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W.A. Wilson Memorial Lecture - Professor Nils Jansen

Balustrade in Old College quad


Edinbrugh Law School & Online


Wed 30 March 2022

The Edinburgh Centre for Private Law presents

The W.A. Wilson Memorial Lecture to be delivered by Professor Nils Jansen

Title of talk: Hermann Kantorowicz’ Concept of Legal Science And the Social Role of Legal Scholarship, Today


Abstract: Hermann Kantorowicz was a scholar who bridged the intellectual divide between Common and Civil Law both through his biography and his highly extensive work, which connected legal history, legal theory, and criminal law. This lecture will focus on Kantorowicz’s idea of legal science. It will endeavour to show that Kantorowicz’s problems still face us today and that there is a lot to learn from the questions he raised. One reason is that he discussed these questions in a manner which engaged deeply with contemporary philosophical scholarship (i.e. Heinrich Rickert, Wilhelm Windelband, and Max Weber). The other reason is that Kantorowicz developed his ideas of legal science wholly independently of 19th century (or contemporary) programmes aimed at re-constructing the law in the form of a fully rational and internally coherent system. In this respect, Kantorowicz’s ideas fit in well with modern, more fluid, and complex notions of law and multi-layered legal systems.


Speaker profile available on WWU Münster website


This event is free and open to all but registration is required.



To attend IN PERSON please register through Eventbrite HERE

To attend VIRTUALLY please register through Zoom HERE



About W.A. (Bill) Wilson

WA (Bill) Wilson (1928-1994) taught law at the University of Edinburgh from 1960 until his death in 1994 at the age of 65. From 1972 onwards he was the Lord President Reid Professor of Law. His academic interests were exceptionally wide. A memoir of Bill Wilson forms the first chapter of a series of essays which were published in his memory: see Hector L MacQueen (ed), "Scots Law into the 21st Century: Essays in Honour of WA Wilson" (1996).