Scholten’s life and works

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A few short biographies of Paul Scholten have been written, all of them in Dutch. One of these is available on the internet: W.M. Peletier , ‘Scholten, Paulus (1875-1946)’, in Biografisch Woordenboek van Nederland, The Hague 1979, last modified 2009.
DPSP acquired permission to make an English translation of this text and to publish it on this website. Many details in this biography, however, require an explanatory note, not only for the foreign reader, but also for the younger generation of Dutch readers. Read more

General Part

The General Part was written in 1931 as the “new volume I” to a textbook of four volumes, dating from 1885 and onwards: Mr. Asser’s illustrious manual on Dutch Civil Law. “Asser-serie” is the name of one of the main textbooks on Dutch Civil Law. Carel Asser (1843-1898) was a professor at Leyden University who lectured on civil law, commercial law and the law of civil procedure. He wrote his manual for young students who to his mind needed an introduction to the general principles of civil law without being detracted too much by the details and complexities, discussed in the academic world. Read more


When the farewell speech of Paul Scholten was published on 25th October, 1945, a bibliography of his work, made by Mr. R.J. Polak, was included. In 1949, when four volumes of Collected Papers were published, the last volume (1954) included a bibliography compiled by Mrs. C. Kraus-De Vos van Steenwijk, based on Polak’s bibliography. The bibliography spans all of Scholten’s theoretical publications which were not included in the Collected Papers. DPSP acquired permission from the heirs of Kraus to publish the bibliography on this site, but was not able to come into contact with the heirs of Polak. Read more

Theory of Paul Scholten

At this page attention will be payed to the question why Dutch scholars, practitioners or students feel inspired by Paul Scholten, or detest his ideas. To start the discussion some members of the Editorial Board have made short (max 500 words) contributions. Hopefully readers feel inspired to add to these their own contributions, sending them by email to the contact-address of this site. Read more

Download Paul Scholten’s works

There is merely one book, or even one chapter of a book, which has brought Paul Scholten his great fame:  the chapter on the Method of Private Law in a book called General Part (Algemeen Deel). The website is dedicated to the translation of this chapter in English. The separate publication of chapter 1 of General Part (Algemeen Deel) has got a new title, to be able to distiguish it from the book as a whole: General Method of Private Law.
Besides the General Part Paul Scholten has written many essays, reviews and annotations, partly on positive law, partly on legal theory/philosophy and partly on the relationship between law and religion. The latter essays are collected in the four volumes of the Verzamelde Geschriften (Collected Papers, first print 1949/1950, reprint 1980). Read more


Download here: Algemeen Deel (geheel), Algemene Methode van het Privaatrecht (hoofdstuk 1), Verzamelde Geschriften.


Download here: General Method of Private Law (chapter 1 of Algemeen Deel).


Download here: Méthode Générale du Droit Privé, traduit par B.E. Wielenga. Chapitre 1 de la Partie I (Partie Générale) du Mr. C. Asser’s Traité de Droit Civil Néerlandais, Traité de Droit Civil Néerlandais, ’Jean Yver, Les contrats dans le très ancien droit Nor­mand’, ‘ Convenances  vainquent loi’, ‘L’Interprétation de la Loi et la Justice’ , ’L’autorité de l’Etat (4 articles originally written in French by Paul Scholten, included in Verzamelde Geschriften).


Download here: Judul Struktur Ilmu Hukum (translation of  ’de structuur der rechtswetenschap’, an article included in Verzamelde Geschriften).

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