Mixed Legal Systems in a Cultural-Traditional Context

In my previous post about mixed legal systems, it became evident that the conventional definition of a mixed legal system is influenced by Western ideas of a division of legal systems into two groups: civil law countries and common law countries. Such a concept is insufficient for the growing importance of non-Western law in today’s global community. Both Patrick Glenn’s idea of legal traditions and Csaba Varga’s concept of legal culture try to break with convention in order to make more remote legal systems workable for comparative law. The question is whether and how they deal with mixed legal systems.

Patrick Glenn in his Legal Traditions of the World, deals with the civil law tradition and the common law tradition in two different chapters. His focus is, however, more on their different roots that led to two different methodologies than their mixing. As a result, mixed legal systems are rather neglected.

Csaba Vargas’ starting point, in turn, is the heterogeneity of laws. For him, legal systems are intrinsically diverse. Consequently, any classification into any specific group – it being civil, common, or mixed – is artificial in nature and only serves to facilitate the comparative task.

Bibliography

  • PATRICK GLENN, LEGAL TRADITIONS OF THE WORLD (2004). A newer edition is available.
  • William Twining et al., A Fresh Start for Comparative Legal Studies? A Collective Review of Patrick Glenn’s Legal Traditions of the World, 2nd Edition, 1 Journal of Comparative Law 100-199 (2005).
  • Csaba Varga, COMPARATIVE LEGAL CULTURES: ON TRADITIONS CLASSIFIED, THEIR RAPPROCHEMENT AND TRANSFER, AND THE ANARCHY OF HYPER-RATIONALISM 2012.

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