Saturday, June 3, 2023

Jhering and environmental legal history

The German-language legal history journal Zeitschrift für Neuere Rechtsgeschichte last year published Sascha Ohlenforst's article, "Vom Sinn und Nutzen der Umweltrechtsgeschichte. Methodische Überlegungen auf Grundlage der Interessen- und Wertungsjurisprudenz" [On the sense and use of environmental legal history. Methodological considerations based on the jurisprudence of interests and values.]. The abstract:

How to write a history of environmental law that can be integrated into environmental and  legal history? What insights can be gained from dealing with past environmental law? The article discusses and problematizes essential questions of modern legal history and, on the basis of the jurisprudence of interests and values – especially with reference to Rudolf von Jhering –, promotes a possible new orientation of the history of environmental law. Such a method considers above all the different interests of historical actors and reference groups as a major factor of dynamization in environmental law. Examining these interests as social factors not only contributes to a deeper understanding of the particular human-environmental relations in the past, but also provides a detailed insight into the development of law. By consulting a case study on mining law, both the dynamizing factors as well as the continuities and disruptions between past and present law are illustrated.

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