IMC 2017: Sessions

Session 233: Sources of Legal Authority: Ius commune and Customary Law in Conversation, II - The Value and Authority of Expertise in Medieval Law

Monday 3 July 2017, 14.15-15.45

Sponsor:Iuris Canonici Medii Aevi Consociatio (ICMAC) / Institute for Legal & Constitutional Research, University of St Andrews
Organisers:Matthew McHaffie, Department of History, King's College London
Danica Summerlin, Department of History, University of Sheffield
Moderator/Chair:Bruce C. Brasington, Department of History, West Texas A&M University, Canyon
Respondent:Arnoud-Jan A. Bijsterveld, Department of Sociology, Tilburg University
Paper 233-aLegal Experts in 'Feudal' Courts: Northwestern France, c. 1000-1150
(Language: English)
Matthew McHaffie, Department of History, King's College London
Index terms: Administration, Charters and Diplomatics, Law, Politics and Diplomacy
Paper 233-bThe Diffusion of Legal Knowledge in the Central Middle Ages
(Language: English)
Melodie H. Eichbauer, College of Arts & Sciences, Florida Gulf Coast University
Index terms: Administration, Canon Law, Education, Law

Ius commune and customary law are often seen as resting on different principles to structure legal authority and decision-making. The authority of written law in the ius commune is contrasted with the importance of precedent and consensus in customary law. Such distinctions have often been deployed by historians to argue for the sophistication of ius commune law in comparison to customary law, where the latter stands as a muddle of divergent practices when seen against the systematic organisation of the former, even though so stark an opposition now feels outmoded and inadequate. These sessions seek connections and commonalities between these two broad approaches to law in medieval Europe.