If there was such a history then the Church would have never changed the former system of promulgating Canon Law. Canon lawyers were much more important (and numerous) before 1917. Canon Law was a messy labyrinth of Councils, Papal interpretations, and consensus opinions, built up over 19 centuries. Some Canons were still technically “in force” but discarded in practice, such as the 20th and final Canon of the Council of Nicaea (the first Ecumenical Council), which forbade kneeling on Sunday. No authority ever contravened this Canon - it was simply forgotten. And that’s OK, as long as the Bishops (who are the ultimate interpreters and enforcers of Canon Law within their Diocese) don’t object.
Bishops relied on Canon lawyers to advise them, but Canon lawyers often offered contradictory advice. It wasn’t uncommon for two Canons to apparently teach in opposition to each other. Individual Bishops were interpreting Canon Law independently, so what was canonical in one Diocese was not canonical in another. The Bishops SHOULD have interpreted Canon Law - that is their role as Bishop - but what constituted Canon Law was poorly defined. It was hard to say what Canon Law WAS.
The Catholic Church has a lot of institutional inertia. The old system of Canon Law SHOULD have been replaced a thousand years ago, but it wasn’t until 1917 that the Church finally threw in the towel on the old system and implemented a single authoritative set of Canons accessible to anyone - the First Edition of the Code of Canon Law. The Church abrogated every single Canon ever promulgated (for nearly nineteen centuries!) and replaced all of of that old, arcane and confusing Canon Law with a single resource. No more digging through Council Canons and Papal interpretations and whatever else.
Each Bishop is STILL the ultimate interpreter of Canon Law for his Diocese, but at least the Bishop (and his Canon lawyer advisers) know, at least, WHAT constitutes Canon Law.
EDIT: In case someone stumbles upon this thread and thinks that the Church can change doctrine - that is not part of this discussion. Everything I have said refers to the RULES of the Church (such as how many times a priest can say Mass each day). Church DOCTRINE does not change.