationships between law and society in historical context – his seminar on ‘Historicising Codes’ uses examples from history to explore the 'code' as method of legal change in the context of the civilian experience. By linking the codification movement in Europe during the course of the nineteenth-century to the broader historical and philosophical currents influencing European legal thought, he considers the continued relevance of codes in the European tradition.
Paul J du Plessis is a legal historian and senior lecturer at the University of Edinburgh, and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. Paul convenes the prominent Edinburgh Roman Law Group, co-edits Oxford Studies in Roman Society and Law, and actively contributes to the webpages of the Centre for Legal History at Edinburgh University, primarily as the co-author of the Edinburgh Legal History Blog. He has authored and presented an extensive raft of legal history papers across Great Britain, Europe, South Africa and Australia.
Paul’s research focuses predominantly on the multifaceted and complex set of relationships between law and society in a historical context. His main field of research is Roman law (with specific reference to property, obligations and, to a lesser extent, persons and family), particularly the contexts for law’s operation and the application of modern socio-legal methodologies to historical material from the Roman period. To that end, his work is mainly concerned with the formulation of a methodology for ‘law and society’ research with reference to the Roman Empire, and with extending our understanding of Roman law.
Paul’s interest and research in ‘law and society’ extends to a further period where Roman legal principles were used to create law, namely the period of the European ius commune in the late Middle Ages. Here, his research explores themes such as structure, doctrine and legitimacy with a view to challenging the accepted ‘macro-narratives’ of European legal history.