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The historical method in public law

Loughlin, Martin (2018) The historical method in public law. In: Dubber, Markus D. and Tomlins, Christopher, (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Legal History. Oxford handbooks. Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK, pp. 983-1000. ISBN 9780198794356

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This chapter examines the origins and continuing significance of the historical method in public law. It explains how the adoption of a historical method contributed to the formation of public law as a distinctive field of knowledge in European jurisprudence. It focuses on developments in French legal thought in the sixteenth century, this being the period in which modern ideas of public law were forged. In this era of intense religious conflicts and extending powers of government, the character of collective human association was placed in question and politico-legal thought became historicized, rationalized and secularized. The historical method in modern public law, it suggests, has distinctive features: it looks not to nature but to a world of man’s making; it focuses on the variety rather than the uniformity of human nature; it accentuates differences rather than similarities; and sees continuous change where others emphasize permanence.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2018 The Author
Divisions: Law
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
Date Deposited: 06 Sep 2018 13:03
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 23:06

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