Doctoral Researchers

Dan Armstrong

BA Hons. (Downing College, Cambridge), MA (University of East Anglia)

I graduated from Downing College, Cambridge, in 2017 with a Double First BA Hons. in History. During my time at Downing I was the President of the Maitland History Society (2016-17), and I was the recipient of two essay prizes: the J.C. Holt Undergraduate Essay Prize (2015) and the R.J. White Essay Prize (2017). After graduating from Cambridge I moved to the University of East Anglia, where I was awarded an AHRC Studentship to fully-fund my MA in Medieval History.

My PhD, under the supervision of Professor John Hudson, will be funded by the European Research Council as part of the project: ‘Civil Law, Common Law, Customary Law: Consonance, Divergence, and Transformation in Western Europefrom the late eleventh to the thirteenth centuries.’ The preliminary title of my thesis is: ‘Politics, Law, and Ecclesiology in Anglo-Papal Relations, c.1066-c.1154’. The thesis will re-assess the relationship between the Anglo-Norman kings, bishops, and the papacy. In doing so my PhD will seek to address the remarkably uneven historiographical coverage of Anglo-Papal diplomacy. A misleading narrative of conflict has been accepted as the norm, with the historiography primarily focussing upon the ‘crises archbishops’ of Anselm, Beckett, and Langton. My thesis will attempt to correct this imbalance, whilst placing the Anglo-Norman Church and kingdom within its wider European context, seeking to show the centrality of the often ignored ‘periphery’ for papal policy. The crusades, the developments and the diffusion of Canon Law, the role of Peter’s Pence, and the increasing centripetal shift amongst the English episcopate towards Rome will be among the topics considered.


David De Concilio

MLaw (Roma Tre University)

I am a PhD Student in the ERC Advance Grant funded project ‘Civil Law, Common Law, Customary Law: Consonance, Divergence and Transformation in Western Europe from the Late Eleventh to the Thirteenth Centuries’ (CLCLCL). I obtained a MLaw at Roma Tre University, Italy (2018), with a thesis on Money and Law in medieval juridical doctrine, awarded as a thesis of particular academic value by the Roma Tre Department of Law. The finds of this work, and especially the role played by a brocard by the jurist Azo in the development of a legal monetary theory, led to the drafting of an article entitled ‘Moneta e cultura giuridica. Un brocardo di Azzone nella costruzione del diritto pecuniario medievale’, submitted to the Tijdschrift voor Rechtsgeschiedenis / Revue d’Histoire du Droit / The Legal History Review and currently under peer-review process.

The studies that I conducted on the brocards are now the starting point of my PhD project, whose preliminary title is ‘The development of legal texts in late twelfth-century England and Italy‘. More specifically, my current research focuses on the role played by the twelfth-century Anglo-Norman canonical environment in the use of dialectic in legal literary genres and especially in the development of the brocards. Analysing the very first two collections of Brocarda, both of English origin, my research seeks to reconstruct legal common ground between the two sides of the English Channel. Methodologically, my project involves a careful textual and philological analysis of the primary sources, with the aim of preparing a critical edition of the Perpendiculum, the oldest collection of canonical brocards and a foundational text for the topic of legal presumptions.


Cinnamon Ducase

BA Hons. (Birkbeck College, University of London), Mlitt (University of St. Andrews)

I am broadly interested in theoretical approaches to intersections between law, politics and culture. Grounding these questions in empirical historical research, I am particularly interested in bringing concepts and methods from continental philosophy to bear on our readings and uses of primary sources.

I began to establish an interdisciplinary approach to legal history during my undergraduate degree in ‘Arts & Humanities’ at Birkbeck College. I received the ‘Chris Willis Prize for Best Work in the Field of Popular Culture’, for my bachelor thesis on Music in The Slave Laws of the C18th British Caribbean.

I was awarded the ILCR Research Scholarship in support of my Mlitt in Legal and Constitutional Research at St. Andrews. During the Mlitt, I turned my focus towards Roman Law and late antique literature. Continuing my special interest in politics, law and music, my Mlitt research examined this relationship in the context of the establishment of Christian orthodoxy: I addressed the legal regulation of public festivals, the use of choral music in ecclesiastic internecine conflict, and normative approaches to musical practice in Patristic texts.

My PhD project extends these enquiries to the legal formation and regulation of ‘public space’ in late antiquity. As an ERC-funded doctoral researcher within the project, ‘Civil Law, Common Law, Customary Law: Consonance, Divergence and Transformation in Western Europe from the late eleventh to the thirteenth centuries’, I am conducting research into ecclesiastical property law in the Sixth-Century Corpus Iuris Civilis, with a view to its Twelfth-Century ‘reception’. Under the joint supervision of John Hudson and Caroline Humfress, I seek to address the as yet unanswered question over how best to understand ecclesiastic ‘ownership’ in the late Roman East, both as it is presented in the legal sources and as it may have materialised in practice. Ultimately, this research aims to address questions over how property law may have functioned in the context of wider sociocultural conflicts in this period, with a view to the twelfth century.


Associated Doctoral Researchers


Kim Thao Le

BA (Paris Nanterre), LLB (Paris Nanterre), LLM (Paris Nanterre)

My research interests aim at combining legal history with social and anthropological approaches.

I first obtained an LLB in French Law and Anglo-American Law, then a BA in History, followed by an LLM in Legal History and Anthropology, at the University of Paris Nanterre. In November 2016, I was awarded a three-year doctoral contract by the Doctoral School of Law of the University of Paris Nanterre where I worked as a teaching assistant in legal history, since I have started my PhD under the supervision of Professor Christophe Archan.

In November 2018, I moved to the University of St Andrews to pursue my PhD in co-tutelle under the co-supervision of Professor John Hudson. The preliminary title is ‘Jurors as witnesses of reputation? From the legal value of reputation in criminal procedure to the issue of the origins of English medieval jury systematisation (12th-13thc.)’. My PhD project intends to address the issue of the origins and the progressive expansion of the jury system in English common law through the central notion of reputation. With research methods taking benefit from a multidisciplinary approach, my thesis will attempt to draw a theory of reputation in the medieval criminal jury system. This project also aims to contribute to the exploration of the influences and parallels of common law with Roman canon law.

More largely, my researches focus on the links and interactions between the English lay society and the central government.