Edited By Mónica García-Salmones and Pamela Slotte
PART II: EUROPEAN COSMOPOLITANISMS?
PART II EUROPEAN COSMOPOLITANISMS? 39 Is there a “European Law” of the Early Modern Period? Jan SCHRÖDER In this essay I would like to discuss, whether a “cosmopolitan”, that is common European Law existed in the early modern period. This position has been consistently maintained or suggested. A little more than twenty years ago, Helmut Coing wrote a two-volume opus on “European Private Law” (“Europäisches Privatrecht”)1 which he under- stood as referring to the Roman common private law of the early mod- ern period and the nineteenth century. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, one finds several books on the subject of a public law of Europe; for example Le droit public de l’Europe by Gabriel Bonnot de Mably.2 A “European natural law” is also envisaged, for instance, in the title of a collection of papers edited by Diethelm Klippel four years ago.3 And perhaps one can even consider the law of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation as being a precursor to current European Law. Accordingly, there would be four candidates for a “European Law” of the early modern period, namely 1) the Roman common law (jus com- mune); 2) the so-called “European public law”; 3) natural law; and 4) the law of the German Empire. I do not, at this time, intend to “substantively” inquire as to the con- tents of these laws or their effects on modern European law (that is about constitutional models, human rights, notions and terms of proper- ty,...
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