Legal History

Within this community, students collaborate across universities in Europe and respective student groups on common themes through the use of active learning methods. Students work individually and collectively on a case study connected to the transversal theme of minority rights. The theme is studied from the perspective of legal history (i.e. the role of law in the treatment of minorities, and the influence of minorities on how we think in legal categories).

Through the activities, the community aims to enhance the potential for collaborative education through a blended teaching approach. Teaching is conducted in English, as well as in the different languages of the participating institutions, where it is relevant or necessary to highlight the specific cultural component of the cases treated. Students work across the campuses and use the architectural environment of their campuses and cities to convey their message. A case sometimes cannot be understood without reference to the past, but your individual and concrete experiences serve as our gateway to discussing and discovery.

Key learning outcomes: A thorough understanding of sources of law, the mobilisation of legal arguments in political and societal debates, critical analysis of and reflection on primary sources, engagement in debate with lecturers and fellow students..

Discover more about our work through our student’s blogposts and community updates here.


Various Activities

  • The peak event is a meeting where all institutions physically come together, after intense connected online cooperation on Teams. This will take place alongside an online exhibition of the elaborated material in a visually appealing way (embedded historical and legal documents, video clips, podcasts)
  • Meetings with the lecturer and students of the same institution on a regular basis 
  • Online meetings with the students across the various institutions (both formally and informally), allow you to keep in touch, explore each others’ cases and share experiences on the new learning methods. One example of this is our EUTOPIA Coffee Corner.
  • Expert interviews to provide substantive input for the project.
  • A culminating event where all institutions come together, meet and exchange.  An online exhibition of the elaborated material in a visually appealing way (embedded historical and legal documents, video clips, podcasts) 
Learning Community Activities
Upcoming Events

Past Events

Peak Event 2023-2024: Connectedness in Legal History, in Brussels

The EUTOPIA Connected Learning Community Legal History works on the theme Connectedness in the academic year 2023-2024. 

Students from the Vrije Universiteit Brussel the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Prof. Frederik Dhondt), CY Paris University (Prof. Caroula Argyriadis-Kervégan), the University of Ljubljana (Prof. Katja Skrubej), the University of Warwick (Dr. . Rosie Doyle) and Nova University of Lisbon (Prof. Cristina Nogueira da Silva) will work together, both virtually and in-person (at the Peak Event, 14-15 March 2024, in Brussels) around the theme Connectedness in legal history. We will focus on multilevel governance, legal transfers, circulation of ideas and advocacy in various legal spaces, highlighting the relativity of the Nation-State as a point of departure for legal history and the richness of the various legal traditions connected to our institutions and jurisdictions. 

Conformably to the European University EUTopia's strategic orientation, we highlight student-driven connected learning communities, with the involvement of external experts, wherein multilingualism is an important aspect: the primary legal sources from the past (legislation, doctrine, case law, potentially also other archival sources) presented by our students are embedded in their own legal tradition and culture, involving national and regional languages.

(Image: Belgian Royal Library, seat of the Peak Event on 14 March, 2024)


Student podcasts - "Spanish Republican Exiles"

Irene Garcia Andres
, a History student of Prof. Rosie Doyle at the University of Warwick prepared during a EURSS research stay in Toulouse in summer 2022 the attached podcasts on "Spanish Republican Exiles" (supervision of Rosie Doyle (Warwick),  C. Argyriadis-Kervegan (referent at CY)).

Lecture "Across empires: plantation labour in the aftermath of abolition" - Prof. Cristiana Bastos

(image source: Prof. Bastos)

Prof. Cristiana Bastos (Lisboa, ERC Advanced Grantee) will hold this year's opening lecture for the EUTopia Connected Learning Community Legal History:Labour Migration. The topic is "Across empires: plantation labour in the aftermath of abolition".
Background reading can be found on Prof. Bastos' project website, and will be shared at registration.

Discover more about the lecture on the blog here

Peak Event (March 2023, Ljubljana) 


As part of the Eutopia Legal History project on "Labor immigration" a workshop was organized from March 9 to 12, 2023 at the University of Ljubljana.
During the day of March 10, the students of the member universities exchanged the results of their research, and initiated collaboration projects for the future.
The meeting was an opportunity to visit the beautiful city of Ljubljana, its castle, the old assembly, the university and the library.
On Saturday, March 11, the students and their teachers visited the city of Trieste, an important port for immigration and the Maritime Museum in the city of Piran on the Adriatic coast.


This year's Peak Event will take in place in Ljubljana ! The students from the five partner universities will then present their first research on labour migration in the scope of legal history.

Prof. dr. Katja Škrubej, who welcomes us at her faculty, has also planed several cultural activities and visits related to the history of labour migration.

The full program of the Peak Event is now available ! (click on the images below to download as a PDF file)


Peak Event (February 18th-19th 2022, Paris & Cergy)


Online exhibition - Legal History : Minority rights

Discover our students' output either on this blog, or on the virtual exhibition on Miro !

Learning Community Members

Lead: Frederik Dhondt (VUB), Email:

Frederik Dhondt studied law (Ghent, 2007), history (Ghent/Erasmus Paris IV-Sorbonne, 2008) and International Relations (Sciences Po Paris, 2009). He obtained his PhD in Law in 2013 (Ghent). He has been a PhD-Fellow of the Research Foundation Flanders, a faculty postdoctoral assistant and a Postdoctoral Fellow of the Research Foundation Flanders at Ghent University. From 2015 on, he teaches political history, comparative constitutional history and international legal history at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. From 2015 to 2020, he was a guest lecturer at the Law Faculty of the University of Antwerp. The EUTOPIA project is an opportunity to internationalise the current master's course Legal History, which is co-taught with dr. Raphaël Cahen (VUB, currently Fellow in Residence at the IAS in Orléans). Students explore the extensive databases of published 18th and 19th-century legal sources and combine them with recent literature to present and write on a legal aspect of past international relations or constitutions. This interactive mode of teaching in Dutch, French and English has allowed us to invite external colleagues and students in the past academic years. We look forward to welcoming out EUTopia partners and their students

Partner: Raphaël Cahen (VUB), Email:

Raphaël Cahen is a Post-doctoral Fellow and a visiting professor at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel. He has studied law, history and political sciences in Aix-en-Provence, Perugia and Munich and holds a Joint PhD in Law and political sciences from Aix-Marseille University and the LMU Munich. He is doing research on intellectual history, as well as the history of institutions and international law. He is teaching the master course Rechtsgeschiedenis (Lead by Frederik Dhondt) at the VUB and the learning Unit Legal History (Lead by Frederik Dhondt) within the alliance Eutopia.    
His major publications include Friedrich Gentz (1764-1832): Penseur post-Lumières et acteur du nouvel ordre européen (Berlin, Boston 2017) and « Hauterive et l’école des diplomates (1800-1830) », Clio@Themis. Revue électronique d’histoire du droit, t. 18 [Dossier : Histoire du droit international], 2020. 

Partner: Katja Škrubej (UL), Email:

Head Of Department: Department of Legal History Courses: Legal History, Law and Language in the European tradition, Ancient Oriental lawsAncient Greek lawTheory and methods of legal historyEuropean legal historyLegal history of the selected period.

Partner: Caroula Argyriadis-Kervegan (CY), Email:

Caroula Argyriadis-Kervegan is a professor of Legal History at the CY Cergy Paris University. She is a former research fellow at the Max Planck Institute of History of Law and a professor at the universities of Rouen and Le Havre. Her research focuses on the comparative history of legal thought, conservatism, comparative history of law (France, Germany, Greece, 18th–20thc.), and the history of the modern nation-state. Her courses are about the comparative history of public law and history of international law, comparative history of family law, and history of human rights. She is co-responsible for the student exchanges of the law faculty. She is the author of numerous publications in German, French, English, Italian, and Greek scientific journals.

Partner: Alfons Aragoneses (UPF), Email: 

Alfons Aragoneses is Associate Professor at Universitat Pompeu Fabra and Affiliate Researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory. He got his PhD in 2006 at the Universitat de Girona with a thesis on the History of Comparative Law in France. He has published two books on the topic in German (2006) and Spanish (2009). Since then he has published articles and chapters of books on the history of private law in France and Spain and on the history of Francoist law. He has recently published works on memory laws and memory politics. He teaches Legal History from a Global Perspective at UPF and has also taught in Italy, France and Brazil. He recently co-directed a postgraduate course on Transitional Justice and Public policies of remembrance at the Universitat de les Illes Balears.

Partner: Jane Bryan (UW), Email: 

Dr Jane Bryan is a Reader in Law at the University of Warwick and a Foundation Fellow of the Warwick International Higher Education Academy. Jane’s research and teaching interests include medical law, pedagogy, and the student's voice. Jane teaches modules on ‘Property Law’ ‘Trusts Law’ and ‘Medical Law’ and was a recipient of a Warwick Award for Teaching Excellence commendation and one of the Finalists in the Oxford University Press Law Teacher of the Year Award 2019. Jane has a keen interest in supporting undergraduate research institutionally and beyond, being the Warwick Student Research Staff Network Lead and a member of the organising committee of the World Conference of Undergraduate Research.

Partner: Rosie Doyle (UW), Email:

Rosie is Assistant Professor in Latin American History at Warwick and a Historian of Mexico. She teaches on the History of Human Rights in Latin America at Warwick. Rosie is interested in legal and constitutional history among other approaches. Her doctoral research and publications to date were among the outputs of the St Andrews-based digital history project The Pronunciamiento in Independent Mexico 1821-1876. Her current research project is a study of how the relationship between Liberation Theologians, local communities and indigenous rights and human rights activists has developed since the late 1960s. Rosie is co-convenor of the Warwick Oral History Network.

Partner: Cristina Nogueira da Silva (UNL), Email:

Cristina Nogueira da Silva is Associate Professor and Vice President of the Scientific Council of the Law Faculty (NOVA School of Law). Her most recent projects have focused on the legal status of the territories and populations of the Portuguese Empire in the 19th and 20th centuries, as well as on the political culture of the 19th century. She is currently the principal researcher of the project ‘Legal Pluralism in the Portuguese Empire’ (18th-20th centuries).
Cristina graduated in History (Faculty of Social and Human Sciences of the Nova University of Lisbon, 1985-89) and completed her Master’s Degree in Social Sciences (History and Sociology of Power) at the Institute of Social Sciences of the Lisbon University (1997) with a dissertation entitled ‘The Spatial Model of the Modern State, Territorial Reorganisation in Portugal at the End of the Ancien Regime’ (O Modelo Espacial do Estado Moderno, Reorganização Territorial em Portugal nos Finales do Antigo Regime, Lisbon, Editorial Estampa, 1998). She obtained her PhD in Legal History at the Faculty of Law of Universidade NOVA de Lisboa (2005) with a doctoral research entitled ‘Constitutionalism and Empire Citizenship in Portuguese Overseas Territories’ (Constitucionalismo e Império. A cidadania no Ultramar português, Lisbon, Almedina, 2009).
Since 1990, he has contributed to several research projects in the areas of history of law, institutional and political history and history of empire and citizenship in the modern and contemporary eras (at the Institute of Social Sciences of the University of Lisbon, at the National Archives of Torre do Tombo, at the Faculties of Law and Social and Human Sciences of Universidade NOVA de Lisboa, at the State University of Campinas).
She is a member of CEDIS, the Research Centre in Law and Society at Nova Lisboa, of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Max Planck Institute for European Legal History (Frankfurt am Main) since 2017 and is currently a member of the Editorial Board of the journal História do Direito, Journal of the Brazilian Institute of History of Law and member of the Advisory Board of the journal Anuario de Historia del Derecho Español.