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Les juristes en action : aux origines du droit politique moderne : L'histoire du droit et ses méthodes. Essai d'historiographie

Abstract : n France, medieval legal historians have recently expanded their field of research, as is demonstrated by their most recent publications. These recent publications are now sufficiently numerous that it is possible to sketch out some of the directions taken by the history of public law at the end of the Middle Ages (13th to 15th centuries), a period that all scholars regard as crucial for the formation of modern state. We owe our deepening knowledge of the political and administrative organization of pre- modern France to patient research in the history of public institutions, a subject traditionally taught in law faculties. Scholars in the humanistic disciplines, for their part, have immersed themselves in political history, a subject that has been rejuvenated under the leadership of Bernard Guenée et Raymond Gazelles. This revivified political history has shed new light on the political personnel of the late Middle Ages. This article argues that historians of public law should recognize that their discipline is distinct from both the history of political institutions and the social history of the insitutions that exercise power. The proper subject of the history of public law is, first and foremost, juridical norms, paradoxically ignored by the lawyers who write the history of public law. The aim of the history of public law is to reconstruct the processes by which juridical norms have been elaborated. By tracing the paths taken by working jurists of the past, by observing all the techniques they employed in order to isolate out a juridical norm, legal historians gradually succeed in illuminating, in their own characteristic way, the moving forces that lay behind ihe construction of law founded in politics at the end of the Middle Ages.
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Frédéric Audren. Les juristes en action : aux origines du droit politique moderne : L'histoire du droit et ses méthodes. Essai d'historiographie. Histoire, économie et société, Armand Colin, 1997, pp.555 - 578. ⟨hal-01462052⟩

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