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Prof. Jørn Øyrehagen Sunde at the Doctoral School

The Louvain Global College of Law has invited Prof. Jørn Øyrehagen Sunde as a fellow this spring and we will have the pleasure of his company from 27th March until 7th April. Jørn Øyrehagen Sunde is professor of legal history at the Department of Public and International Law, University of Oslo.


During his stay at the UCLouvain, he will give two research seminars, both of which relate to methodological issues in research:


  1. The implications of textual variations in legal sources
    Legal texts and sources, in particular different copies or fragments of the same text, often show textual variations which make it possible to detect patterns of discourse about fundamental matters such as right and wrong, good and evil, etc. How do such textual variations impact legal research and what are the methodological implications? Prof. Jørn Øyrehagen Sunde will use some 40 complete manuscripts and 50 manuscript fragments of the Norwegian Code of the Realm of 1274 to illustrate this point. The discussion is not restricted to historical texts. This type of problem can arise in relation to all kinds of legal texts/sources.
    Students who have grappled with issues of textual variations are encouraged to prepare questions or case studies in relation to their own research and/or in relation to any methodological issues caused by textual variations.

  2. Digitization of legal source texts: what challenges for legal research?
    When law went from oral to written law in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries, and from written to printed law in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, law and society changed dramatically. What happens when law goes from printed to digital law? The volume of legal texts and sources has risen exponentially over the last few decades. Foreign legal sources are increasingly entangled with domestic ones facilitated by speedy digital translation programs. The digitization process has enabled printed law to appear on screen over the last decades and this data can be handled in its mass with new digital tool for communicating, finding and analysing law. How does the use of these new digital possibilities impact legal research and methodologies. What is the potential for exploring new angles, perspectives and contextualisation within legal research?
    Students who are using digitised sources or digital research tools are encouraged to share their case studies during the seminar. Those who have often wondered whether the use of such tools would enhance some aspect of their research are also welcome to ask questions. 


The two seminars will be held on Wednesday 29th March 2023 from 14:00 to 18:00 in the auditorium MORE 54 (Collège Thomas More, Place Montesquieu 2, 1348 Louvain-la-Neuve) and are open to all researchers and doctoral students. A communal coffee break will be organised between the two sessions so that students have the opportunity to chat with each other and with Jørn Øyrehagen Sunde more informally.


This seminar will take place both remotely and on-site. To register, please send an email before March 27th to Juliano Ferreira de Souza, if you wish to attend remotely, or to Caroline Laske if you wish to attend on-site. Please mention the questions you would like to discuss as this will facilitate moderation. You are also welcome to attend if you don’t have specific questions in relation with your PhD. Do please register also in that case.

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