Foto av Heikki Pihlajamäki
  • PL 4 (Yliopistonkatu 3)



1987 …2024

Forskningsoutput per år

Personlig profil


Beginning Sept 1, 2021, Heikki Pihlajamäki is Academy Professor. His project will provide a comparative account of how early modern colonial laws of England, the Netherlands, Spain and Portugal evolved. The Project will set the colonial laws in two important contexts: the historical continuation that links the colonial experience to the middle ages and the early modern context of continental European empires (Sweden, Germany, and Russia). According to the hypothesis of this study, the differentiation followed from the differences in the interests that England, the Netherlands, Spain, and Portugal had overseas. The Project’s breakthrough potential is twofold. First, the Project sets the legal orders of the early modern powers traditionally defined as colonial powers in close context with the other European empires expanding at the same time (Sweden, Russia). Second, the Project will systematically compare early modern overseas legal orders with each other. Culturally contextualizing and comparative methods best characterize the approach of the Project.



Master of Laws:                      University of Helsinki, 1987

Licentiate of Laws:                  University of Helsinki, 1991

Doctor of Laws:                      University of Helsinki, 1996


Professional experience:

  • Clerk, Lower Court of Lappee, Lappeenranta 1987-1988
  • Lawyer, National Board of Construction 1988
  • Researcher, University of Helsinki 1988-1990
  • Lawyer, Refugee Advice Centre 1991
  • Research Associate, Academy of Finland 1992-1995
  • Visiting Scholar, University of Belgrano, Buenos Aires, Argentina 1992-1993
  • Legal Officer, the Office of the Parliamentary Ombudsman 1996-1997
  • Lecturer in Legal History 1997-2002
  • Docent of Legal History, University of Helsinki  1998-              
  • Legal Secretary to the Chancellor of The University of Helsinki 1997- 
  • Visiting Professor of Law, University of Tartu, Estonia 2002
  • Associate Professor of Legal History (yliopistonlehtori), Faculty of Law, University of Helsinki 2002-
  • Senior Academy Research Fellow, Academy of Finland 2002-2007
  • Professor of Comparative Legal History, 2009-
  • Academy Professor, 2021-26

Memberships in International Academic Organizations:

  • Asociación Internacional del Derecho Indiano   1998-
  • David-Mevius-Gesellsschaft  2005-
  • Instituto de Investigaciones de Historia del Derecho, Argentina (Corresponding Member) 2006-

Positions of Trust in Academic Journals:

  • Member of Editorial Staff, Retfærd 1998-2000
  • Member of Editorial Staff, Oikeus 1996-2000
  • Chief Editor, Oikeus 2001-2002
  • Editorial Board, Revue électronique Clio & Thémis  2006-
  • Editorial Board, Forum Historiae Juris, 2009-
  • Editorial Board, Journal of Baltic Studies, 2011-
  • Editorial Board, Quaderni Fiorentini per la storia del pensiero giuridico moderno, 2011-

Opponent Tasks / Doctoral Dissertations:

  • Marju Luts, dissertation Juhuslik ja isamaaline, University of Tartu Dec. 1, 2000
  • Martti Lehti, dissertation Väkivallan hyökyaalto, University of Helsinki Jan. 26, 2001
  • Toomas Kotkas, dissertation Suosiosta ja armosta, University of Helsinki Dec. 10, 2004
  • Pentti Ahmas, dissertation Oikeudenkäynnin yhdenmukaistaminen 1800-luvulla, University of Helsinki June 10, 2005
  • Max Lyles, dissertation A Call for Scientific Purity, University of Stockholm Jan. 23, 2006
  • Iisa Vepsä, dissertation, University of Helsinki, Dec. 11, 2009
  • Hesi Siimets-Gross, dissertation, University of Tarto, June 26, 2011
  • Juan Benito Cañizares Navarro, University of Valencia, July 27th, 2011 

Tasks as Pre-examiner of Doctoral Dissertation:

  • The dissertations of Lehti, Kotkas, Ahmas and Vepsä(see above)
  • Mia Korpiola; Between Betrothal and Bedding, University of Helsinki spring 2004
  • Kaius Tuori; Ancient Romal Lawyers and Modern Legal Ideals, University of Helsinki fall 2005
  • Teemu Keskisarja; "Secoituxesta järjettömäin luondocappalden canssa": Perversiot, oikeuselämä ja kansankulttuuri 1700-luvun Suomessa,  University of Helsinki spring 2006
  • Jörn Öyrehagen Sunde; ’Fornuft og Erfarenhed” – framveksten av metodisk medvit i dansknorsk rett på 1700-talet”, University of Bergen, Norway August 2007


  • Teacher of the Year, Law Students’ Association Pykälä r.y. 1999, 2002
  • Nominee for Eino Kaila Prize (teacher of the year in the University of Helsinki) 2000, 2002
  • Erwin C. Surrency Prize of American Society for Legal History for the article “The Painful Question: The Fate of Judicial Torture in Sweden”, Law and History Review 25:3 (2007), 557-592. 2008


For a list of older publications please click here.


  • 513 Juridik

Internationellt och inhemskt samarbete

Publikationer och projekt inom de senaste fem åren.