Hobbes, civil law, liberty and theElements of Law

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Abstract
When he gave his first political work the title The Elements of Law Natural and Politic, Hobbes signalled an agenda to revise and incorporate continental Roman and Natural Law traditions for use in Great Britain, and from first to last he remained faithful to this agenda, which it took his entire corpus to complete. The success of his project is registered in the impact Hobbes had upon the continental legal system in turn, specific aspects of his theory, as for instance the right to punish, entering the European civil code through Pufendorf, and remaining to this day. This is a topic of considerable importance at a time at which the UK is considering scrapping the European Union, with all the attendant the legal ramifications. But strangely, despite some acknowledgement of Hobbes’s contribution to European civil law, and specifically the German civil code, the larger legal context for his thought has not thus far been systematically addressed. Key words: Hobbes, civil law, common law, jurisprudence, ‘artificial reason’, natural law, sovereignty,
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Archival date: 2017-08-16
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