Why Aldricus?

Aldrico, or Magister Aldricus, is the name of a jurisconsult, who lived in the 12th century, active in Bologna. Little is known about his life. Not even one of his works has survived to the present day: his contribution to legal theory is known only for the words handed down by others. However, Aldrico is generally referred to as the first scholar to have carried out a scientific way of thinking the issues private international law deals with today.

In particular, it is due to Aldrico the theory according to which a court, faced with a situation connected to several legal orders, should apply the law that seems to be the most useful and appropriate, that is, more suitable to the case at stake, also for its material content.

This solution, based on a very general criterion, must have appeared, at that time, particularly innovative: first of all, because it starts from the assumption that the various applicable laws, in the proceeding before the court seised, in principle stand on equal footing, against the idea that the law of the forum prevails over foreign laws; secondly because, in the face of the complexity of cases having contact points with several legal orders, it emphasises the court’s role and ability to apply abstract rules to the specific issues it has to rule upon.

The decision to name the EJNita-Building Bridges project portal as the famous jurisconsult, also resuming the name used by some of the project promoters for a blog that was active a few years ago, is intended to be a way to remember the central role entrusted to legal practitioners – not only judges, but also notaries, lawyers, civil status officers, consular officers etc. – in solving the problems raised by the coexistence in the world of different legal systems, separated by the borders that persons, whether natural or legal, continue to cross.

The Aldricus portal’s goal is, after all, to accompany practitioners in the actual application of private international law rules, gathering the information they may need (or indicating where these can be found), taking into account the issues raised by the rules governing this area of law, as they emerge from case-law and legal scholars’ contribution, and proposing – thanks to the project partners – opportunities for professional updating.