PhD defence: Frans Camphuijsen
Frans Camphuijsen, ASH PhD candidate, will defend his dissertation entitled 'Scripting Justice. Legal Practice and Communication in the late Medieval law Courts of Utrecht, York and Paris', supervised by prof. dr. Guy Geltner.
Late medieval western European societies saw the emergence of a particular form of socio-legal practice and logic: the law court and its legal process. These courts developed in contexts where justice was considered to be legitimately pursuable in many other ways, including private vengeance and feuding practices. To legitimize their own position as dispute settlers and guardians of social order, courts attempted to script people’s conception of what justice was and how one was supposed to achieve it. This process of scripting involved a range of media, including texts, oral speech, embodied activities and the spaces used to perform all these. Looking beyond traditional historiographical narratives of state building or the professionalization of law, this thesis argues that the development of law courts was grounded in changing forms of multimedial interaction between those who sought justice and those who claimed to be able to provide it. By studying the records of three markedly different types of courts, that is the Council of Utrecht, the Consistory Court of York and the Parlement of Paris, it involves both local contexts and broader developments in tracing the communicative strategies of these late medieval claimants to socio-legal authority.
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