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Money in the Western Legal TraditionMiddle Ages to Bretton Woods$
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David Fox and Wolfgang Ernst

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198704744

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198704744.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 22 June 2021

The Effect of Debasements on Pre-existing Debts in Early Modern Jurisprudence

The Effect of Debasements on Pre-existing Debts in Early Modern Jurisprudence

(p.247) 13 The Effect of Debasements on Pre-existing Debts in Early Modern Jurisprudence
Money in the Western Legal Tradition

Harry Dondorp

Oxford University Press

This chapter looks into the effects of debasement of monetary value on pre-existing debts during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. It analyses the ideas of Charles Dumoulin regarding the prevailing monetary theory and compares them with the views of his contemporaries. Dumoulin proposed a new interpretation of the Roman and Canon Law texts on which monetary law of the ius commune was built. He based his opinion about the age-old issue of repayment after debasements on a rational understanding of money, derived from its actual use in exchange. Before him, by distinguishing between ius commune and custom, Alberto Bruno had come to a similar result, when custom allowed debtors to render payment in any gold or silver coin. French law assimilated Dumoulin’s doctrine, but German jurist remained faithful to the ius commune principle, that after debasements pre-existing debts must be paid in the old coins.

Keywords:   Debasement, Charles Dumoulin, monetary theory, ius commune, monetary law, repayment, exchange, assigned value, monetary obligations

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