Professor emeritus Legal History
Willem Zwalve is a professor at the Department of Legal History, associated with the Institute for the Interdisciplinary Study of the Law.
There was once a time, not so long ago, in which Roman law was the common law of Europe: from Franeker to Catania and from Oxford to Kazan, education was provided at all European universities under the law of Rome until the nineteenth century was considered the ius commune omnium hominum, the right that all people are common. It is true that in the course of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries the appearance of the "modern" codifications of private law changed this, because this meant that Roman law was consequently abolished in a formal sense, but in a material sense the law of Rome continues in these law books and is therefore the "trait d'union" between Dutch private law and that of our neighboring countries. Thus Justinian's Corpus Iuris Civilis remains a source of inspiration, not only for the legal historian, but also for the civilian: only the one who knows why a rule is as it is, has the right to express authority over the question or the rule must remain as it is.
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