Dr. Sebastiaan Vandenbogaerde külalisloengud õigusteaduskonnas 12., 13. ja 21. mail

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

12. mail kl 12.15 Näituse 20 aud 203

"The Napoleonic Civil Code and its importance for Europe"

The 1804 French Civil Code is Europe’s most successful codifications as even today, several countries use it in a more or less adapted version. During Napoleon’s military campaigns the Code was introduced in annexed regions on the continent. Also across the ocean the Code Napoleon influenced legal systems such as in Louisiana (US), Quebèc (Canada) and Latin American countries and Asia.

The lecture will gaze through the origins of the Civil Code, how it was conceived, evolved and disseminated. Did the code remain in force after the French ‘Napoleonic empire’ collapsed? How and why did nations adapt the book? A closer look will be held on the countries such as, but not limited to Belgium, the Netherlands and (parts of) Germany. In a comparative way, the importance of the Napoleonic code for Europe and even the world will be shown. Another comparison will be made between two ‘schools’ as at the end of the nineteenth century and the early twentieth century the School of Pandectism emerged. Its highlight was the German Civil Code, renowned for its systematic structure and often seen as the complete opposite of the Code Napoleon.

13. mail kl 12.15 Näituse 20 aud 203

"The impact of Roman Law on Belgian lawyers"

Roman law belongs to de foundations of the Belgian legal system. Until now, law students take courses in Roman Law, although one can see the importance is diminishing.

This lecture will take a closer look to how Roman law played a role in nineteenth and twentieth century education and the professional life. Therefore a closer look will be taken to legal periodicals, which published – especially in the 19th century – university curricula and sometimes even the amount of students. A second part will be dedicated to important Belgian researchers on Roman law and more particulary Fernand de Visscher. Almost single handed, he created one of the most important legal history journals Revue internationale des droits de l'antiquité.

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.