Jacques Vanderlinden (1932-2021)

Photo of Professors Agustin Parise, Jacques Vanderlinden, and Olivier Moreteau, taken at LSU after the Tucker Lecture in 2008.

Prof. Jacques Vanderlinden with Prof. Agustín Parise (then Research Associate at the CCLS) and Prof. Olivier Moréteau, after the 35th Tucker Lecture in 2008.

It is with great sadness that we learn that Jacques Vanderlinden passed away on January 22, 2021 in Brussels. He visited LSU Law several times, in 2007 to give a short course on “Legislating for Multilingual Legal Systems” and in 2008 to give the 35th Tucker Lecture on “From the Civil Code of Louisiana to Langdell-Some Hypothesis about the Nature of Legal Systems.“ He published several articles in the Louisiana Law Review and the Journal of Civil Law Studies and was on the Advisory Board of the latter. We express our deep sympathy to his wife Jenny, their two sons Jacques Jr. and Jean-Paul, and their children.

Professor Emeritus Jacques Vanderlinden received his PhD degree in law from Brussels Free University (Belgium) in 1956, then his Agrégation de l’Enseignement supérieur in 1967 when he published his world acclaimed Le concept de code en Europe occidentale du XIIIe au XIXe siècle, after the publication by the Royal Academy for Overseas Sciences of Belgium of his Essai sur les juridictions de droit coutumier dans les territoires d’Afrique centrale in 1959. He started his teaching career at the Free University of Brussels in 1958, where he also served as Dean of the Faculty of Law, and concluded it in 1992. He then started teaching law at the University of Moncton (New-Brunswick, Canada), where he has held honorary positions such as Academic Advisor of the Centre international de la common law en français. He is currently Professor Emeritus of both universities. He is a full elected fellow of the Royal Academy for Overseas Sciences, of the International Academy of Comparative Law and a Foreign Fellow of the National Academy of Italy (Accademia nazionale dei Lincei).

He has published over 200 articles and some 30 books and monographs, especially in the fields of African laws, comparative law, legal history, and legal theory, more specifically and recently legal pluralism. Here are a few samples, showing the diversity of his scholarship: Anthropologie juridique, Paris, Dalloz, 1996; Bibliographie de droit africain, 1987-1989, Bordeaux, 1991; “À propos de la création du droit en Afrique – Regards d’un absent”, La création du droit en Afrique, Paris, Karthala, 1997; Pierre Ryckmans (1891-1959) – Coloniser dans l’honneur, Brussels, De Boeck-Wesmael, 1994; “What Kind of Lawmaking in a Global World – The Case of Africa”, Louisiana Law Review, 67 (2007); “Analyzing Property in Different Societies”, Journal of Civil Law Studies, 1 (2008); “À la rencontre de l’histoire du droit en Acadie”, Revue de l’Université de Moncton, 28 (1995); “La réception des droits européens au Canada”, Revue de la common law en français, 1996; Se marier en Acadie française, Moncton, Éditions d’Acadie, 1998; “Vers une conception nouvelle du pluralisme juridique”, Revue de la Recherche juridique – Droit prospectif, vol. XVIII (1993); “Trente ans de longue marche sur la voie du pluralisme juridique”, Cahiers d’anthropologie du droit, II (2004); “Religious laws as systems of law : a comparatist’s view”, Religion, Law and Tradition : comparative studies in religious law (A. Huxley, ed.), London, Routledge, 2002; “Une lecture du système normatif de l’Église catholique par un pluraliste comparatiste aux personnalités multiples”, McGill Law Review, 50 (2005); Comparer les droits, Brussels, Kluwer, 1995; La structure des sytèmes juridiques, (with Olivier Moréteau), Brussels, Bruylant, 2003; “Qu’est-ce qu’un code ?”, Les cahiers de droit, 46 (2005).

His most recent publications count a chapter revisiting the concept of custom, Comparative Legal History, O. Moréteau, A. Masferrer & K. Modeer eds., 2019), and “French Jurisdictional Complexity on the Fringe— Acadia 1667-1710”, Journal of Civil Law Studies, 12 (2019). With O. Moréteau and Agustín Parise, he wrote the final chapter (1900-Present) of Western Legal Traditions (Seán Patrick Donlan, Remco Van Rhee & Aniceto Masferrer eds., Ius Commune Series, Hart, forthcoming).

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