Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Roman Foundations of the Civilian Tradition

LEVEL 02 - Years 2, 3 in Modular Undergraduate Course



DESCRIPTION This unit aims to train students in integrating Roman law scholarship in their Civil law studies, with particular reference to the law of Persons, Property, Obligations and Succession. The provisions of the Maltese Civil Code and associated legislation dealing with these topics will be reviewed and analysed, compared to their Roman law antecedents and the historical development which has occurred will be investigated.

The enduring role of certain Roman law rules and principles will be highlighted and students will discuss how the analysis of Maltese law can be undertaken in a manner which reflects this inheritance.

Study-unit Aims

1) To introduce students to the study of Civil law in general and to the Maltese Civilian tradition in particular;
2) To train students in the science of interpreting legal rules according to a historically informed analytical methodology;
3) To integrate the study of Roman law and Maltese Civil law.

Learning Outcomes

1. Knowledge & Understanding:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

1) Comprehend law as a logically integrated system of ideas and norms which has been developed and debated for over two millenia;
2) Comprehend general legal notions and principles such as good faith, culpa and dolus and latin maxims such as the res inter alios acta principle;
3) Comprehend the Roman law not as a dead and self-contained system but as a still fecund and ongoing tradition.

2. Skills:
By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:

1) Relate particular rules and institutes of Maltese law to their Roman antecedents;
2) Connect particular national legal doctrines in continental Europe to their Roman law matrix;
3) Access and apply doctrinal debates within the Civilian tradition to their interpretation of Maltese law.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings

Andrew Borkowski, 2002. Textbook on Roman Law, Blackstone Press.
David Johnston, 1999. Roman Law in Context, Cambridge: University Press.
Barry Nicholas, 1976. An Introduction to Roman Law, Oxford: University Press.
Franz Wieacker, Tony Weir and Reinhard Zimmermann, 1996. A History of Private Law in Europe: with particular reference to Germany, Oxford: University Press.
Reinhard Zimmermann, 1996. The Law of Obligations: Roman Foundations of the Civilian Tradition, Clarendon Press, Oxford: University Press.
Robert D. Melville, 2012. A Manual of the Principles of Roman Law Relating to Persons, Property, and Obligations: With a Historical Introduction, Classic Reprint.

ADDITIONAL NOTES Students taking this study-unit need to have a background in law.


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM1 Yes 100%


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It should be noted that all the information in the study-unit description above applies to the academic year 2019/0, if study-unit is available during this academic year, and may be subject to change in subsequent years.