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János Erdődy: Lex Laetoria: Why so difficult? Nr. 2020/04

Lex Laetoria as a piece of Roman legislation from around 200 BC ordered that adults under the age of 25, the so-called minores, while having full capacity, are granted additional legal protection in the form of a guardian (curator), and additionally a criminal action (actio poenalis), a presumable actio popularis, could be brought against the person who duped a minor in order to play upon their susceptibilities or naiveté. On the grounds of this law, further praetorian remedies were made eligible against the duper, with two different options: the one was exceptio, applicable in case of being sued for completion by the other party, whereas the other was in integrum restitutio, available in case of apparent damage of the minor in the absence of any other remedies, which practically referred to an after-completion phase of the contract in question.

This short paper is aiming to present lex Laetoria not from a scientific, but rather from an educational aspect, trying to outline some general difficulties of legal education, and many of the challenges realted to this particular legislative measure in Roman law. Through the presentation of a classical case, the case-based approach of Roman jurists could also be presented via this act, and the extensions carried out in praetorian edict.

The working paper is available for download here.

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