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Military courts in Europe, from the Ancien Régime to the present day

Research seminar: Call for papers
p. 156-157

Notes de la rédaction

Fondation de la Maison des Sciences de l’Homme
International Association for the History of Crime and Criminal Justice (IAHCCJ)
Groupe Européen de Recherche sur les Normativités (GERN-CNRS)

René Lévy (CESDIP-GERN, CNRS, France)
Steering committee

Jean-Marc Berlière (Univ. de Bourgogne and CESDIP, France), Clive Emsley (Open University, UK), Dominique Kalifa (Univ. Panthéon-Sorbonne Paris 1, France), Michel Porret (Univ. de Genève, Switzerland), Herbert Reinke (Universität Wuppertal, Germany), Xavier Rousseaux (UCL, Belgique), Mario Sbriccoli (Univ. di Macerata, Italy), Jim Sharpe (University of York, UK).

Because it touches on one of the fundamental attributes of State sovereignty, the study of military courts stands at the intersection of military history, to be sure, but also political history, and the history of crime and criminal justice, of which it is the militarized variant, as it were. It is for this reasons that the same questions could be usefully asked of both systems.

But, whereas the history of crime and the criminal justice system have been the object of extensive international scrutiny for a quarter century, the military justice system has been largely neglected. Historians of military matters, like those of the criminal justice system seem to have adopted the cruel view of Georges Clemenceau: «Military law is to law what military music is to music», and have consequently disdained this object.

The present seminar, which is part of a broader program launched by the Maison des Sciences de l’Homme, hopes to begin to fill in this gap by mobilizing researchers in the various areas concerned and comparing and combining their perspectives. The main object of the seminar will be to inventory the studies available in Europe and inernationally in view of organizing a symposium at some later time.

Provisional program
First session:Constructing a history of military law: models, sources, possibilities(Paris, 9-10 December 2005)

Second session:
Civilian order and military order:
the limits of the military justice system and military law

(Gargonza, Italy, 7-8 April 2006)

Third session:
The military justice system: judging crimes, target populations, sentencing
(Place to be decided, 13-14 October 2006)

The sessions will last for a day and a half. The working languages will be French and English (without translation). Please send your paper proposals, preferably by email, to

René Lévy
Immeuble Edison
43 Bd. Vauban
F-78280 Guyancourt

All proposals will be submitted to the steering committee, which is responsible for the final choice