oa Fundamina : A Journal of Legal History - The functions of expressions with utilitatis causa in the works of the Classical Roman lawyers
My dear colleague and friend Philip Thomas published studies on many topics in the fields of Roman law and legal history. Every year I have the pleasure of meeting him at the sessions of the "Société 'Fernand De Visscher' pour l'Histoire des Droits de l'Antiquité". Most of the papers read there are related to ancient Roman law. Therefore, I hope that he will find this contribution interesting, in which I formulate some new thoughts on the functions of the expressions with utilitatis causa in the works of the classical Roman lawyers.
This essay is divided into three parts. In Part I (no. 2) I give an overview of the texts in which expressions such as utilitatis causa receptum and utilitatis causa recipiendum occur and indicate how they find a place within the framework of the pragmatic methods of the Roman lawyers. In Part II (no. 3) I give a selection of eleven texts where one can find these expressions as well as a translation and a brief commentary. In Part III (no. 4) I distinguish two different functions of the studied expressions and explain in which cases utilitatis causa is given as the reason for the acceptance of an opinion as ius receptum, and when utilitatis causa is used as an argument for a practical, dogmatically indefensible solution.
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