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Books Year : 2016

Women in legal history

Sébastien Dhalluin
  • Function : Scientific advisor
  • PersonId : 1137278
Sebastiaan Vandenbogaerd
  • Function : Scientific advisor
  • PersonId : 1346427
Iris Lellouche
  • Function : Scientific advisor
Bruno Debaenst
  • Function : Scientific advisor


From May 15 to May 18, 2013 the French Centre d'Histoire Judiciaire (Université Lille 2) and the Belgian Instituut voor Rechtsgeschiedenis (Ghent University) organised the nineteenth European Forum of Young Legal Historians. During three days, more than sixty young researchers from all over Europe and beyond gathered around the theme (Wo)Men in legal history, a subject allowing them to think about women and men in legal history from various scientific angles. The gender concept has become essential in human and social sciences, providing another way of analysing and interpreting society. Masculinity and femininity can thus be seen as a social construction based on biological sex. Two main questions needed an answer : can law, from an evolutionary and dynamic point of view, be seen as a way of reducing differences between men and women ? What is the role and place of both genders in legislation and legislative bodies, in justice administration and judicial bodies, as well as in legal science and education, both as subjects and objects ? The aim of this book is not to take part in any militant ideology but to consider dispassionately the various scientific ways of the construction of femininity and masculinity. The importance for legal historians is obvious : to think about law as an instrument of subordination and/or way of social change, which can enrich studies about the juridical evolution of societies. Legal rules can be important tools of social engineering in a very explicit way, but, also implicitly every legal system mirrors the cultural role of gender. This book answers the call issued by historians to rethink the dominant narratives of law producing and reflecting cultural and social norms. It challenges legal historians and other scholars to use a gendered approach to law.


Law History
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Dates and versions

emse-04435714 , version 1 (02-02-2024)


  • HAL Id : emse-04435714 , version 1


Hélène Duffuler-Vialle, Sébastien Dhalluin, Sebastiaan Vandenbogaerd, Iris Lellouche, Bruno Debaenst (Dir.). Women in legal history. Centre d'Histoire Judiciaire, 2016. ⟨emse-04435714⟩
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