Bartolus and the Conflict of Laws

Revue Hellenique de Droit International, Vol. 60, pp. 12-79, 2007

69 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2010 Last revised: 1 Oct 2010

See all articles by Nikitas Hatzimihail

Nikitas Hatzimihail

University of Cyprus, Department of Law; Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB)

Date Written: November 24, 2009


The treatment of issues pertaining to the personal and territorial reach of local statutes by Italian jurist Bartolus of Sassoferrato (1314-1357) has been widely regarded as foundational to the conflict of laws. This article presents a detailed examination of the Bartolan text and places it in historical and political context. It also establishes a working text and improves on previous English translations.

The article approaches Bartolan thought from two angles. It considers the principal notions in modern doctrinal literature regarding Bartolan and medieval conflict of laws: was Bartolus a unilateralist? did he think in terms of territoriality or personality, form/substance, party autonomy or decisional harmony?. Bartolan doctrine is also examined in the context of the legal and political environment of his time, notably with regard to the role of the ius commune and the transformation of medieval political structures.

Keywords: conflict of laws, legal history, ius commune, comparative law, Bartolo da Sassoferrato, civil law, sovereignty, private international law

JEL Classification: K30, B31, K33, K19

Suggested Citation

Hatzimihail, Nikitas Emmanuel, Bartolus and the Conflict of Laws (November 24, 2009). Revue Hellenique de Droit International, Vol. 60, pp. 12-79, 2007, Available at SSRN:

Nikitas Emmanuel Hatzimihail (Contact Author)

University of Cyprus, Department of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 20537
Nicosia, 1678
+357 22892923 (Phone)


Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB) ( email )

CP 132 Av FD Roosevelt 50
Brussels, Brussels 1050

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