In this paper, Vincenzo Ferrari commemorates André-Jean Arnaud, who passed away on 25 December 2015. The author starts by emphasising the importance of Arnaud’s cultural origins as a student of legal history and his intellectual debt with such prominent scholars as Henri Lévy-Bruhl, Michel Villey, Gabriel Le Bras and Jean Carbonnier. After his initial studies of the roots of the Napoleonic civil code, which already showed his interest in the social and political foundations of law, Arnaud addressed his subsequent works increasingly to the sociology of law and contributed substantively to the growth of this field of study. His writings on the transformation of legal systems offered a critical vision of law in its connection with social change, whereas his activity as a cultural organiser - with special reference to the foundation of the Oñati IISL in 1989-90 - was decisive for the diffusion of socio-legal studies at an international level.
Keywords: André-Jean Arnaud - Legal history - Socio-legal theory - Legal change - Cultural organisation