Unformatted text preview: Levitt's Comparative Law Index: Comparative Legal Systems Class: Quiz 1 1/19/09 10:02 AM Welcome to Levitt's Comparative Law Links Page: Comparative
Legal Systems Class:
NOTES GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO THE COURSE AND
INTRODUCTION TO THE CIVIL LAW SYSTEM
GENERAL INTRODUCTION TO THE COURSE
INTRODUCTION TO THE STUDY OF COMPARATIVE LAW
HYBRID LEGAL SYSTEMS
Questions and Issues:
What is comparative law ? Why do we study comparative law ? What is the subject matter of comparative
law ? The two approaches toward the study of comparative law - comparative substantive law and
comparative infrastructures Does the study of comparative law always involve the examination of the laws of two or more
countries? Can one make a study of the different laws operating within one nation?
What are the competing legal systems in the world today?
In which countries would we find:
i. Civil Law
ii. Common Law
iii. Socialist Law
iv. Islamic Law, Jewish Law, Chinese Law, Christian law, African Law
What do we mean by the term "hybrid" system of law ? Where can we find "hybrid" systems of law How have these "hybrid" systems come about?
Why do we label the legal systems operating in the Republic of South Africa, Scotland, Israel,
Nigeria, and the province of Quebec as hybrids?
What historical factors account for the creation of a hybrid system of law ? INTRODUCTION TO THE CIVIL LAW SYSTEM
HISTORY AND ORIGINS OF THE CIVIL LAW SYSTEM
SOURCES OF LAW
Questions and Issues
Where do we find the Civil Law system operating today in the world ?
Why do we trace the origins of the Civil Law system to law of Rome ?
http://www.nova.edu/~levitts/comlaw/week1.html Page 1 of 3 Levitt's Comparative Law Index: Comparative Legal Systems Class: Quiz 1 1/19/09 10:02 AM What is the importance of the Justinian compilation of Roman law ?
Why do we say that Roman law was "rediscovered" after the Middle Ages?
What was the influence of Northern Italian universities upon the development of Civil law ? Remember,
legal scholars from all over Europe came to study at Padua and Bologna and after their studies returned
home to found centers of legal scholarship in Germany, Poland, France, Russia and Holland.
What was the significance of the French Civil Code of 1804 and the German Civil Code of 1896?
What nations in Europe were influenced by the French Civil Code and the French legal tradition ?
What nations in Europe were influenced by the German Civil Code of 1896?
What are the major sources of law in the Civil Law System today? (Statute, a decided line of cases,
Why are the differences between the Civil Law system and the Common law systems are breaking
down? (Students will learn something about the nature of the Civil Law System and the major sources
of law in this system by answering the present question)
The three categories of difference [between the Common Law World and the Civil Law World] may be
said to be:
a. Judge made law vs. Codification
It is often said that Common Law is judge made law whereas Civil Law is comprise mainly of statute.
Is this really true any longer? Has there not been an explosion of statutes in Common Law nations
during the twentieth century?
b. Common Law principle of stare decisis- Is there really no precedent in Civil law ?
Consider the concept of "Standige Rechtsprechung"- A decided line of cases does this not very much
resemble Common law precedent as it relates to interpretation of a given section of a particular statute.
If there is no stare decisis how do you explain the fact that there are series of reported cases?
What about constitutional decisions? Certainly there must be some binding authority upon lower courts
in constitutional matters ?
c. Technical application of law vs. more liberal procedural rules Is it really true today that the Common
law has more technical rules of procedure whereas the Civil law system has more liberal procedural
In relation to substantive law, are Common law rules more technical and detailed than Civil law
principles ? Additional Materials
http://www.nova.edu/~levitts/comlaw/week1.html Page 2 of 3 Levitt's Comparative Law Index: Comparative Legal Systems Class: Quiz 1 1/19/09 10:02 AM Roman Law link on Levitt's Homepage
Rene David, Major Legal Systems , pp. 1- 29.
For a very interesting account of the hybrid system in Nigeria, where African tribal law mixes with the
Common law, see:
Derek Asiedu - Akrofi, "Judicial Recognition and Adoption of Customary Law in Nigeria", in The
American Journal of Comparative Law, 1989, Volume 37, pp. 571- 593. (found in law library)
James R. Maxeiner, "1992: High Time for American Lawyers to Learn from Europe, or Roscoe
Pound's 1906 Address Revisited," in Fordham International Law Journal, Volume 15, Number 1, pp.
Comparative Legal Traditions, pp. 40- 61, and pp. 193- 241. (on reserve in Einstein Library)
Major Legal Systems in the World Today, pp. 33- 73 and pp. 94- 141.(Book found in Law Library) Comments to: Stephen Ross Levitt
Updated: October 2000
Copyright Stephen Ross Levitt and Liberal Arts Department http://www.nova.edu/~levitts/comlaw/week1.html Page 3 of 3 ...
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