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Professor Wolfgang Ernst

LLM, DJur
University Academic Fellow since 2015
Regius Professor of Civil Law
My research interests concern topics of Roman (private) law, both as products of Roman lawyers and as building blocks of civilian legal doctrine from the high middle ages onwards. Topics recently worked on include money in the western legal tradition and the legal history of ‘social choice’, with a specific focus on rules for decision-making in collegiate courts and multi-arbiter proceedings. Other current areas of interest: reciprocity v. altruism in contract law; history and theory of default rules in contract law.
Professor Wolfgang Ernst
  • Background

    • University Academic Fellow, All Souls College (from 2015)
    • Professor of Roman Law and Private Law, University of Zurich (from 2004 to 2015)
    • Professor of Private Law and Director, Institute of Roman Law, Bonn University (from 2000 to 2004)
    • Arthur Goodhart Visiting Professor in Legal Science, Cambridge and Visiting Fellow, Magdalene College, Cambridge (from 2002 to 2003)
    • Professor of Roman Law and Private Law, Tübingen University (from 1990 to 2000)
    • Assistant, Faculty of Law, Bonn University (from 1983 to 1989)
    • Postgraduate, Yale Law School (from 1981 to 1983)
    • Student of Law, Bonn University (from 1976 to 1981)
  • Research interests

    • Roman (private) law
    • History and theory of default rules in contract law
    • Legal history of 'social choice'
    • Money in the western legal tradition
    • Reciprocity v. altruism in contract law
  • Selected publications

    • ‘Plinius, Epist. 8, 14’, in ‘Meditationes de iure et historia, Essays in honour of Laurens Winkel’, Fundamina 2014 (special edition), 248 seq.
    • ‘The Glossators’ Monetary Law’, in John W. Cairns and Paul J. du Plessis (eds.), The Creation of the Ius Commune (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2010).
    • ‘Nisi aliud actum est’, in Tomasz Giaro (d.), Roman Law and Legal Knowledge (Warsaw: University of Warsaw, 2011).
    • ‘Fritz Schulz (1879–1957)’, in Jack Beatson and Reinhard Zimmermann (eds.), Jurists Uprooted. German speaking Émigré Lawyers in Twentieth-Century Britain (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004).
    • Die Einrede des nichterfüllten Vertrages: Zur historischen Entwicklung des synallagmatischen Vertragsvollzugs im Zivilprozess (Berlin: Duncker & Humblot, 2000).