Friday, August 14, 2020

Giuliani on Berman's "Law and Revolution"

Adolfo Giuliani, Max-Planck-Institut für europäische Rechtsgeschichte, has posted The Western Legal Tradition and Soviet Russia: The Genesis of H. Berman’s Law and Revolution, which appears in Socialist Interpretations of Legal History: The Histories and Historians of Law and Justice in the Socialist Regimes of East Central Europe, ed. V. Erkkilä and H.-P. Haferkamp (Routledge):
The Western Legal Tradition (WLT) grows from the Cold War era. It had been originally conceived by the Harvard legal historian HJ Berman in his 1950 book on Justice in Russia, a work aimed at explaining to the West what laid beyond the Iron Curtain. It presents an account set out in opposition in which the West and Soviet Russia were defined in turn with the features missing to each other. In those pages is the blueprint for his two well-known volumes published in 1983 and 2003, and for a third volume left unfinished.

The WLT grows from another legacy from the Cold War era: human rights history. While this theme entered public debate fueled by the concern with human rights in the Eastern European countries during the Cold War era, this paper shows how the WLT absorbed this theme hijacking a core component of continental legal science (subjectives Recht) re-engineered by political theorists into the major identitary element of the WLT in an eternity history rooted in medieval canon law?
–Dan Ernst