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Runaway slaves and heretical priests: digressions in the early ius commune

  • Dr. Guido Rossi
Thursday 17 November 2016
Kamerlingh Onnes Building
Steenschuur 25
2311 ES Leiden
B3.41 - en vanaf 18.30 uur in B0.31

On Thursday 17 November 2016 Philips van Leyden organises their second lectio of this college year. Dr. Guido Rossi of the Edinburgh Law School will give a lectio with the tittle: "Runaway slaves and heretical priests: digressions in the early ius commune”. Underneath you will find further information.

When does the legal system bestow legal validity upon an act that, as a matter of principle, should be void? Ideas have a tendency to develop in unpredictable ways. Legal ideas are no exception.

In the first book of the Digest (D.1.14.3) the medieval civil lawyers found the case of a slave who posed as a Roman citizen and was elected praetor by the unsuspecting Romans. This thorny case led to a discussion that lasted for centuries. Does the validity of the deeds necessarily depend on the validity of their source? The jurists found an answer in the canon law debate as to the jurisdiction of the heretical bishop. For the sake of the recipient of the act (for his spiritual salus), the person lacking authority could be tolerated in a position he ought not to enjoy - even the heretic. This concept of toleration had a strong influence on civil law, for it progressively led civilians to distinguish and separate the validity of the act from the validity of its source.

The purpose of these 'digressions' is to show the continuity between civil and canon law in the making of the ius commune.

As usual there will be a reception at 17.30 hours at the department History of Law (B3.41), for which we cordially invite you. At 18.30 hours the lecture will start at B0.31 at the Kamerlingh Onnes Gebouw).

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