Max Planck Summer Academy for Legal History: Using History in Law
The Max Planck Summer Academy for Legal History provides a selected group of highly motivated early-stage research students, usually PhD candidates, with an in-depth introduction to basic approaches and methods in legal history.
The Summer Academy consists of three parts. The first part introduces the international group of PhD students to sources, methodological approaches and theoretical models as well as to controversial research debates on fundamental research fields of legal history. The introductory courses are led by members of the Institute and external guest speakers. In the second part, the invited participants present their own projects within the context of the respective year’s special topic. The third part of the Academy offers the opportunity to all participants to further develop their own research by making use of the library and by discussing their projects with the Institute’s experts in the different fields of legal history.
The course will take place at the Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.
This year’s theme: Using History in Law
History teaches us that people all over the world have invoked the past or tradition to legitimise or delegitimise norms. Even today, in countries across the globe and in very diverse legal cultures, but also at the level of international law, ‘tradition’ is allocated 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 which intellectual contexts and based on what understanding of epistemology, philosophy of history, or religious 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?
Applicants to the 2022 Summer Academy are encouraged to present research projects that give special consideration to the significance of using History in Law.