oa Fundamina : A Journal of Legal History - ,,Grave est fidem fallere" : Vertrauensschutz im römischen Recht
The historical roots of the concept of protection of trust are found in the ius gentium which was primarily developed to govern the relations between Romans and foreigners or amongst foreigners themselves. The foundation of the ius gentium lies in fides, namely that fiduciary duty which was characterised as fundamentum iustitiae by Cicero and which was commented upon by Ulpian with the words "grave est fidem fallere". In fact, if no inherent legal structures exist, one may only find common ground by referring to mutual trust, as it is on this basis that judicial relations can be established. Furthermore, fides has become the benchmark for contractual obligations in the form of bona fides, which has been given content through a discourse between jurists for centuries. Hence, bona fides constitutes the protection of trust. Entering into a contract based on bona fides determines accountability. This study examines the development of the concept of protection of trust through the contributions of the Roman jurists.
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