The history of law is connected with general history, history of religion, history of specific regions and, for example, with economic history. The knowledge of history contributes to our understanding of processes that happened in the past. The codification which is valid nowadays in Europe is the result of a long process of development during the history. For this reason, it is important to study the sources that have lead to the development of the valid law. The main task is to chart in details the history of law in separate European countries. It is necessary to emphasize the influences which were most important for the decision making process (influence of Roman law, natural laws, important codifications such as the French Code Civil, the German Civil Code BGB or the Austrian ABGB and etc.).
Investigation of historical sources cannot be done straightforward for searching of the roots – it has to be an interpretation. The interpretation of law today is the core of practicing law. For understanding of the text, judges, lawmakers and other related figures must make an exact semantic and historical analysis. Such analysis is provided by the history of law.
The European Society for History of Law enables the community, especially lawyers, to gain knowledge about the historical context important for practice today as well as future changes of some legal institutes. It will allow practicing lawyers to come to the conclusion regarding some legal problems and the forgotten judicial acts.
The main task of The European Society for History of Law is to support research of history of the law, Roman law and the history of law ideation in different European countries. The list of interests is made of:
- Legal systems and Legal institutions
- Legal structures
- Important persons in history of law, legal sciences and legal thought
- Roman law
- History of legal thought
On the website, it is possible to find several important legal sources from different European countries. This information is available not only for the law-historians, but for the general public as well.
For its members The European Society for History of Law organizes conferences, lectures, seminars, excursions and meetings the aims of which is to discuss the up-to-date issues of the European law-history and to present the results of researches done by law-historians from European countries. The Journal on European History of Law editions published in English and German assists the society to achieve the aim mentioned above by using these two “universal” languages.
The European Society for History of Law creates connections not only between academics, but also cooperates with important judicial persons (mainly the Constitutional Court), state attorneys, practicing lawyers and public administration that are important for the association.
The European Society for History of Law cooperates with the Department of History of the State and Law of the Masaryk University in Brno (Czech Republic). Common meetings are arranged few times per year. On these meetings, guests from abroad are invited to present the results of their researches.
The European Society for History of Law creates the platform for cooperation among the European law-historians and institutions that deal with law history both in the publications and in the meetings. The European Society for History of Law has a great potential, since it is located in the heart of Europe, so it can bring together law-historians and the science of law-history from the former Eastern Block and Western Europe.