At work on a major research project on the history of legal history. Also bringing forward a book on the idea of presumption.

2 October: (working paper) Legal historians as designers🌟

June 2021
Delivered the chapter “1500-1650” for a multi-authored legal history manual: Western Legal Traditions, eds. R. Van Rhee, A. Masferrer and S. Donlan (series Ius Commune Casebooks, Oxford, Hart)

My paper After comparative legal history: From case-law to infolaw made the SSRN’s Top Ten download list (30 Nov 2020)

My paper The Western Legal Tradition and Soviet Russia. The genesis of H. Berman’s Law and Revolution made the SSRN’s Top Ten download list (16 Aug 2020)

My article Jacobus Cujacius’ afterlife in the Age of Enlightenment (for G. Cazals and N. Hakim, eds., La Renaissance dans la pensée juridique contemporaine, Ed. Garnier) attempts an explanation of the conundrum of legal humanism. (April 2020)

Currently working on …

Giuliani, A., Chapter “1500-1650” for the volume Western Legal Traditions, eds. R. Van Rhee, A. Masferrer and S. Donlan (series Ius Commune Casebooks, Oxford, Hart).

My essay “What is information? (Answer: non-testimonial knowledge)” will be my attempt to contribute to the understanding of ‘information’, the 22nd most current word in the English language. (Jan 2021)

Giuliani, A., Changing images of the legal past. A study on the history of legal history (book)

Giuliani, A., Knowing facts through presumptions. A study of Jacopo Menochio’s De praesumptionibus(1587) (book)

Gujarat National Law University (India), August 2019

Current position

2020-21 Research Fellow, Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory, Frankfurt, Germany

2017-19 Marie-Curie research fellow, Centre of Excellence in Law (Eurostorie), University of Helsinki, Finland

Is the information age changing our thinking about the legal past? I tackled this question during a research period at Helsinki and offered a first temporary answer which I had the privilege to discuss with some wonderful colleagues (see here). At the moment, I’m attempting to build a fuller and coherent picture within my broader work at Frankfurt.

Research focus

I have a combined interest in legal history and legal theory.

In legal history my research focuses on late-medieval and early-modern European continental law with particular reference to judicial reasoning, and have written on presumption, interpretation, judicial discretion, multinormativity and others.

In legal theory I am particularly interested in the 20th century philosophical concern with judge-made law, from the Freirechtsschule to the various versions of anti-formalism of the period 1930-60.

In my most recent research I seek to explain how legal history interacts with the broader context of legal science, showing how this discipline is dependent from changing theoretical frameworks. This research, partly published (see here), is the kernel of a new monograph (tentatively) entitled “Changing images of the legal past: Savigny, Kantorowicz and Glenn.”

Another stream of research (InfoLaw) examines how the information age is changing our ways of thinking about the legal past.


I earned a PhD in legal history from Cambridge University with a dissertation on 16th c. theory of presumptions. My background is in law (Italian laurea cum laude) and political theory/intellectual history (MSc LSE 2000 and MPhil Cambridge 2001). I also received a PhD in EU private law (Macerata 2014).

Influences: antiformalism, Alessandro Giuliani, Michel Villey, Peter Stein, Chaïm Perelman, John Gray, Emanuel Hurwitz.

For my publications see my SSRN and departmental page.

I have a son, Rubén (b 2002), with Caterina Fitzgerald married in Cambridge, Massachusetts, US in 2000.

Teaching undergraduates, Gujarat National Law University (India), August 2019
School of Law, Macau University (China), May 2019


Dr. Adolfo Giuliani
Max Planck Institute for Legal History and Legal Theory
Hansaallee 41
60323 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
agiuliani [at] lhlt.mpg.de
Tel. +358 503 188 238
The InfoLaw project

Conference calendar

Is logic or rhetoric the true foundation for judicial reasoning? The Nouvelle Rhétorique movement and its impact on legal historiography, Ius Commune Conference, Maastricht University, 25-26 November 2021

Law as Information Colloquium. Writing legal history in the information age / Helsinki, 16 September 2019

Lecture tour / Gujarat National Law University (India), 8-10 August 2019

InfoLaw. Law as information / School of Law, Macau University (China), 21 May 2019

Law as information. Expanding on an unfinished side of P. Glenn’s idea of legal tradition /Juris diversitas conference, School of Law, NWU, South Africa, 15-17 April 2019

Wiener realism and its transformations: Vienna, America and post-War Europe /Coming home: the post-war return of refugee scholarship” conference, University of Helsinki, 10-12 April, 2019

Eastern Europe and the legal historian. Changing images of the Eastern legal tradition: Roman law, canon law, Pandektism and anti-Pandektism/“Socialist interpretations of legal history”. The Institut für neuere Privatrechtsgeschichte, University of Cologne, Cologne, 22-23 March 2019

Legal humanism and us. Bartoliens and Cujaciens in Jacques Berriat-Saint-Prix’ Histoire du droit romain, suivie de l’histoire de Cujas(1821) / Conference ‘La Renaissance dans la pensée juridique’, Bourdeaux, 7-8 March 2019

Hermann Kantorowicz as a philosopher of language / Conference on H. Kantorowicz, Centre of Excellence in Law, Helsinki, 26.10.18

Workshop to discuss Adolfo Giuliani’s paper ‘What is comparative legal history? Legal Historiography and the Revolt Against Formalism, 1930-60’ / Faculty of Law, Helsinki, 29.10.18

‘Codes without natural law: The case of J. Menochio’s treatise De praesumptionibus(1587) / ESCLH Conference, Paris, 28-30 June 2018

‘Ius commune europaeum and the crisis of legal science, 1930-60’/  European Narratives of Crisis Conference, University of Helsinki, 17-18 May 2018

‘What a legal historian can learn from the neo-Thomist revival of John Poinstot’s Tractatus de Signis(1632-4)’Neo-Thomism conference, Leuven, 8-10 October 2017