It is controversial whether there were legal historians as early as the Middle Ages. In any case, one cannot deny “historical meaning” to medieval learned jurists. But it is only from humanism onwards that one observes a more intensive preoccupation with the history of law. The founder of German legal history is usually described as Hermann Conring with his work De origine iuris Germanici (1643).
Actual chairs of legal history have become rare at German universities. There are repeated complaints that the subject is dying out.
The leading specialist journals in German-speaking countries are the “ Zeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung für Rechtsgeschichte ” and the “ Zeitschrift für Neuere Rechtsgeschichte ”. The standard work in this area is the concise dictionary of German legal history (HRG) .
The specialist representatives meet every two years at the German Legal Historians' Day . The 38th German Legal Historians ' Day took place in 2010 at the Westphalian Wilhelms University in Münster , the 39th was hosted by the University of Lucerne in 2012 , and the 40th German Legal Historians' Day in 2014 took place in Tübingen .