LAWS3758/JURD7758 Roman Law

Lecturer: Arthur Emmett

What is the course about?

The aim of this unit of study is to provide a general introduction to all aspects of Roman private law. The Institutes of Justinian (in English) is the fundamental text for study and students are expected to read the Institutes in some detail. The Institutes constitute a map of the law and means of ordering the law.

The objectives of this unit of study are to provide a historical sketch of Roman institutions from the earliest times until the reign of Justinian (CE 527-565), an introduction to Roman legal history and the development of Roman legal concepts. The course also aims to familiarise students with the reception of Roman jurisprudence into modern European legal systems and the common law, the Roman law of marriage and family, moveable and immoveable property, real and personal security, succession, and contractual, quasi-contractual and delictal obligations.

Why does this subject interest you?

Roman law has always been, and still is, of great historical importance in the development of many areas of the common law. Roman law also provides a yardstick by which both the virtues and the shortcomings of the common law can be measured. Furthermore, it forms the jurisprudential background of most of the legal systems in force in continental Europe and those parts of the rest of the world that were colonised by continental European nations.