CORE Weekly Gathering: drs. Antoine Leclère (ULg/FNRS)

Activiteit: Participation in workshop, seminar


The law of the ecclesiastical principality of Liège is of interest as much as it intrigues. Since the Old Regime, its complexity made attempts at official codification impossible. This situation internalised the revolutionary concerns which, as early as 1789, focused on the need to put in order the vast institutional and legal ensemble of the principality. My doctoral research focuses on the constitutional aspect of the legal companies of the Liège Revolution as a whole. It is a question of whether the revolutionaries have contributed substantially to the establishment of innovative legal principles on the territory of Liège or, on the contrary, whether they have limited themselves to superficial changes. Above all, this research aims to shed light on the influences exerted by neighbouring countries, as the Netherlands (the Dutch Republic/the Batavian Republic), in the constitutional project of Liège. This approach remains little exploited by research in Liège history. Similarly, the history of the Revolution has not been the subject of any major interest since the bicentenary of the Revolution in 1989. Even today, the works refer to the great syntheses of the 19th century, such as that of Adolphe Borgnet (1865), whose style is outdated. My communication therefore aims to present the objectives of my research and to introduce the specificities of the institutional system of Liège. To do this, I will focus on the so-called case of the “noble tax” which pitted the three states of the principality against the prince and constituted one of the pillars of the Revolution of 1789. This case, as George Hansotte (1922-1995) deplored, has not yet been the subject of an in-depth study which would be enriching to understand the causes of the Revolution but also the legal and institutional entanglements of the Liège state. Simultaneously brought before the courts of the principality and those of the empire, the case ranged from 1780 to 1789 without ever finding a satisfactory solution for any of the parties.
Periode5 dec 2023
LocatieElsene, Belgium