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College of William & Mary Law School

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Articles 1 - 30 of 115

Full-Text Articles in Legal History

A Century In The Making: The Glorious Revolution, The American Revolution, And The Origins Of The U.S. Constitution’S Eighth Amendment, John D. Bessler May 2019

A Century In The Making: The Glorious Revolution, The American Revolution, And The Origins Of The U.S. Constitution’S Eighth Amendment, John D. Bessler

William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal

The sixteen words in the U.S. Constitution’s Eighth Amendment have their roots in England’s Glorious Revolution of 1688–89. This Article traces the historical events that initially gave rise to the prohibitions against excessive bail, excessive fines, and cruel and unusual punishments. Those three proscriptions can be found in the English Declaration of Rights and in its statutory counterpart, the English Bill of Rights. In particular, the Article describes the legal cases and draconian punishments during the Stuart dynasty that led English and Scottish parliamentarians to insist on protections against cruelty and excessive governmental actions. In describing ...


Fiction In The Code: Reading Legislation As Literature, Thomas J. Mcsweeney Apr 2018

Fiction In The Code: Reading Legislation As Literature, Thomas J. Mcsweeney

Faculty Publications

One of the major branches of the field of law and literature is often described as "law as literature." Scholars of law as literature examine the law using the tools of literary analysis. The scholarship in this subfield is dominated by the discussion of narrative texts: confessions, victim-impact statements, and, above all, the judicial opinion. This article will argue that we can use some of the same tools to help us understand non-narrative texts, such as law codes and statutes. Genres create expectations. We do not expect a law code to be literary. Indeed, we tend to dissociate the law ...


Some Form Of Punishment: Penalizing Women For Abortion, Mary Ziegler Mar 2018

Some Form Of Punishment: Penalizing Women For Abortion, Mary Ziegler

William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal

In 2016, Donald Trump ignited a political firestorm when he suggested that women should be punished for having abortions. Although he backtracked, Trump’s misstep launched a debate about whether women have been or should be punished for having abortions. At the same time, Trump’s comments revealed that punishing women has become far more than an abstraction. In 2016, Indiana resident Purvi Patel became just the most recent visible example when she was sentenced to twenty years for feticide and child neglect for inducing an abortion.

But in spite of the furor created by Trump’s comment and Patel ...


Being Seen Like A State: How Americans (And Britons) Built The Constitutional Infrastructure Of A Developing Nation, Daniel J. Hulsebosch Mar 2018

Being Seen Like A State: How Americans (And Britons) Built The Constitutional Infrastructure Of A Developing Nation, Daniel J. Hulsebosch

William & Mary Law Review

This Article develops the argument that the Federal Constitution of 1787 was conceptualized, drafted, and put into operation not only for American citizens but also for foreign audiences. In a world without supranational governing institutions, a constitution—at least, the Federal Constitution—might serve to promote peaceable international relations based on reciprocal trade and open credit. That at least was the Enlightenment-inflected hope.

Did it work? If early Americans engaged in constitution-making in large part to demonstrate their capacity for self-government, selfdiscipline, and commercial openness to foreign audiences, did anyone notice? Or was it all, regardless of diplomatic purposes and ...


The Church And Magna Carta, R. H. Helmholz Dec 2016

The Church And Magna Carta, R. H. Helmholz

William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal

No abstract provided.


Interpretation And Re-Interpretation Of A Clause: Magna Carta And The Widow’S Quarantine, Janet Loengard Dec 2016

Interpretation And Re-Interpretation Of A Clause: Magna Carta And The Widow’S Quarantine, Janet Loengard

William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal

No abstract provided.


The First Century Of Magna Carta: The Diffusion Of Texts And Knowledge Of The Charter, Paul Brand Dec 2016

The First Century Of Magna Carta: The Diffusion Of Texts And Knowledge Of The Charter, Paul Brand

William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal

No abstract provided.


Salvation By Statute: Magna Carta, Legislation, And The King’S Soul, Thomas J. Mcsweeney Dec 2016

Salvation By Statute: Magna Carta, Legislation, And The King’S Soul, Thomas J. Mcsweeney

William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal

No abstract provided.


The Great Charter Turned 800: Remembering Its 700th Birthday, Karl Shoemaker Dec 2016

The Great Charter Turned 800: Remembering Its 700th Birthday, Karl Shoemaker

William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal

No abstract provided.


Forest Eyre Justices In The Reign Of Henry Iii (1216–1272), Ryan Rowberry Dec 2016

Forest Eyre Justices In The Reign Of Henry Iii (1216–1272), Ryan Rowberry

William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal

No abstract provided.


Forest Law Through The Looking Glass: Distortions Of The Forest Charter In The Outlaw Fiction Of Late Medieval England, Sarah Harlan-Haughey Dec 2016

Forest Law Through The Looking Glass: Distortions Of The Forest Charter In The Outlaw Fiction Of Late Medieval England, Sarah Harlan-Haughey

William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal

No abstract provided.


Magna Carta In The Fourteenth Century: From Law To Symbol?: Reflections On The “Six Statutes”, Charles Donahue Jr. Dec 2016

Magna Carta In The Fourteenth Century: From Law To Symbol?: Reflections On The “Six Statutes”, Charles Donahue Jr.

William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal

No abstract provided.


The Legacy Of Magna Carta: Law And Justice In The Fourteenth Century, Anthony Musson Dec 2016

The Legacy Of Magna Carta: Law And Justice In The Fourteenth Century, Anthony Musson

William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal

No abstract provided.


Magna Carta In The Late Middle Ages: Over-Mighty Subjects, Under-Mighty Kings, And A Turn Away From Trial By Jury, David J. Seipp Dec 2016

Magna Carta In The Late Middle Ages: Over-Mighty Subjects, Under-Mighty Kings, And A Turn Away From Trial By Jury, David J. Seipp

William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal

No abstract provided.


The Corpus Juris Civilis: A Guide To Its History And Use, Frederick W. Dingledy Oct 2016

The Corpus Juris Civilis: A Guide To Its History And Use, Frederick W. Dingledy

Library Staff Publications

The Corpus Juris Civilis is indispensable for Roman law research. It is a vital pillar of modern law in many European nations, and influential in other countries. Scholars and lawyers still refer to it today. This valuable publication, however, may seem impenetrable at first, and references to it can be hard to decipher or detect. This guide provides a history of the Corpus Juris Civilis and the forms it has taken, states why it is still an important resource today, and offers some tips and tools for research using it.


The Corpus Juris Civilis, Frederick W. Dingledy Apr 2016

The Corpus Juris Civilis, Frederick W. Dingledy

Library Staff Publications

Byzantine Emperor Justinian I ordered the creation of the Corpus Juris Civilis, a compilation of the laws in force at the time, which would become a vital foundation for both the civil law and common law traditions. Important figures in the development of the United States' law used principles listed the Corpus as a guide, and to this day legal scholars and historians still refer to it. Despite its importance, the Corpus can seem impenetrable to researchers, citations to the Corpus enigmatic. This program will give a history of the Corpus, describe its components, and give participants tools for researching ...


Creating A Literature For The King’S Courts In The Later Thirteenth Century: Hengham Magna, Fet Asaver, And Bracton, Thomas J. Mcsweeney Mar 2016

Creating A Literature For The King’S Courts In The Later Thirteenth Century: Hengham Magna, Fet Asaver, And Bracton, Thomas J. Mcsweeney

Faculty Publications

The early common law produced a rich literature. This article examines two of the most popular legal treatises of the second half of the thirteenth century, Hengham Magna and Fet Asaver. It has long been recognized that these two treatises bear some relationship to each other. This article will attempt to establish that relationship, arguing that Hengham Magna and Fet Asaver were written by different people; that Fet Asaver borrows from Hengham Magna; and that the authors of both texts had independent access to the Bracton treatise. The article concludes by suggesting a new way to think about the legal ...


Law Reform In The Ancient World: Did The Emperor Augustus Succeed Or Fail In His Morals Legislation?, Charles J. Reid Jr. Feb 2016

Law Reform In The Ancient World: Did The Emperor Augustus Succeed Or Fail In His Morals Legislation?, Charles J. Reid Jr.

William & Mary Journal of Race, Gender, and Social Justice

This is an Article with a dual purpose. First, it is concerned with the process of law reform: how do we judge a given reform’s success or failure? Do we adopt strictly linear metrics? Or do we look at nonlinear impacts? For example, in the campaign against tobacco, do we judge it a success because it has reduced cigarette smoking? Or because it reduced the political power of the tobacco companies?

Secondly, in this Article, I apply this complex means of analyzing law reform to the Emperor Augustus’s morals legislation. Legal historians have typically regarded Augustus’s morals ...


Book Review Of The Oxford History Of The Laws Of England, Volume Ii, Thomas J. Mcsweeney Feb 2016

Book Review Of The Oxford History Of The Laws Of England, Volume Ii, Thomas J. Mcsweeney

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


The Corpus Juris Civilis, Frederick W. Dingledy Nov 2015

The Corpus Juris Civilis, Frederick W. Dingledy

Library Staff Publications

The Corpus Juris Civilis, created by order of Byzantine Emperor Justinian I to compile the laws in force at the time, would become a vital foundation for both the civil law and common law traditions. Important figures in the development of the United States’ law used principles listed in the Corpus as a guide, and to this day legal scholars and historians still refer to it. As a system of law based on principles, not case law, the Corpus provided the framework upon which France built the Code Napoleon. The Corpus' influence can be seen in the legal systems of ...


"Shouting 'Fire' In A Theater": The Life And Times Of Constitutional Law's Most Enduring Analogy, Carlton F.W. Larson Oct 2015

"Shouting 'Fire' In A Theater": The Life And Times Of Constitutional Law's Most Enduring Analogy, Carlton F.W. Larson

William & Mary Bill of Rights Journal

In 1919, Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes introduced the specter of a man falsely shouting “fire” in a theater into First Amendment law. Nearly one hundred years later, this remains the most enduring analogy in constitutional law. It has been relied on in hundreds of constitutional cases, and it has permeated popular discourse on the scope of individual rights.

This Article examines both the origins and the later life of Holmes’s theater analogy. Part I is a detective story, seeking to solve the mystery of how Holmes came up with this particular example. This story takes us to the forgotten ...


"As If Uttered By Our Own Inspired Mouth": Researching The Corpus Juris Civilis, Frederick W. Dingledy Jul 2015

"As If Uttered By Our Own Inspired Mouth": Researching The Corpus Juris Civilis, Frederick W. Dingledy

Library Staff Publications

No abstract provided.


The Third Pillar Of Jurisprudence: Social Legal Theory, Brian Z. Tamanaha May 2015

The Third Pillar Of Jurisprudence: Social Legal Theory, Brian Z. Tamanaha

William & Mary Law Review

No abstract provided.


Happy 790th, Magna Carta!, Thomas J. Mcsweeney Apr 2015

Happy 790th, Magna Carta!, Thomas J. Mcsweeney

Popular Media

No abstract provided.


The Significance Of The Corpus Juris Civilis: Matilda Of Canossa And The Revival Of Roman Law, Thomas J. Mcsweeney, Michéle K. Spike Feb 2015

The Significance Of The Corpus Juris Civilis: Matilda Of Canossa And The Revival Of Roman Law, Thomas J. Mcsweeney, Michéle K. Spike

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Magna Carta And The Right To Trial By Jury, Thomas J. Mcsweeney Oct 2014

Magna Carta And The Right To Trial By Jury, Thomas J. Mcsweeney

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


America’S Legal History Started In Williamsburg, Paul Hellyer Jun 2014

America’S Legal History Started In Williamsburg, Paul Hellyer

Library Staff Publications

No abstract provided.


Magna Carta, Civil Law, And Canon Law, Thomas J. Mcsweeney Jan 2014

Magna Carta, Civil Law, And Canon Law, Thomas J. Mcsweeney

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


A Theory Of Civil Liability, Nathan B. Oman Jan 2014

A Theory Of Civil Liability, Nathan B. Oman

Faculty Publications

No abstract provided.


Forensic Bibliography: Reconstructing The Library Of George Wythe, Linda K. Tesar Apr 2013

Forensic Bibliography: Reconstructing The Library Of George Wythe, Linda K. Tesar

Library Staff Publications

No abstract provided.