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Reassessing Legal Humanism and its ClaimsPetere Fontes?$
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Paul J. du Plessis and John W. Cairns

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9781474408851

Published to University Press Scholarship Online: January 2017

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9781474408851.001.0001

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date: 22 August 2017

Deconstructing Iurisdictio: The Adventures of a Legal Category in the Hands of the Humanist Jurists

Deconstructing Iurisdictio: The Adventures of a Legal Category in the Hands of the Humanist Jurists

Chapter:
(p.59) 3 Deconstructing Iurisdictio: The Adventures of a Legal Category in the Hands of the Humanist Jurists
Source:
Reassessing Legal Humanism and its Claims
Author(s):

Guido Rossi

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9781474408851.003.0004

This chapter looks at the legal humanists' approach on the concept of iurisdictio, and at the reaction of civil lawyers to the humanists' critique. It explores the reasons why legal humanists rejected the traditional interpretation of iurisdictio as found in the Accursian Gloss and subsequently developed by the mainstream civilians, and it highlights the difficulties that the same legal humanists encountered when they sought to provide a new and coherent interpretation. While quite united in their offensive against the civilians' understanding of iurisdictio, legal humanists could hardly agree on anything when it came to offer an alternative interpretation. The problem was not (or not so much) that each humanist had a different view as to the precise meaning of some Latin terms. Faithfulness to the pristine sources and Classical Latin came at price: once rejected the Bartolist architecture, the whole legal framework would just collapse. This was the main reason why civilians sought to reply to the humanists' attack and to shield the concept of iurisdictio from the accusation of unfaithfulness to the Roman sources. Civilians were as deeply imbued with Classical culture as their humanist counterparts, so they took the accusation of unfaithfulness to the Roman sources very seriously. But civilians were first and foremost lawyers. Important as they were, Roman sources remained a means to an end.

Keywords:   jurisdiction, judge, legal humanism, Bartolism, late ius commune

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