• Vita

    I have studied at the School of Law of University of Tartu (Estonia) 1994-2011 and obtained there degrees of baccalaureus, master and doctor. The theme of my doctoral thesis was „Das "Liv-, Est- und Curlaendisches Privatrecht" (1864/65) and das römische Recht im Baltikum“ (The Baltic Private Law Code (1864/65) and the Roman Law in Baltic Provinces) (sup) Marju Luts-Sootak.

    Since 2002 I have been working at the School of Law of the University of Tartu (Estonia): first as junior researcher, assistant, lecturer and from 2012 as the associate professor for Legal History and Roman law. During the period 2004-2007 and since 2012 I have worked at the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg as well, as lawyer-linguist. I have published numerous articles, written books and been leading scholar and university teacher in the field of Roman law and its reception, but also legal history in Estonia. My main areas of research are development of law and legal system in Estonian Republic in 1918–1940 with more emphasis on private and constitutional law, Reception of Roman Law, especially in territories of the contemporary Estonia and Latvia, Serfdom and its Legal regulation from the beginning till its abolishment and the research on Roman law science.

  • Research Project

    The long Way from Legal Plurality to the unified Private Law in the Estonian Territory

    My general research topic is the unification of law in Estonia, with emphasis on unification in the period between two world wars. Because the pre-modern and particularistic Private Law Code of 1864 was set into force in the newly established Republic as well, there was an enormous legal pluralism in Estonia.

    I will devote my attention to the elaboration process of the new private law, which was in work almost the entire first independence period. My research specifically addresses the questions of what goals the drafters had in mind and whether these changed over time, what principles they followed, what were the causes of continued diversity, and whether general European tendencies had an influence in the process. The person leading the process, Jüri Uluots, is the focus of my research, too. Also, I hope to continue the earlier research on early modern jurist David Hilchen, on his draft Land Law (1599) and on his court cases.

  • Selected Publications

    Siimets-Gross, Hesi: Das Liv-, Est- und Curlaendische Privatrecht (1864/65) und das römische Recht im Baltikum, Tartu 2011.

    Luts-Sootak, Marju/Siimets-Gross, Hesi/Kiirend-Pruuli, Katrin: Estlands Zivilrechtskodifikation – ein fast geborenes Kind des Konservatismus, in: Löhnig, Martin/Wagner, Stephan (Ed.): Nichtgeborene Kinder der Liberalismus? – Zivilgesetzbebung im Mitteleuropa der Zwischenkriegszeit, Tübingen 2018, 269−312.

    Luts-Sootak, Marju/Siimets-Gross, Hesi/Kiirend-Pruuli, Katrin: The Private Law Codification as an Instrument for the Consolidation of a Nation from Inside – Estonia and Latvia between two World Wars, in: Gałędek/Klimaszewska (Ed.). Modernisation, National Identity and Legal Instrumentalism. Sudies in Comparative Legal History. Vol. 1: Private Law, Leiden 2020, 285−310.

    Luts-Sootak, Marju; Siimets-Gross, Hesi: Eine rechtmäßige Diktatur? Estlands Verfassungsentwicklungen in der Zwischenkriegszeit des 20. Jahrhunderts, in: Parliaments, Estates and Representation 41, 2 (2021), 201−225.

    Siimets-Gross, Hesi/Hoffmann, Thomas: Ad rem et famam meam. David Hilchens juristische Korrespondenz, in: Viiding, Kristi/Siimets-Gross, Hesi/Hoffmann, Thomas (Hrsg.): Briefe, Recht und Gericht im polnischen Livland am Beispiel von David Hilchen / Letters, Law and Court in Polish Livonia. The Case of David Hilchen, Berlin 2022

    Siimets-Gross, Hesi: Ernst Ein, an Estonian Disciple of Pietro Bonfante, and the Influence of the Pietro Bonfante School in Estonia, in: Segmenti della ricerca antichistica e giusantichistica negli anni Trenta (2022), 723-746.