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CoCoLaw Series in Colonial Legal History

Use the following meeting id and password to access our Zoom-lectures:

Meeting ID: 405 334 2976

Password: 229973


5 September, 16h (Finnish time GMT +2):

Helen Dewar (Université de Montréal): Corridors of Jurisdiction. The Role of Aquatic Scapces in Sovereign Claims-making in New France


October 3, 16h (Finnish time GMT +2):

Dries Lyna (Radboud Universiteit): Embedded Colonial Courts? Dutch Judiciary and Customary Law on Sri Lanka, 17th-18th centuries


November 14, 16h (Finnish time GMT +2):

Leonard Hodges (University of London): Law, Race and Slavery in the Early Modern French Indian Ocean


December 5, 16h (Finnish time GMT +2):

Airton Seelaender (Universidade de Brasilia)

New Social Functions for the Old Social Groups of a Transcontinental Monarchy: 'Policia', Legal and Political Thought in the Braganzas' Territories 1750-1807)



9 January, 16.00  

Gilberto Guerra Pedrosa (Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory): Glocalazing the Early Modern Citizenship: the Dutch Intrusion into the Iberian South Atlantic, 1580-1674.


February 7, 16h (Time Zone: Helsinki, Eastern European Time EET, Zoom-lecture)

Luigi Nuzzo (Universitá del Salento): Between Carl Schmitt and Henri Lefebvre. Cities and Territorial Governance in Colonial Contexts


March 8, 16h (Time Zone: Helsinki, Eastern European Time EET, Zoom-lecture)

Inge van Hulle (KU Leuven & MPI for Legal History and Legal Theory): The Blood Pact in African Treaty-Making. Between Myth and Reality


April 4, 18h

Richard Ross (University of Illinois): The Rule of Law in British America



13 December, 14.00 (Time Zone: Helsinki, Eastern European Time EET, Zoom-lecture)

Boudewijn Sirks (Emeritus Regious Professor of Civil Law, University of Oxford): The Law of the Dutch East Indies. From Ruling a Trading Post to Ruling Territories

8 November, 16.00, (Time Zone: Helsinki, Eastern European Time EET, Zoom-lecture)

Laurie Wood (Florida State University): Lawyering in France's Early Modern Empire

11 October, 16.00 (Time Zone: Helsinki, Eastern European Time EET, Zoom-lecture):

Romina Zamora: Latin American Colonial Household as a Normative Sphere

15 September, 16.00 (Time Zone: Helsinki, Eastern European Time EET):

Gustavo Cabral (Universidade Federal do Ceará): Brazilian Colonial Law. Theoretical Perspectivces and Contributions (online lecture).

26 April, 15.00 (Time Zone: Helsinki, Eastern European Time EET):

Nuno Camarinhas (Universidade Nova de Lisboa): Early Modern Portuguese Judiciary: a Governing Structure Bound to Circulate


Conferences and Workshops

Upcoming Workshop, organized by CoCoLaw project on November 9-10, 2023

Programme and registration:


The Dynamics of Early Modern Colonial Law and Legal Literature - 26-28 October 2022, Faculty of Law, University of Helsinki


In the three-days event, there will be 29 paper presentations proposed by academics from all over the world. We expect to have inspiring discussions about the law in colonial spaces.


The event will be hybrid, and everybody is welcome to join us either here at Porthania or via Zoom.

To receive the Zoom link, please register here:



Keynote speakers:

Thomas Duve - Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory

Andréa Slemian - Universidade Federal de São Paulo


Day 1 Local: Porthania, Suomen Laki-Sali


13.00 – 13.15 Opening

13.15 – 14.45 Panel 1

15.00 – 16.00 Keynote 1: Professor Thomas Duve (Director, Max Planck Institute for Legal

History and Legal Theory) - How to Analyze the Dynamics of Early Modern Colonial Laws?

16.00 – 16.15 Coffee

16.15 – 17.15 Panel 2

17.15 – 19.15 Panel 3


Day 2 Morning Local: Porthania, Suomen Laki-Sali


9.00 – 11.00 Panel 4

11.00 - 11.15 Coffee Break

11.15 – 12.45 Panel 5

12.45 – 14.30 Lunch


Day 2 Afternoon Local: Topelia, A205


14.30 – 16.30 Panel 6

16.30 – 17.15 Coffee Break

17.15 – 18.45 Panel 7


Day 3 Local: Local: Topelia, D112


9.00 – 10.00 Keynote 2: Professor Andrea Slémian (Universidade Federal de São Paulo) -

Between Grace and Rights: Petitions in the Iberian-American World (18th century)

10.00 – 10.15 Coffee

10.15 – 11.45 Panel 8

11.45 – 13.15 panel 9

13.15 Closing of the conference 



Detailed programme:


Wednesday, 26th of October, Porthania, Suomen Laki-Sali

13:00 Opening



13:15 Panel 1 – Comparing Colonial Laws

Heikki Pihlajamäki – University of Helsinki

The Dubious Existence of Colonial Law: Some Theoretical Viewpoints



Nathaly Mancilla Órdenes – University of Helsinki

The Relevance of the Official Correspondence in the Normative Production of the

Ancient Regime: The Case of the Royal Extraction of Diamonds (1771-1808)



Airton Ribeiro – University of Helsinki

‘Nostra Scientia Postulat Ingentes Bibliothecas’: Colonial Conventual Libraries and

Legal Knowledge



15.00 Keynote 1: 

Prof. Dr. Thomas Duve (Director, Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal

Theory) - How to Analyze the Dynamics of Early Modern Colonial Laws?



16:00 Coffee break



16:15 Panel 2 – Comparing Colonial Laws II

Henri Hannula – University of Helsinki

Between Illicit and Legitimate Trade: Vrijburgers of Batavia Challenging the VOC-

Monopoly in the Dutch East Indies in the Late 17th century



Gustavo Zatelli – University of Helsinki

Police Regulation on Colonial Ground: A Legal Comparative View of the British Empire

in the 18th Century (Jamaica, Virginia, and Ireland)



17:15 Panel 3 – Multinormativity and Indigenous

Marie Annereau-Fulbert – CEM, IIFL, UNAM, CDMX (México) 

Rafael Flores Hernández – Center of Historical and Cultural Research in the State of


Zinacantán Territorial Practices and Legal strategies in relation to Land, Chiapas, Mexico

(16th-19th centuries 



Kaius Tuori – University of Helsinki

Indigenous Property and Colonial Commerce: Inalienability Doctrine(s) and Equal Rights



Romina Zamora –Universidad Nacional de Tucumán 

Early Legal Mestizaje. First Stage of Modern Colonial Law in Andean America 



Nicolas Blum Fernandez –University Scuola Superiore Meridionale Federico II in Naples 

Contested Vassalage in a Disputed Borderland: The Socio-Legal Situation of the

Indigenous People on the North Bank of the Rio de La Plata (1750-1808)



19:30 End of first day and Dinner  - Restaurant Linnankellari, (Hotel Katajanokka) Merikasarminkatu 1 a, Helsinki (Reservation for the group at 20.00).



Thursday, 27th of October, morning, Porthania, Suomen Laki-Sali

09:00 Panel 4 – The Legal Vocabulary of Land Ownership and Land Rights in Early


Carmen Alveal – Universidade do Rio Grande do Norte 

Orientation of the Praxists and Problems Faced by Judges on Landmarks in Colonial

Brazil (18th Century) 



Sarah Limão Papa - Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory

Judicial Conflicts over Land Rights in Northeast Portuguese America



Alina Rodríguez Sánchez - Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory

Who Owns the Trees and Stones? Mediating Conflicts over Resources in the Mixtec

Region in Sixteenth Century New Spain 



Jesus Bohorquez – Universidade de Lisboa (Portugal)

The Ancient Title: Defining, Allocating, and Claiming Landownership in the Northern

Spanish Andes (18th century)



11:00 Coffee Break



11:15 Panel 5 – Colonial Projects, Regulation of Status and Social Inclusion

Marvin Messinetti – Università del Salento 

Slavery Regulation and Colonial Dynamics: Laws and Legal Studies Between

Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean



Owen H. Jones – Sinclair Community College

The Discourse of Local Law Under Spanish Hegemony and the Right to Adjudicate in

K’iche’ Communities in Colonial Highland Guatemala



Gilberto Guerra Pedrosa – Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory

Unitas Multiplex of Colonial Projects? The Case of the Dutch Intrusion in the Iberian

South Atlantic, 1580-1674 




12:45 Lunch



Thursday, 27th of October, afternoon, Topelia, A205



14:30 Panel 6 – Polizei and Emergence of the Legal Administration

Ricardo Pelegrin Taboada – Western Oregon University

The Colonial Control on Lawyers: Spanish Laws to Limit Number of Legal Professionals

in Cuba

Renzo Honores – Instituto Internacional de Derecho y Sociedad

Maritime Law in the South Sea:  Ships, Mariners, and Litigation in the Port of Callao,





Adriana Luna-Fabritius – University of Helsinki

Happiness and the Transformation of Spanish Imperialism After 1760 




Gustavo Cabral – Universidade Federal do Ceará

On Letters and Laws: Books of Municipal Council in Portuguese America (18th century) 




16:30 Coffee Break




17:15 Panel 7 – Legal Books’ Circulation and Cultural Translation II

Michael Hoeflich – University of Kansas

The Flow and Distribution of Foreign Books in the American Colonies and the New

American republic - XVII and XIX centuries




Rodrigo Camargo Godoi – Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory

The Legal Novel in the Rio de Janeiro’s Gazeta do Tribunais Feuilleton, 1843-1842




Aman Kumar – IFIM law school 

Two Documents of Indian Colonisation 


19:30 End of the second day & Dinner (Reservation for the group at 20.00) - Place: Meripaviljonki Säästöpankinranta 3.


Friday, 28th of October, Topelia, D112




09:00 Keynote 2: 

Prof. Dr. Andrea Slémian (Universidade Federal de São Paulo) - Between Grace and

Rights: Petitions in the Iberian-American World (18th century)




10:00 Coffee Break




10:15 Panel 8 – Legal Books’ Circulation and Cultural Translation

Maria Teresa Calderón – Center for Historical Studies at the Externado University of


Antonio Annino –   Università degli Studi di Firenze (University of Florence)

The Colombian Federalism. A Reading of Benjamin Constant




Laura Beck Varela – Universidad Autónoma de Madrid

Old Law Books for New Catholic Nations: Reading Heineccius in Mexico (1773-1873)




Bruno Rodrigues Lima – Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory

The Normative Translation of the Portuguese Ordinances by the Abolitionist Lawyer Luiz

Gama (Brazil, 1850-1888)




11:45 Panel 9 – Circulation of Legal Knowledge and Religion, Cultural Translation 

Boliá Doubai Sanchez – Universidad Autónoma de Madrid 

“Love the Lord Your God with All Your Heart”: Superstition, Idolatry, and Social

Discipline in Manuals for Confessors from New Spain




Luisa Stella Coutinho – Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory

“Cada Molher Têm Mais Pequados do Que Têm Todos os Homens do Mundo”:

Converting Japanese Women Adepts of Jōdō Shinshū Buddhism during the Christian

Century in Japan




Caio Cardoso Tolentino – University of São Paulo 

Canon Law and Criminal Procedures in Portuguese America: The Autos de Livramento-

Crime of São Paulo’s Episcopal Court (1745-1800) 




13:15 Closing remarks

CoCoLaw Launch Seminar,Tuesday, March 22, 2022

Hybrid: Faculty of Law, University of Helsinki/Zoom

The kick-off seminar of the project was held in March with presentations given by the project researchers as well as two insightful and inspiring keynote speeches:

After welcoming words of the Vice-Dean of the faculty and Professor of Law and Globalization Jaakko Husa and Academy Professor Heikki Pihlajamäki the first keynote speech was given by Mariana Dias Paes from Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory with the topic Global Legal History on the Ground: a Perspective from African Archives.

In the afternoon, two presentations followed: Henri Hannula with the topic Legal History and Early Modern Dutch Colonial Empire: Historiographical and Methodological Questions and Nathaly Mancilla-Órdenes with the topic Dealing with Complexity: the Relevance of 'Policey' Law in the Emergence of Modern Law. 

The second keynote speech was given virtually by Annemieke Romein from Huygens Institute for the History of the Netherlands with the topic Early Modern Ordinances Meet Digital Humanities: An Exploration of the Use of Taxonomies and Automatic Metadating.

The seminar was ended with a presentation given by Airton Ribeiro da Silva Jr. with the topic Global Circulation of Legal Books within the Iberian Empires: Sources and Materials and Heikki Pihlajamäki's presentation with the topic Law and Police in the Early Modern Overseas Empires of Spain, Portugal, and the Dutch Republic: a Comparative Framework.

We would like to thank our wonderful keynote speakers and audience from all around the world!