Clavel de Brenles, Jacques Abram Daniel (* 1717.09.13 † 1771.11.09)
Basic Overview Data
Biographical and Intellectual Profile
Jacques Abram Clavel was born on 13 December 1717 in Lausanne. After his father's death, he became Seigneur de Branles. He studied law at the Academy of Lausanne under Charles Guillaume Loys de Bochat and at the University of Marburg under Christian Wolff. He obtained there his licence in utroque iure with his dissertation on the exemption of ambassadors from the criminal court of the one to whom they have been sent. The latter was published in two different editions in 1740 and in 1741. He dedicated the dissertation to his former teacher Loys de Bochat, of whom he also published a eulogy when he died in 1755. In 1741, Clavel de Brenles competed with Béat-Philippe Vicat for the law chair at the Academy of Lausanne. He was, however, judged too young. Since 1754, he was Assesseur Baillival in Lausanne. A celebrated lawyer, he was consulted by Frederic II of Prussia on behalf of the Gaudot affair in Neuchâtel (1768) and invited to draft a law code for the principality. He was unable to live up to this task before he died. In 1770, he was appointed to the chair of natural and civil law as successor of Béat-Philipp Vicat. A few months after presenting his inaugural lecture, he died on November 9, 1771. His translation of Johann Christian Claproth's Grundriss des Rechts der Natur (Göttingen, 1749) was published the same year as Principes du droit naturel.
Comment on main natural law works:
Although Clavel de Brenles was professor at the Academy of Lausanne during only a few months, he seems to have been able to deliver an almost complete lecture on natural law. This much can be gathered from a set of lecture notes, tentatively to be dated 1771. The notes are divided in "cahiers". The first one is obviously missing, for we only dispose of "cahier" 2, 3, and 4. The last one ends with a chapter on the duties of the sovereign; the last page is crossed out. At some places the writer indicates the chapter number "of our course" and another number "according to Pufendorf" or "according to our author". We can conclude from this that Clavel de Brenles used Pufendorf's manual as textbook, most likely in Barbeyrac's translation. This suggests that he was unable to deal with the law of nations before he died.
Titles, Memberships and Other Relevant Roles
[anonymous], Eloge historique de Monsieur Charles Guillaume Loys de Bochat (Lausanne: Antoine Chapuis, 1755): Digital version
[translator], Johann Christian Claproth, Principes du droit naturel (Lausanne: Pierre Heubach, 1771).
Dissertatio juris gentium inauguralis, de exemtione legatorum a foro criminale ejus ad quem missi sunt (Marburg: Philipp Casimir Müller, ): Digital version
Specimen methodi demonstrativae ad jus gentium applicatae, de exemtione legatorum, a foro criminali ejus ad quem missi sunt (Marburg: Philipp Casimir Müller, 1741): Digital version
Discours inaugural de Mr. le professeur de Brenles (Lausanne, 1770), Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire, Lausanne, Ms. IX 1915 XXX g3.
[anonymous], Cours de Droit naturel Tiré des Leçons de Monsieur De Brenles, Cahier 2 [comprises two manuscripts written by different authors, 192 pages, and 34 pages; the shorter piece covers the beginning of the course], Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire, Lausanne, Ms. ACV P Buren (de) 22: Digital version
[anonymous], Cours de Droit naturél tiré des leçons de Monsr De Brenles. Cahier 3e, Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire, Lausanne, Ms. ACV P Buren (de) 23: Digital version
[anonymous], Cours de Droit naturél Tiré des leçons de Monsr De Brenles. Cahier 4e, Bibliothèque cantonale et universitaire, Lausanne, Ms. ACV P Buren (de) 24: Digital version
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References and Acknowledgement
Dufour, Alfred: Le mariage dans l'école romande du droit naturel au XVIIIe siècle (Geneva: Georg, 1976).
Poudret, Jean-François: "De l'enseignement du droit naturel à celui du droit positif" in L'enseignement du droit à l'Académie de Lausanne aux XVIIIe et XIXe siècles ed. idem et al. (Lausanne: Université de Lausanne, 1987), see especially p. 46-49.
Tappy, Denis et al.: 300 ans d'enseignement du droit à Lausanne (Genève: Schulthess, 2010).
Zurbuchen, Simone: "Teaching the Law of Nature and Nations in the Swiss Context" in Etudes Lumières.Lausanne 6 (2018): http://lumieres.unil.ch/fiches/biblio/9472/Online Resources:
Abetel-Béguelin, Fabienne: "Clavel de Brenles, Jacques Abram Daniel" in Dictionnaire historique de la Suisse (DHS), version 22.12.2003: https://hls-dhs-dss.ch/fr/articles/016241/2003-12-22/
"Clavel de Brenles, Jacques Abram Daniel (1717-1771)" in Lumières.Lausanne: https://lumieres.unil.ch/fiches/bio/39/?q=clavel%20de%20brenles