Thursday, October 25, 2018

Kantorowicz and the "Battle for Legal Science"

[We have the following announcement.]

“Hermann Kantorowicz (1877-1940): the battle for legal science” conference, October 25th-26th 2018, University of Helsinki

Legal historian, Mediaevalist, legal theorist, legal philosopher, comparative-international lawyer, criminal law expert, philologist, social scientist, political theorist, political activist – all labels that could be attached to Hermann Kantorowicz. Born in 1877, his first major work was published in 1906 under the pseudonym Gnaeus Flavius, the legendary plebeian who demystified Roman law and brought it to the common people in the early Roman Republic, under the title Der Kampf um die Rechtswissenschaft, the “Battle for legal science”

Law is not good law simply by virtue of it being enacted by a legislator, judges and (legal) scientists have to function as interpreters between law and societal fact to help create proper legal rules – this is how the content of the pamphlet can be summarized. The impact of the ?Battle' was large and immediate, as a basic document for the influential Free law movement throughout continental Europe, but also for sociological jurisprudence and Legal realism in the United States.

Yet, the “Battle” is but one of Kantorowicz´s many works. A polymath, a ?Renaissance man', his scholarship is as broad as it is deep. This conference examines the multifaceted thought as an extension to as well as a break with the long 19th century, in connection to Kantorowicz´s widespread influence in a number of scientific fields.

In this spirit, the conference wholeheartedly welcomes attendants and participants from all of the social sciences and humanities, and even beyond. As the original multidisciplinarian who nevertheless always came back to the problem of what it means to be a “legal scientist,” Hermann Kantorowicz is a jurist for the 21st century.