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The Laws’ Many Bodies: Studies in Legal Hybridity and Jurisdictional Complexity, c1600-1900

Sean Book

Dr Seán Patrick Donlan of the School of Law, along with Professor Dirk Heirbaut (Gent), have edited The Laws’ Many Bodies: Studies in Legal Hybridity and Jurisdictional Complexity, c1600-1900 for Duncker & Humblot (Berlin):
'Across the West, a legal system centred on the state, the creation of general national laws, the elimination of competing jurisdictions, and the marginalization of non-legal norms was a very long historical process. This volume examines the »poly-juralism« of Europe's past – its legal hybridity and jurisdictional complexity – through case studies from a number of perspectives and traditions: Anglo-American, continental, Nordic, and mixed. The authors remind us that law precedes and surrounds the state, which is but one source of norms. They contest the anachronistic projection of modern legal nationalism, positivism, and centralism into the past. And these studies challenge both ideas of deep correspondence between laws, culture, and society and the division of Western traditions into reasonably discrete, closed legal families. Indeed, the lessons of this plural past can shed considerable light on the present, both in the West and across the globe.'
The book is included in the publisher’s Comparative Studies in Continental and Anglo-American Legal History Series.
Additional information is available at