RS 29

part i • supreme courts • serge dauchy National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), which encouraged new database technologies. However, Timbal’s team was mainly interested in the history of private law in the thirteenth to fifteenth centuries, a period for which – apart from some transcripts on the initiative of practitioners – customary legal provisions could only be inferred from court decisions.4 Indeed, it was not before 1454 that the king ordered the official drafting and registration of all customs, and the process was not completed before the sixteenth century when sixty general customs were homologated.5 This explains why neither public law nor the political, institutional, or prosopographical aspects of the law were originally addressed. In France, these questions were addressed when, in the nineties, historians and legal historians turned again to the provincial parlements, which – although their name may suggest otherwise – were fully fledged superior courts, in no way subordinate to the Paris court. The key moment was the conference organized in Toulouse in 1994.6 There was still discussion of legal and procedural issues, such as the influence of Roman law or the implementation of royal ordinances (in particular in criminal matters and the use of judicial torture), but there was also a fresh emphasis on the history of the judiciary (councillors and public prosecutors), the courts’ regulatory competence, the relationship between judicial and extrajudicial means of conflict resolution, and the parlements’ political role, particularly in the reigns of LouisXVand LouisXVI.The many doctoral theses and papers on individual provincial parlements eventually resulted in comparative studies.7 The sheer quantity of archival material 4 Pierre-Clément Timbal, Josette Metman &Henri Martin, Les obligations contractuelles d’après la jurisprudence du Parlement (XIIIe–XIVe siècles), 2 vols (Paris: Éditions duCNRS, 1973– 1977). 5 S. Dauchy, ‘French Law and its expansion in the Early Modern Period’, in Heikki Pihlajamäki, Markus Dubber & Mark Godfrey, The Oxford Handbook of European Legal History (Oxford: OUP, 2018), 760–81. 6 J. Poumarède & J. Thomas (eds.), Les parlements de province: Pouvoirs, justice et société du XVe au XVIIIe siècle (Toulouse: Framespa, 1996). 7 In Lille, for example, several doctoral theses have followed on the Centre d’Histoire Judiciaire’s inventory of the procedural files, Sébastien Dhalluin, ‘L’application de la législation royale dans des territoires nouvellement conquis: L’exemple de la jurisprudence criminelle du parlement de Flandre (1668–1720)’ (PhD diss., Lille, 2015); Iris Lellouche, 88