Archives par mot-clé : litigation

[Parution] Litigation and the Elements of Proof in the Mediterranean (16th-19th C.)

Nous sommes très heureux de vous signaler la parution du dossier Litigation and the Elements of Proof in the Mediterranean (16th-19th C.), coordonné par Wolfgang Kaiser Et Johann Petitjean pour les Quaderni Storici.

Il est le résultat de travaux menés au sein du programme Mediterranean Reconfigurations: Intercultural Trade, Commercial Litigation, and Legal Pluralism, 15th-19th Centuries (ERC ConfigMed).
Ce dossier est composé comme suit:

– Wolfgang Kaiser (ERC ConfigMed/Université Paris 1/EHESS), Johann Petitjean (ERC ConfigMed/Université de Poitiers), Introduction, p. 619-632.

Francisco Apellániz (ERC ConfigMed/Villa i Tatti), «You cannot produce a Muslim witness»: Early Ottoman Attitudes Towards Proof and Religious Difference, p. 633-648.

Mafalda Ade (ERC ConfigMed/McGill University), The Ottoman Commercial Tribunal in Damascus and the Use of Testimony and Evidence in Mixed Cases in the 19th Century, p. 649-672.

– Jessica M. Marglin (University of Southern California), Extraterritoriality Meets Islamic Law: Legal Pluralism and Elements of Proof in the International Mixed Court of Morocco, 1871-1872, p. 673-700.

– Joshua M. White (University of Virginia), Litigating Disputes over Ships and Cargo in Early Modern Ottoman Courts, p. 701-726.

Andrea Addobbati, When Proof Is Lacking (ERC ConfigMed/Università di Pisa): A Ship Captain’s Oath and Commercial Justice in the Second Half of the Seventeenth Century, p. 727-752.

Michael Talbot (ERC ConfigMed/University of Greenwich), When Proof Is Not Enough: An Ottoman Merchant in the Gibraltar Vice-Admiralty Court in the 1760s, p. 753-776.

En plus de la version papier, la revue est consultable sur internet via: Web of Science (AHCI), Current Contents, Scopus Bibliographic Database, Historical Abstracts, International Bibliography of the Social Sciences (IBSS), America: History and Life, Current Abstracts, Periodicals Index Online, Articoli italiani di periodici accademici (AIDA), ERIH Plus, Bibliografia storica nazionale, Analecta-Spoglio dei periodici italiani, Dialnet, Catalogo italiano dei periodici (ACNP), JournalSeek, Essper, Fondazione Istituto F. Datini, Google Scholar, Primo Central (Ex Libris), EDS (Ebsco).

[Workshop] Arbitration and Cross-cultural Litigation (Mediterranean, XVth-XIXth centuries) – 17 January 2014

A Workshop of the “Mediterranean Reconfigurations” ERC program, 17 January 2014, École française de Rome. Pre-registration : <wolfgang.kaiser[ad]>].


This workshop will examine arbitration, one of merchants’ favorite ways of resolving disputes, within the frame of the ERC project “Mediterranean reconfigurations. Intercultural Trade, Commercial Litigation and Legal Pluralism, 15th-19th Centuries”. Arbitration was popular amongst pre-modern traders not only because of its speed, but also because it allowed to maintain the confidentiality of transactions and family disputes. This workshop aims to provide a broad picture of the different sources, institutions, procedures and uses of arbitration in the early modern Mediterranean, thus dealing with many of the core issues of the “Mediterranean Reconfigurations” project:

  1. First of all, we are interested in the dialectic between arbitration and commercial disputes (and more broadly, between arbitration and litigation). Far from being considered an imperfect procedure symptomatic of weak political and legal powers, arbitration and local tribunals commonly complemented each other. We will try to properly analyse the articulation between the procedures which came under the respective jurisdiction of private arbitration, public arbitration and local courts in order to solve disputes.
  2. As part of the ongoing debate on the existence and specificity of a lex mercatoria or ius mercatorum, we shall also focus on the speed and irrevocability of arbitrations: was it possible to appeal an arbitration sentence? Where and to whom was it possible to address an appeal if a decision was considered unfair or unsatisfactory by the litigants? How did, in actual practice, work the system of guarantees and bails ensuring the respect for arbitration judgments?
  3. Did merchants and sailors involved in cross-cultural litigation rather opt for compromissory procedure? Or, on the contrary, was the arbitration procedure disregarded by traders belonging to different normative frameworks because of the uncertainty of the system of adjudication and of the lack of enforcement? Did litigants attempt to find a common norm to settle disputes? Did the arbitration procedure favor the conventional settling of a “third norm”, understood as a mix of different conceptions of law? In other words, did the flexibility of the arbitration procedure allow the articulation of different laws and legal cultures? This point is directly linked to one of the score issues behind “Mediterranean Reconfigurations”: “normative pluralism”.
  4. In the Levant disputes were often decided by consuls through arbitration (or “rodes”). Was this option restricted only to merchants and sailors belonging to the consuls’ own nation? It would be useful to assess if there was any room for maneuver in such cases, and what was the jurisdictional autonomy of community arbitrators, trying to make a typology of the several forms of disputes leading to arbitration.
  5. We shall also investigate the sociocultural profiles of arbitrators by focusing in particular on relations between arbitration and legal expertise of the mercantile and maritime world. The issue of the language of arbitrators (not only the idiom, but also the language of jurists or the language of traders) will be specifically scrutinized.

Guillaume Calafat

Maître de conférences en histoire moderne (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne/Institut d'histoire moderne et contemporaine). Membre junior de l'Institut Universitaire de France (2022).

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Working lives between the deck and the dock: comparative perspectives on sailors as international labourers (16th-18th centuries)

The conference will examine the early modern maritime sector as an early example of an international labour market and it is conceived as an integral part of the project Sailing into Modernity: comparative perspectives on the sixteenth- and seventeenth-century European economic transition, funded by the European Research Council and led by Maria Fusaro with the assistance of Bernard Allaire, Richard Blakemore and Tijl Vanneste. More details on the project can be found at:

This ERC project is a comparative study of the contractual conditions and economic treatment of sailors active in the Mediterranean and aims to test the hypothesis that differences in the legal and financial treatment of sailors were one of the crucial factors in the ultimate success of northern European economies in their commercial penetration of the Mediterranean.

For the conference we would like to complement the project’s focus on Italy (Genoa and Venice), France, England and the United Provinces by widening the field to other nations commercially active in the Mediterranean (such as Spain, the Holy Roman Empire, and Scandinavian countries) and other European Seas (such as the Baltic, North Sea and eastern Atlantic). Hoping to gain comparative insights we also welcome contributions that deal with these issues in other maritime regions around the globe in these centuries.

We are especially keen to include contributions based on new archival research that will directly engage with the main themes of the project:

  • sailors’ wages
  • contractual conditions
  • sailors’ litigation at home and abroad
  • sailors’ social and economic make-up
  • managing multi-national crews
  • information exchange in the maritime world

The conference will take place at the University of Exeter 10-12 September 2013, and we plan to publish a selection of the papers presented as a collective volume.We welcome submissions of paper proposals by the 30 December 2012. By this date please send to

a)    a 1000 words abstract of your proposed paper;

b)    a full CV with contact address.

We plan to shortlist by the beginning of February 2013, and we shall need electronic copies of the papers by the 31 July 2013.

If you have any questions about the conference please contact the organizing committee at

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Guillaume Calafat

Maître de conférences en histoire moderne (Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne/Institut d'histoire moderne et contemporaine). Membre junior de l'Institut Universitaire de France (2022).

More Posts - Website

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