Research Unit

Ghent Legal History Institute

29 April 2019 → Ongoing
Group leader
Research disciplines
  • Social sciences
    • History of law
    • Metalaw not elsewhere classified
The Ghent Legal History Institute wants to go beyond a mere historical analysis of law. It prefers a contextual legal history, which sees law as a product of a context that in turn influences that same context. Contextual legal history is a concept which can accommodate many different kinds of research depending on the nature, depth and scope of the context taken into account. In practice, the Ghent Legal History Institute looks for topics which have been neglected by others and which can serve as ‘ambassadors’ of legal history towards jurists, historians and the public at large. Thus, the Ghent Institute for Legal History focuses mainly on the social and cultural context of law. Its research is divided in two groups of research clusters with sometimes overlapping elements. Group 1 is chronological because the different eras imply a different context and also differences in sources. Research in group 2 is thematic and may concern several eras. Both groups have in common that even if the topic is national leg