The actio utilis in case of pignus nominis

A. J.H. Smit*

*Corresponding author for this work

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In Roman law, a creditor could establish a security right by pledging his claim (nomen) against a third person. In case of pignus nominis, the praetor granted the pledgee an actio utilis, which he could use to demand performance from the debtor of the claim that had been pledged to him. The prevailing doctrine with regard to the actio utilis in case of pignus nominis is that this action was formulated after the example of the actio Serviana. Smit explains that in her opinion the praetor did not shape the actio utilis after the actio Serviana, but after the action that the pledgor would have had against his debtor if he himself would have demanded performance from his debtor. Smit discusses the technique the praetor used, compares pignus nominis with assignment and proposes a reconstruction of the formula of the actio utilis that was given in case of pignus nominis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)65-92
Number of pages28
JournalZeitschrift der Savigny-Stiftung fur Rechtsgeschichte, Romanistische Abteilung
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1-Jun-2023


  • Actio utilis
  • Formula (‘Formeltechnik’)
  • Pignus nominis

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