Paul Scholten’s Works

In Open Access

2016 marked seventy years since the death of Paul Scholten. On the date of his death all of his works entered the public domain.

The main sources for Paul Scholten’s legal philosophical work are:

-          Algemeen Deel

(The General Volume of) van Mr. C. Asser’s Handleiding tot de beoefening van het Nederlandsch Burgerlijk Recht, W.E.J. Tjeenk Willink, Zwolle, 1931 en 1934.

-          Collected Papers

Verzamelde Geschriften van Prof. Mr. Paul Scholten samengesteld door G.J. Scholten, Y. Scholten en M.H. Bregstein, W.E.J.Tjeenk Willink, Zwolle, four volumes in first edition, published in the period 1949-1954, two volumes in the second edition of 1980.

The Digital Paul Scholten Project has scanned these and transformed them into PDF and Word using OCR (optical character recognition) They are available via the University Library of Amsterdam University: and at the Dutch version of this website.

Next to his legal philosophical work, Paul Scholten also published a great deal of work on Dutch civil law. See for this the sortable bibliography on the Dutch version of this website.


Existing Translations of Algemeen Deel

Almost all of Scholten’s work is only available in Dutch. There are a few exceptions:

-          A French translation (1954) of the second, slightly revised first chapter: Traité de Droit Civil Néerlandais, Partie Générale, Paul Scholten, traduit par B.E.Wielenga, Préface de Georges Ripert, W.E.J. Tjeenk Willink and S.A.R. Pichon et R. Durand-Auzias, Paris.

-          An Indonesian translation (1986, 1992) of the second edition of the complete book: Mr. C. Asser Penuntun dalam mempelajari Hukum Perdata Belanda: Bagian Umum, Mr. P. Scholten, Penerjemah: Siti Soemarti Hartono, S.H.,Penyunting Prof. Dr. Sudikno Mertokusomo, S.H., Gadjah Mada University Press, Yogyakarta.

-          An Indonesian translation (1985) of the third chapter of the book: Sejarah dan Perkembangan Kitab Undang-undang Hukum Perdata (Burgerlijk Wetboek), P. Scholten, Alih Bahasa: Mr. Koerdi Soemintapoera, Penerbit Armico, Bandung.


Four Articles Originally written in French

Scholten wrote four articles originally in French. These articles are included, in French, in the Collected Papers (Verzamelde Geschriften, VG) and can be downloaded.

-          VG 9: ‘L’Interprétation de la Loi et la Justice’,

-          VG 34: ‘L’autorité de l’Etat’,

-          VG 65: ‘Jean Yver, Les contrats dans le très ancien droit Nor­mand’,

-          VG 66: ‘Convenances vainquent loi’.

New Translations

When the Digital Paul Scholten Project (DPSP) was started in 2010, its primary purpose was to make an English language translation of the first chapter of Algemeen Deel. During the initial phase of the project, Arief Sidharta sent an Indonesian translation he had made of VG 15, De Structuur der Rechtswetenschap. Sidharta gave DPSP permission to publish Judul Struktur Ilmu Hukum in open access. This Indonesian translation can be downloaded side by side with the Dutch original on this website.

It is possible that other translations of Scholten’s texts may be found in Indonesia. The articles of Shidarta, Djalins an Moeliono[1] show how such translations of the works of Dutch legal philosophers circulated at the Universities in Indonesia at the end of the twentieth century.

The decision to continue DPSP after 2020 entails the decision to continue translating Scholten’s legal philosophical works into English, particularly the articles assembled in Collected Papers.

It is possible that in the future new translations of Algemeen Deel will be made in other languages. The Brazilian scholars Luciano de Camargo Penteado and Nuno M.M.S. Coelho, both speakers at the third Paul Scholten symposium, have announced that they planned to translate Algemeen Deel into Portuguese. These plans changed, however, after the untimely death of Luciano to illness in 2015.

Adaptations of Paul Scholten’s Works

Many references in Scholten’s works are outdated, such as laws, judicial decisions and Dutch institutions and organizations. These references are not very important for a foreign reader. Furthermore, Scholten wrote using the old Dutch spelling and grammar. The texts which are translated have therefore also been adapted. On the Dutch version of the website it is possible to compare old and new adapted versions.

[1] Shidarta, “In Search of Scholten’s Legacy,” DPSP-Annual, III: Research, 1 (2020). Upik Djalins, “Paul Scholten and the Founding of the Batavia Rechtshogeschool,” DPSP-Annual, III: Research, Volume 1 (2020).  Tristam P. Moeliono, “Re-Appraising Paul Scholten, His Influence on the Development of a National Legal System in Indonesia,” DPSP-Annual, III: Research, Volume 1 (2020).

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