History of the Association

Legal and historical sciences are based on communication. This is a true statement triggering the idea of founding an Association for Young Legal Historians. The yearly European Forum of Young Legal Historians has been the breeding ground providing “market” for a scientific exchange of ideas and as a peek of this process the Association for Young Legal Historians was born in Seville, 2007. These annual forums are usually organized by young researchers for their own kind and the purpose of these conferences has always been to give a possibility for young legal historians to give account of their scientific research results.

Roots of the Association were stated by the annually organized European Forum of Young Legal Historians. The idea of such a scientific forum first appeared in Frankfurt in 1992 and 1993 under the patronage of the Max Planck Institut für Europäische Rechtsgeschichte. From that time onwards forums started to become a feature, which also could be noticed by the increasing number of the participants.

In 1995 the conference of young legal historians obtained its official name that it has also nowadays: European Forum of Young Legal Historians and since then it also became popular to give a title for these forums around which the thematic of the presentations may be arranged. The so named first European Forum of Young Legal Historians organized in Halle an der Salle in Germany had the subtitle: “Legal History and the Enlightment” . 1996’s European Forum of Young Legal Historians was organized in Berlin and had the thematic title “Law and Social Transformation” and the 1997’s annual forum was hosted by the Karl Franzens Universität of Graz with the title “Laws without borders – Borders without Laws”. In 1998 Munich gave place for this kind of scientific meeting for young legal historians, where the forum got the title “Continuity and Rupture in the European Legal History”. The fifth annual forum was held in Zurich in 1999 with the title “Legal (Hi)stories?” and then one year after the conference put its location to Leipzig where the thematic presentations had their subject in the theme “Ius commune propriumque: Saxonia in the Mirror of the Law”. This kind of annual meeting for young legal researchers working on the field of legal history became broad in its international sense after the forum held in Zurich where the forum had 120 participants from 13 countries. The first forum of the 21st century was held in Vienna in 2001with the thematic title “Ad Fontes” and then next year’s forum was organized in Osnabruck having its title “Europe and its Regions”. After Osnabruck the forums left the German-speaking region for a while and moved to Budapest in 2003 and to Warsaw in 2004. The forums held here had as title “The new Europe and its Traditions” and “The European Legal Community: Between Tradition and Perspectives”. In 2005 Switzerland hosted the European Forum of Young Legal Historians, when Lucerne gave home for that event that for that time became known among all young legal historians. The title of the forum was “Legal Transfer in History” and was the conference where presentations having as subject the Turkish, Islamic and Caucasian legal history were presented for the first time.

One year after the place of the annual forum went back to its origin because it was hosted again by the Max Planck Institut für Europäische Rechtsgeschichte in Frankfurt with the motto “Remembering and Forgetting.” As in Frankfurt as previously in Lucerne has been stated that it would be advisable and advantageous to open towards the southern parts of Europe because until then no participants were present from Italy, Spain, Portugal and Greece. It became also important that forums in their call for papers should assume as general themes such ones that allow the inclusion of a broad spectrum of the legal history research in progress without any chronological limits.

This gave the idea for the young legal historians of the University of Seville to organize the next year’s forum in Seville under the patronage of the Fundación Tres Culturas del Mediterraneo and the University of Seville. This forum being organized in the Mediterranean region of Europe for the first time put the attention in its thematic on the Jewish, Islamic culture beside the European by having as subject of presentations themes arranged around the motto “Crossing Legal Cultures”. The last forum, the XIVth edition of these kind of annual meetings for young legal historians was organized by the legal historians of the University of Pécs.