AN IMPORTANT BRANCH OF EUROPEAN CIVIL LAW. Origianlly published: Grahamstown, Cape Colony: African Book Co., 1908. iv (new introduction), xv, 791 pp. With a New Introduction by Michael Hoeflich, John H. & John M. Kane Professor of Law, University of Kansas School of Law. Roman-Dutch law is a hybrid of medieval Dutch law, mainly Germanic in origin, and Roman law as defined by the Corpus Juris Civilis and its later reception. It was developed in Holland during the sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Bynkershoek, Damhouder, Grotius and other Roman-Dutch jurists had a profound influence on the development of European civil law and were the primary source of civil-law study in America. The Dutch brought it to their colonies, most notably South Africa and Indonesia, and it became the basis of their post-colonial legal systems. This engagingly written history offers a thorough analysis of Roman-Dutch jurisprudence and its intellectual background. Wessels devotes a great deal of attention to its literature, and he analyzes several treatises at length. Valuable as an introduction to one of the most important legal systems in history, it is equally useful as a reference.
"On the whole, the work is deserving of high praise, both for its learning and its literary quality. It will prove a most illuminating adjunct to the standard authorities on this system of law." --JAMES MACKINTOSH, Juridical Review 20 (1908-1909) 370.
JOHANNES WILHELMUS WESSELS [1862-1936] was a judge of the Transvaal Supreme Court. His works include The Status of the Uitlander (1894), Codification of Law in South Africa (1927) and The Law of Contract in South Africa (1937).
MICHAEL H. HOEFLICH is the John H. & John M. Kane Professor of Law at the University of Kansas School of Law. He is the author of numerous books including Roman and Civil Law and the Development of Anglo-American Jurisprudence (1997), Legal Publishing in Antebellum America (2010), Sources of the History of the American Law of Lawyering (2007) and The Law in Postcards and Ephemera 1890-1962 (2012), the latter two published by The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd.