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Vollenhoven, Cornelis Van (1874–1933)

Cornelis van Vollenhoven, a Dutch jurist, was the founder of the school of adat law that advocated empirical research on customary law in Indonesia. In Leiden, the Netherlands, van Vollenhoven studied Semitic languages, law, and political science, obtaining a doctorate in the latter two disciplines in 1898. Three years later, he took up a Leiden chair in the “Adat law of the Netherlands East Indies,” which he retained until his death. While not the first Dutch scholar to use the notion of adat, he was the first to elevate its study to a science, and he oversaw one of the first rigorous and widespread attempts to record and to seek recognition for customary law in the world, supervising the writing of over 20 dissertations ...

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