Monday, February 23, 2009

More Metzger on Roman Law

Ernest Metzger, University of Glasgow School of Law, has posted two papers. The first is Obligations in Classical Procedure:
The civil law gave the praetor relatively few rules of procedure with which to manage a tribunal. Accordingly many rules of procedure were the product of the praetor's own active lawmaking. His lawmaking frequently took the form of actions and stipulations, which is to say, obligations. This essay describes a selection of law reforms where this was the case. The essay concludes with the suggestion that the praetor turned to more effective methods of enforcement, not because the older methods were poor, but because parties were more frequently turning to litigation for the adjudication of claims, and less frequently for simple arbitration.
The second paper, Actions, originally appeared in A Companion to Justinian's Institutes (London & Ithaca, 1998). It is
a brief explanation of what the Romans understood to be "The Law of Actions." It was intended to accompany book 4 of Justinian's Institutes, but goes into considerably more detail on issues such as real and personal actions, civil and praetorian actions, and reipersecutory and penal actions. It also explains more generally what an "action" is and how it developed, and appends a brief bibliography. Errata to the published version are included.