Acta Universitatis Lodziensis. Folia Iuridica

Polish Title

Rzym i prawo rzymskie w angielskiej literaturze i orzecznictwie antyniewolniczym

Author ORCID Identifier

https://orcid.org/0000-0002-5725-5018 Korporowicz Łukasz Jan


The abolition of slavery by modern states was an important step towards the recognition of what is now known as human rights. The British Empire and its cradle, England, were the leading entities responsible for the support of the international trade slave. For this reason, its antislavery movement is one which deserves particular attention. The argumentation used by the abolitionists has been a subject of many studies. Philosophical, theological or commercial arguments against slavery are well researched. It needs to be emphasised, however, that abolition was a legal step. In this context, it is interesting to seek legal argumentation against the enslavement of people. It is obvious that an appropriate reasoning would be difficult to find. Slavery has been a common social institution since ancient times. The universal principles of Roman law, as well as the significance of Roman civilisation for the development of the Western culture, made it one obvious field of research. The main aim of this article is to check if reference to Roman antiquity has been one of the crucial arguments in the antislavery struggle in Britain.

Polish Abstract

Zniesienie niewolnictwa przez nowożytne państwa było ważnym krokiem zmierzającym do uznania praw człowieka. Imperium Brytyjskie, jak i jego matecznik – Anglia – były jednymi z głównych organizmów państwowych odpowiedzialnych za wspieranie międzynarodowego handlu niewolnikami. Z tego względu rozwijający się w nich ruch abolicyjny zasługuje na szczególną uwagę. Argumentacja stosowana przez jego przedstawicieli stanowiła dotąd przedmiot licznych badań. Argumenty filozoficzne, teologiczne czy handlowe przeciwko niewolnictwu są dobrze znane. Należy podkreślić jednak, że dokonanie abolicji miało być krokiem prawnym. Stąd interesujące wydaje się poszukiwanie prawnych argumentów służących potępieniu zniewalania ludzi. Oczywiste jest, że znalezienie odpowiedniego uzasadnienia byłoby trudne. Niewolnictwo była przecież powszechną instytucją społeczną od czasów starożytnych. Jednak uniwersalne zasady prawa rzymskiego, jak i cywilizacji rzymskiej wykorzystane do tworzenia zachodniej tradycji prawa, czynią z prawa starożytnych interesujące źródło odniesień. Głównym celem artykułu jest ustalenie czy odwołania do starożytności rzymskiej stanowiły ważny argument w brytyjskich zmaganiach o zniesienie niewolnictwa.


English law, Roman law, Slavery, Abolition

Polish Keywords

prawo angielskie, prawo rzymskie, niewolnictwo, abolicja


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