I am a Legal Historian with a passion for archival research and the study of unpublished or underused documents. I am particularly interested in the juridical history of modern Catalonia, within the Spanish monarchy, in the Europe of ius commune (Roman and canon law).
These are my active lines of research:
- Lawyers, law and legal culture
- Institutions of public law: municipalities, Cortes, "Diputacions del General" or Generalitats (committees of states), control of public officers
- Administration of justice: jurisdiction 'retained' by the King (Real Audiencia) and 'delegated' jurisdictions (noble and municipal justices); paraconstitucional or protoconstitucional justice and observance of the law
- Institutional and procedural issues related to preliberal conceptions of citizenship, rights and guarantees, social mobility, social cohesion and tolerance of descendants of converted Jews, evolution of guilds, daily life, adultery as a crime, etc.
On this website you will find information about my innovative teaching at the Universitat Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona, about my published work and research and contributions to the press, about outreach activities aimed at a non-specialist public and about two other important aspects of my professional life: the coordination on behalf of UPF Law School of a double degree programme with King's College London and the publishing of legal history texts.
I would like to underline three books that I wrote with Professor Eva Serra. One (1st edition 2014, 2nd edition 2017) is for a general readership and the other two (2015) are scholarly, with a considerable amount of primary documentation. These three publications deal with the Tribunal de Contrafaccions of Catalonia, which operated from 1702 until 1713. This mixed supreme court of peers, composed of six judges (three appointed by the crown and three by the estates), was notable for the fact that foreseeable stalemates were settled not by the casting vote of one of the king's judge but by a blind draw. Thus, the neutrality of the jurisdiction and the bilateral balance between rex and regnum were beyond doubt. The Tribunal was an interesting precedent of constitutional or paraconstitucional justice in a preliberal context. It judged very important cases, some of which put to an end to abuses on the part of officials responsible for administering royal justice, while others benefitted humble citizens who had been arbitrarily arrested or judged unfairly. In short, the Court of Contrafaccions guaranteed respect for the community law of the Catalans. At the end of the War of the Spanish Succession, it was suppressed by Philip V's Nueva Planta decrees, as was every other public institution in the territories of the Crown of Aragon whose roots lay in mutual accord and jurisprudence.
I try to analyse the past objectively and make no attempt to conceal the faults and failings of the institutions I study. Without idealizing it in any way, I consider this Tribunal de Contrafaccions to be an exceptional historical experience at the European level, revealing as it does that some preliberal regimes were taking promising steps towards legal and social progress.
In 2017 another book of mine has been published, "Juristes, litigis i poder al comtat d'Empúries en temps de Jeroni Pujades (1568-1635)". It deals on judicial courts and records in an important seigneurial district of early Modern Catalonia.
Thank you for visiting my personal website. Please feel free to contact me.