Navigation auf


Rechtswissenschaftliche Fakultät Lehrstuhl Fiocchi

Legal History between Land Ownership and Communal Property

I. Content of the Seminar

How was the relationship, during the course of centuries, in different epochs and geographical contexts, between land ownership and communal property? How did positive law and customary law influence each other?  How was law enacted? How was the relationship between state and indigenous people?  and how the indigenous people claim  their rights? How was law extended or imposed for example in an imperial expansion and in colonial contexts?

The role of bureaucracies in land registration systems, indigenous communal property or other indigenous property concepts, impacts of land registrations in public  and private law One might analyze the interaction between institutions and tribal traditions regarding property law and the political, legal and social dynamics governing their relations. Lastly, one could examine the effect this kind of legal decision has had up to the present day.

The seminar will attempt to reconstruct the complex relationship between land ownership and communal property, focusing on some prominent topics within the discipline. Among them are national law, customary law, colonialism and imperialism.

In the seminar, together with Dr. Pamela Cacciavillani, we will analyze the thoughts, events and national and international practices with regard to land ownership and communal property from a legal-historical perspective. 


II. Academic Requirements

Writing a paper and presenting it at the seminar is required. In addition, active participation in the discussions of the papers of the other participants is expected. The oral performance will be factored into the final grade.


III. Place and Time

The seminar will take place at the University of Zurich. Room and dates (2 days) are to be determined.


IV. Proceeding of the Seminar

The seminar will be held in English. Each day consists of presentations of student papers and ensuing discussions. The sessions will be introduced by key note speaker Dr. Pamela Cacciavillani  (Max-Planck Institute for European Legal History, Frankfurt am Main) who will also participate in the discussions.


V. Admission

A maximum number of 20 students will be admitted. Students can be at the Bachelor or Master levels. Students from other faculties are also welcome.


VI. Master Thesis

Students have the option to write a Master thesis. A presentation of results and thoughts of the research is expected at the seminar.


VII. Application and Registration

Please apply by email and indicate name, address and Matrikelnummer (privacy will be observed) and suggest a topic you are interested in.

Final applications are due by 20 December 2018. Topics will be discussed with professor Elisabetta Fiocchi before this date.

Registrations are binding.


VIII. Paper Deadline

The final date to submit papers will be two weeks before the seminar.