M. C. Mirow, Florida International University, College of Law, is publishing Spanish Law and Its Expansion in the Oxford Handbook of European Legal History (Pihlajamäki, Dubber & Godfrey, eds., Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2018) (Forthcoming). Here is the abstract.
This chapter provides an overview of the legal aspects of Spain's enterprise in the Americas. It addresses the uses of law in discovery, exploration and conquest; Castilian law before its expansion to new territories; the use of law to justify conquest; slavery and indigenous labour; institutions; sources of law; legal actors; and Spanish law after independence. It also presents some of the present debates surrounding the nature and construction of derecho indiano.Download the essay from SSRN at the link.