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A Man's Home is His Castle – European Historical Waypoints of the Evolution of the Concept of Domicile in Private Law

DOI: http://doi.org/10.47743/jss-2021-67-2-4

Abstract: The legal concept of domicile can be historically back‑traced at least to Roman law as domicilium, having already established at the time the distinction to the neighboring concept of municipal citizenship (origo) and frequently helping to determine the applicable law and the forum or litigation venue. The migrations of late Antiquity and early Middle Ages had temporarily diminished the importance of this point of connection in determining the applicable law, having temporarily assured the dominance of the personality of the laws on ethnic and tribal criteria. Once the feudal system and the principle of territorial sovereignty were firmly established, the concept of domicile in its historically relevant guise had regained its importance in private law, its role being once again diminished only in the last few decades by the rise in European and international law of the related but more flexible concept of habitual residence. This presentation will attempt, using mainly the historical approach and limiting itself to the European legal area, to identify the most important waypoints of the evolution of the private law concept of „domicile”, from the Roman antiquity to the present days. 

Keywords: domicile; citizenship; personal law; habitual residence; history

References

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