Comparative Approaches –Law of Precedent in Late Medieval England
The project addresses practices of comparing that facilitate English precedent law. The comparison of factual evidence to establish similarity, which in turn substantiates decision-making and thus establishes law, is central to Common Law. To examine these practices of comparing and their stabilisation, the project examines two source corpora, the writings of Henry de Bracton in the 13th century, and the so-called yearbooks dating from the 14th and 15th centuries. The pivotal question turns on how Common Law emerged and consolidated as a formation of practice and the role of legal actors as a community of practice in this process.
Key source corpora are to be digitised and analysed by applying methods of digital history to examine networks of persons, but also networks of legal cases, reference structures and systems of categorisation.
Thus, the project works in close cooperation with the INF-project.