Max Planck Summer Academy for Legal History 2020

Max Planck Summer Academy for Legal History 2020

In light of the current situation regarding the Covid-19 pandemic, we have taken the difficult decision to cancel this year’s Summer Academy.
Next year's Summer Academy for Legal History will take place from 19 - 30 July 2021.

Using History in Law


The Summer Academy for Legal History 2020 takes place from 17 – 28 August 2020 at the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.


The deadline for the Summer Academy 2020 was 31 January 2020. The successful applicants will be informed by mid-April.

This year’s theme : Using History in Law

History teaches us that people in all regions of the world have invoked the past or tradition to legitimise or delegitimise norms. Even today, in countries all over the globe and in very diverse legal cultures but also at the level of international law, ‘tradition’ is attributed an important role in the construction of legal systems and in substantiating legal claims.
Why and under what historical conditions and circumstances did jurists assign such a high authority to the past? In what intellectual contexts and based on what understanding of epistemology, philosophy of history, or religion beliefs is the past used as an argument to legitimise or delegitimise existing or future law? And what force do historical arguments have in today’s laws?

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