Saint-Louis University - Bruxelles

HIST1314 - The Histoire of Justice

Credits : 5

Lecturer :
Mode of delivery :
Face-to-face , second term, 30 hours of theory.

Timetable :
Second term
Monday from 13:30 to 15:30

Language of instruction :
French. Documents in latin may be exploited during the course. These will be systematically translated and commentary will be provided.

Learning outcomes :
The aim of the course is to introduce students to the history of justice from the middle ages to the present day. It covers the diverse forms of justice and the diverse disciplinary fields concerned (judicial institutions, judicial staff, procedures, law, etc.). The course also aims to introduce history students to the wealth of legal sources available to them (including both written and iconographic (visual) documents) that are relevant for political, economic, social, or religious history, or for the history of mental attitudes. Students will also learn about the particular characteristics, constraints and limits of such sources.

Prerequisites :
For the Bachelor in Law :

For the Bachelor in History :

For the Bachelor in Information and Communication :

For the Bachelor in Philosophy :

For the Bachelor in Economics and Management :

For the Bachelor in Political Sciences: General :

For the Bachelor in Sociology and Anthropology :

Co-requisites :

Course contents :
Given the wide scope of the subject matter and the historical span of the periods concerned, it is not possible to present the history of justice in an exhaustive way, nor is it possible to study all the different facets of judicial history.
The course covers, firstly, and principally through exploiting iconographic sources, the evolution of justice from the 18th century to the present day, thereby shedding light on change and continuity in the genesis of our own judicial system.
Secondly, the course covers a range of more specific questions (such as crimes, evidence, punishment, the image of the judge, and the birth of the idea of a crime against humanity). These are studied through a range of case studies, principally trials (well-known ones, such as the Calas affair, or the Nuremburg trials, or less well-known ones drawn from the judicial archives). The study of such cases provides students with the opportunity to become more conversant with the sources of the history of law, and of justice, and also gives them the research skills for looking more deeply into a particular theme. The list of cases and themes that are studied may vary from one year to the next.

Planned learning activities and teaching methods :
The first part of the course is taught through lectures, and presents mainly iconographic source material. In the second part of the course students are invited to play a more active role, by, sometimes in teams, giving a short presentation as an introduction to one of the case studies under consideration.

Assessment methods and criteria :
There is an oral examination on one of the themes studied in class during the year (the theme is selected by the student). The student is asked to make a presentation of their selected theme based on the material provided in lectures and their own reading of an additional scholarly publication.

Recommended or required reading :
A general bibliography is provided. A choice of personal reading corresponding to the themes studied is also provided. The list of themes will be provided at the start of the course.

Other information :
Due to current artistic intellectual property rights legislation, it is not possible to make the images of films used in the course available on line, even via the intranet.