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10 - Conclusions

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  28 April 2021

Paul J. du Plessis
Affiliation:
University of Edinburgh
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Summary

Roman legal texts on the lex Aquilia teem with life. This is no doubt one of the reasons why the topic of wrongful damage to property has had such a profound impact upon the legal landscape of Roman law in the United Kingdom. Students and teachers like cases and the Roman legal texts provide ample fodder for detailed analytical discussions of the elements of a civil wrong. But it is not merely the attractiveness of the cases that has cemented the place of the lex Aquilia in the legal landscape of Roman law in the United Kingdom. This association goes far deeper than that. In fact, the lex Aquilia reveals the very DNA of Roman law studies in the United Kingdom.

In this volume, a group of established and younger scholars of Roman law were asked to reflect upon this topic. Their task was to examine the impact which the teaching of and research into this area of the Roman law of delict has had on the discipline of Roman law in the United Kingdom during the course of the twentieth century. The aim of this investigation has been to assess the extent to which the lex Aquilia may be used to draw larger conclusions about the nature of Roman law in the United Kingdom as an academic discipline.

The chapters by Cairns, Ibbetson, Mitchell and Spagnolo provide the contexts in which the lex Aquilia in Britain should be viewed. As Cairns shows, the teaching of this aspect of the Roman law of delict must be seen against the backdrop of changes to university education during the course of the nineteenth century. Furthermore, the relationship between the exegetical mode of teaching (using Roman law texts) and a desire by university authorities to equip students with a knowledge of juristic reasoning and intellectual techniques are vital to our understanding of this topic. To this must be added the availability of teaching material such as the translations and commentaries of Monro. Cairns’ comments about the relationships between the British methods of teaching this topic and their engagement with the Pandectist exposition of settled doctrine is well worth noting (a point to which I will return later).

Type
Chapter
Information
Wrongful Damage to Property in Roman Law
British perspectives
, pp. 275 - 278
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Print publication year: 2018

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