oa Fundamina : A Journal of Legal History - Voorda : an introduction to Jacobus Voorda and his unique lectures on the at the University of Utrecht, 1755-1760

Volume 2003 Number 9
  • ISSN : 1021-545X
  • E-ISSN: 2411-7870



Jacobus Voorda (1698-1768) is hardly known to South African practitioners and academics, the chief reason being that his most significant work, 1021 manuscript pages of (lectures on the contemporary law), has remained in manuscript form and buried, until recent decades, in the (the Provincial Library of Friesland) in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands. Yet, Voorda is important for European legal scholarship because in the lectures which he gave to his law students at the University of Utrecht from 1744 to 1760 he compared the prevailing law of each of the seven provinces of the United Netherlands with the received Roman law. In this he is unique. Other writers such as Groenewegen and Van Leeuwen did make such comparison, but they concentrated chiefly on the law of Holland and moreover were writing for practitioners and not students.

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