Dr. Sebastiaan Vandenbogaerde külalisloeng õigusteaduskonnas 21. mail

11.-22.05. külastab õigusteaduskonda dr. Sebastiaan Vandenbogaerde Genti Ülikoolist ning peab kolm inglisekeelset külalisloengut, kuhu on oodatud kõik huvilised.

21. mail kl 15:00 Näituse 20 - 318

Workshop on legal periodicals

"Vectors of law and nation? Belgium’s legal periodicals"

This workshop is constructed around one main question: do legal periodicals play an important role in creating a national identity? Aim is to surpass a legal title as a source of information for the legal professional and see it as a ‘vector of law’, disseminating ideas propagated by the editors and authors. A case study on Belgium’s legal periodicals during the long nineteenth century will reveal how they constructed a national legal system. In addition, there will be focussed on journals publishing in Dutch (Flemish), Belgium’s most important language, as the editors wanted to create ‘a Flemish legal culture’.

Belgium gained its independence in 1830, after the region had been under French (1795-1815) and Dutch rule (1815-1830). Artists and historians helped creating a national identity by focussing on a common history. However, the legal system remained indebted to the Napoleonic French codifications. This led to the general idea that Belgium is still a French province in legal matters. However, founders of several Belgian legal titles strove for the construction of a proper national law and developed as a result a national identity. This continued until the First World War (1914-1918). The case of Belgium is even more interesting as the rise of legal periodicals in Dutch can be seen as anationalist subdivision. It might illustrate how lawyers and their journalsplay an important role.

The content of editorial writings will be analysed as it often contains the reasons why certain editors start a new journal. Reconstructing the specific legal branches on which articles were published, one can distil what was deemed important for the creation of Belgium’s legal system. Generally can be assumed that a ‘new country’ first needs a strong and firm institutional (administration and judiciary) framework and legal periodicals play a considerable role.


Sebastiaan Vandenbogaerde holds a master's degree in both history and law (Ghent University). In 2014 he obtained his doctoral degree with his thesis 'Vectors of law. History of the Belgian legal journals'. In his dissertation he defended the thesis that legal journals not only mirror the legal world, but also shape law. Today he is as a doctor-assistant at the Ghent Institute for Legal History and his current research focuses on legal journals as creators of nations and empires. He also studies the institutional history in Belgium during both world wars.