The discipline of "legal contemporary history" has been developing over the past few years along the edges of legal studies, legal history, and general history. The methodology debate and research activities have expanded and intensified. Attorneys and historians are learning from one another:
Legal contemporary history encompasses more than the dogmatic history of legal institutions (but does not exclude them); on the one hand, it expands upon the traditional instruments of legal history in view of general history and the history of neighboring disciplines. The dimensions of general history, political history, social and cultural history, which were often neglected by attorneys until just recently, are being taken into consideration. Attorneys now consult more frequently archives, statistical methods and findings, and even fictional texts and historical literary findings. On the other hand, the traditional legal history instruments are expanded upon from a legal viewpoint. Questions regarding source material and their interpretations are also discussed in regard to legal theoretical and philosophical critique of the (or a) legal development.
Legal contemporary history understood in this manner can be applied as an instrument of legal political critique of current law (as the endpoint of a successful or failed legal development) and the Journal of Contemporary Legal History is dedicated to promoting this manner of understanding.
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In collaboration with Marianne Birthler, Berlin Prof. Dr. Peter Brandt, Hagen Prof. Dr. Johann Braun, Passau Prof. Dr. Wilhelm Brauneder, Wien Prof. Dr. Ettore Dezza, Pavia Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Ulrich Eisenhardt, Hagen Gisela Friedrichsen, Hamburg Prof. Dr. Emanuela Fronza, Trento Prof. Dr. Christoph Gusy, Bielefeld Prof. Dr. Dr. h.c. Francisco Muñoz Conde, Sevilla Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Naucke, Frankfurt / Main Rechtsanwalt Prof. Dr. Franz Salditt, Neuwied / Hagen Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Schild, Bielefeld Prof. Dr. Hans Schulte-Nölke, Osnabrück Prof. Kanako Takayama, Kyoto Dr. Richard F. Wetzell, Washington D.C