Ana Belem Fernandez Castro



Titolo del progetto di ricerca: Commercial Conflict Management and Institutional Entanglements between Sixteenth Century Italy and Spain.


2020-2021. Research Assistant at the project “JUSTRADE” – Trading Justice. The role and functioning of Renaissance merchant courts in Venice (1450-1620).
Program STARS 2019 (Supporting Talent in Research) Università di Padova.
Principal Investigator: Dr. Stefania Montemezzo.

2018-2021. Honorary Researcher at the Department of Modern History at Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Seville.

2015-2018. Postdoc Researcher, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Paris.
Researcher at the European project « ConfigMed » (Mediterranean Reconfigurations. Intercultural Trade, Commercial Litigation, and Legal Pluralism. 15th-19th centuries).
Director: Dr. Wolfgang Kaiser.

2010-2015. PhD in History and Civilization – European University Institute, Florence.
Thesis Title: Juzgar las Indias: la práctica de la jurisdicción de los oidores de la Casa de la Contratación de Sevilla (1583-1598).
Supervisors: Dr. Luca Molà, Dr. Bartolomé Yun Casalilla, and Dr. Regina Grafe.

2010-2011. M. A. European University Institute, Department of History and Civilization, Florence.
Master of Research.

2009-2010. M. A. École Pratique des Hautes Études, Paris.
Master Européen en Histoire Politique et Culturelle de l’Europe.

2007-2009. M. A. Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Seville.
Máster Europa, el Mundo Mediterráneo y su Difusión Atlántica. Métodos y Teorías para la Investigación Histórica.

2001-2006. University/Law School – “Universidad Panamericana, Facultad de Derecho”, Mexico City.
Licenciatura en Derecho (Juris Doctor degree).

The project analyses the processes of transnational normative production in the context of conflict management between merchants that circulated between Italy and Spain during the 16th century. The project explores the interactions and exchanges of the Italian and Hispanic courts to trace the institutional mechanisms traders used to settle disputes involving distant territories and agents from different cultural backgrounds. The study focuses on the social practices and legal knowledge that participated in conflict resolution, particularly on the ways those practices and knowledge were used in foreign institutions as sources of law.

The project constitutes a solid historiographical contribution based on its original and innovative methodological character, and on the exhaustive analysis and correlation of a multiple set of primary and secondary sources. The project addresses crucial questions that still remain unexplored by economic and legal historians, showing not only the pragmatic aspects of the institutional practices concerning conflict management in the context of long-distance trade, but also the development of a specialized jurisprudence that supported the governance of commerce in early modern societies on a global scale. Such mercantile jurisprudence was at the core of the so-called ius mercatorum, whose analysis leads to a revision of the Commercial Law historiography through the study of the local practices that directly influenced institutional dynamics in a transnational level.


– “Handling Conflicts in Long-Distance Trade: A View of the Mediterranean through the Experience of Merchants Operating in the Kingdom of Valencia in the Late Sixteenth-Century” in Sicking, L., Wijffels, eds., Conflict Management in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic, 1000-1800. Actors, Institutions and Strategies of Disputes Settlement, Brill, 2020, pp. 237-266.


– “El arbitraje mercantil en el puerto de Valencia durante el siglo XVI” in Ars Iuris (in press).


– “¿Quitarse de pleitos? Litigiosidad mercantil y práctica arbitral en la Carrera de Indias a finales del siglo XVI” in Revista de Indias, 79/275 (2019), pp. 51-77.


– “Ocean of Troubles: Hazards of Seafaring in the Court Records of the House of Trade in Seville in the Late Sixteenth Century. The Sea Seen from the Juridical Literature” in Robertson, B., Kobeleva, E., et al., eds., The Sea in the Literary Imagination: Global Perspectives, Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2019, pp. 21-43.


– “Showing the Truth to the Judge: The Role of Proofs in the Consulate of Seville during the Late 16th Century” in Anuario de Historia del Derecho Español, LXXXVII (2017), pp. 477-493.


– “Entre la ley y la justicia: una aproximación a la cultura jurisdiccional castellana del siglo XVI a través de la experiencia de la Casa de la Contratación de Sevilla y del Consejo de Indias” in Historia. Instituciones. Documentos, 44 (2017), pp. 77-101.


– “Entre la necesidad y la legalidad. Litigantes portugueses y práctica jurisdiccional en la Casa de la Contratación de Sevilla (1583-1598)” in Juez. Cuadernos de Investigación, 2 (2015), pp. 1-26.


– “A Transnational Empire Built on Law: The case of the Commercial Jurisprudence of the House of Trade of Seville (1583-1598)” in Global Perspectives on Legal History, 1 (2014), pp. 187-212.