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Vita Brevis, Ars Longa: In Memoriam Willem Witteveen

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In this contribution we sketch the most important themes of Willem Witteveen’s work. Rather than providing an academic overview we use one of his favourite metaphors, that of the house, to show the breadth of his interests and the approach that characterizes both his writings and his public achievements. Although most legal scholars will know of his work on legislation and the Rechtsstaat, his interest in legal theory, literature and art is equally significant to understand his contribution to legal scholarship. His work is unified by his rhetorical stance, which was always open to different voices of the present and the past.

Affiliations: 1: Professor of Jurisprudence at Erasmus School of Law, Rotterdam,; 2: Professor of Legal Methodology at Vrije University Amsterdam,


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