Czy prawo rzymskie pokonało kanał La Manche?

Łukasz Marzec


This paper presents the issue of the influence of the Roman Law on the English legal system through its historical development. One can find several fields where Roman Law, or ius commune was useful in England, like legal education, foreign serviced, the science of law and the practice of several courts administering equity, admiralty or ecclesiastical jurisdiction.

The Court of Chancery was a significant element of the English judicial system that operated outside the sphere of the common law. The equity law, intended to be a remedy for the strict rules of the common law, borrowed much from the Roman law. Many chancellors and masters in Chancery, having obtained a D.C.L or LL.D degree were open to adopt Roman law rules in the Court’s practice. In the common opinion, some of the equity institutions were borrowed from the Roman law, like trust (fideicomissum) or elements of mortgage (equity of redemption). Many “rules of equity” have also their origins in the Roman jurisprudence.

Many of Admiralty judges were doctors of civil law and members of the elitists organization Doctors’ Commons. Some of the court’s jurisdiction wad based on the Roman law, which was one of the reasons for professional envy and jealousy presented by common law judges headed by Sir Edward Coke. The Court of Admiralty was undoubtedly the most powerful English judicial institution using the rules of Roman law in its practice. One of the respodentia, based on the pecunia traiecticia and foenus nauticum.

Contemporary English barristers-to be are still required to get a pass in the Roman Law, in the United States the knowledge of the Roman Law is the mark of a very high professional status of the lawyer. Even American universities continue to offer summer courses in Roman Law and they still find applicants.

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