How legal history shapes the present – OUP Blog

Posted April 13th, 2016 in legal history, news by sally

‘The field of “legal history” studies the relationship that “law” and legal institutions have to the society that surrounds them. “Law” means everything from local regulations and rules promulgated by administrative agencies, to statutes and court decisions. Legal history is interested in how “law” and legal institutions operate and how they change over time in reaction to changing economic, social, and political conditions. It looks at people who are “governed” by law, as well as how those people try to influence law and legal actors. Thus, the field covers such diverse topics as the Roman law of wills, the social and economic conditions that brought down feudalism, the legal ideas motivating the American Revolution, the way that slave patrols kept the slave system in place, the legal regulation of business in the early 20th century, right up through the Black Power movement’s critique of the US criminal justice system.’

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OUP Blog, 12th April 2016