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Preclassical Conflict of Laws


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Table of Contents

1. Introduction; Part I. History and Historiography in the Conflict of Laws: 2. Uses of History in Private International Law; 3. Preclassical Conflict of Laws in the Historical Consciousness; Part II. Current Concerns: 4. Conflict of Laws as a Conceptual Battlefield; 5. Conflict of Laws as a Doctrinal Exercise; 6. Conflict of Laws in a World System; Part III. Bartolus da Sassoferrato and the Conflict of Laws in the Middle Ages: 7. 'Nunc veniamus ad glossam': Bartolus on the Conflict of Laws; 8. The Political Context of Bartolan Conflict of Laws; 9. Doctrinal Aspects of Bartolan Conflict of Laws; 10. Bartolan Conflict of Laws in the Conceptual Battlefield; Part IV. Ulrik Huber and Conflict of Laws in the Early Modern Period; 11. 'Saepe fit, ut negotia': Huber on the Conflict of Laws; 12. The Political Context of Huber's Conflict of Laws; 13. Doctrinal Aspects of Huber's Conflict of Laws; 14. Huber's Conflict of Laws in the Conceptual Battlefield; Epilogue: 15. Preclassical Conflict of Laws Configured.

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Showcases a novel method for approaching private international law combining theoretical insight, textual analysis and historical context.

About the Author

Nikitas E. Hatzimihail is Associate Professor of Private Law, Comparative Law and Legal History at the University of Cyprus. His doctoral dissertation received the Addison-Brown commencement prize at Harvard.


'Is this a work of private international law, or of its history, or of its historiography? Is this a text on the theory of private international law, or on its methods, or indeed its doctrines and their genealogies? It is all of these things and more. Hatzimihail, relying on both stupendous learnedness and high originality, provides us with a true tour de force that takes us in unexpected directions and leaves us with deep appreciation for the author, his book, and its subject.' Ralf Michaels, Director, Max Planck Institute for Comparative Law and Private International Law, Hamburg
'In a work that began as a doctoral dissertation and has matured over eighteen years of teaching, research, and writing, Hatzimihail deliberately addresses two types of readers: private international lawyers and, more broadly, those interested in law generally; and legal historians and, more broadly, those interested in history generally. His forte is showing the context within which lawyers, both today and in the immediate past, have developed their ideas, and that within which lawyers of the more remote past, particularly Bartolus and Ulrich Huber, developed their ideas. The work stands as a warning to such lawyers today not to misuse their history, but also to legal historians not to immerse themselves so deeply in the past that they answer questions that only they would ask. It's a balancing act of great difficulty that Hatzimihail pulls off with aplomb.' Charles Donahue, Jr., Paul A. Freund Professor of Law, Harvard Law School
'This pioneering work on the evolution of private international law offers a brilliant analysis of the subject's historical and philosophical foundations. Highly original, and exceptional in its depth and range, it is a work rich in scholarship and erudition, full of insight and interest. Combining impressive detail and remarkable analytical sweep, this is at once a fascinating historical study, an acute exploration of the conceptual basis of the conflict of laws, and a profound reflection on how we understand the subject. This is an intellectual tour de force which is assured of a leading place in the literature.' Richard Fentiman, Professor of Private International Law, University of Cambridge
'This book is the first 'archaeological' enquiry into private international law. Using an interdisciplinary approach that relies on a profound understanding of law, history and theory to explore the philosophical and methodological roots of the field, Nikitas Hatzimihail displays a remarkable esprit de finesse in examining doctrinal questions and the dominant paradigms of the past centuries in the light of historical conditions but also the passions and interests that epitomise private international law. A worthy successor to the great historians of the field (Armand Laine, Max Gutzwiller, E.M. Meijers, Bertrand Ancel) this is a work of reference which should be read by private international lawyers and legal historians alike.' Charalambos (Haris) Pampoukis, Professor of Private International Law, Law School, University of Athens, Director, Hellenic Institute of International and Foreign Law
'This is the best book on the history of private international law (PIL) ever written in the English language. As one of the authors whose writings this book criticizes, I must say that it has taught me more than I thought I knew. But the book is not just about history; it is about the doctrinal foundations of our discipline; and it should be a required reading for anyone who wants to understand how and why PIL came to be where it is today.' Symeon C. Symeonides, Alex L. Parks Distinguished Chair in Law and Dean Emeritus, Willamette University, USA
'... stimulating and recommendable read for interested readers not only from the field of legal history, but also from modern international private right.' Dr. Kristin Boosfeld, European Union Private Law Review

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