Legal Traditions of the World: Sustainable Diversity in Law

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Oxford University Press, 2000 - Law - 371 pages
Written in a clear and accessible style, this prize-winning work seeks to recast the discipline of comparative law and offers a major new means of conceptualizing law and legal relations across the world. Instead of a narrow focus on national legal systems, Glenn places national laws in the broader context of legal traditions. He examines seven of the world's most important and complex legal traditions in detail: chthonic (or indigenous) law; talmudic law; civil law; islamic law; common law; hindu law; and Asian law. Each tradition is examined in terms of its institutions and substantive law, its foundational concepts and methods, its attitude towards the concept of change, and its teaching on relations with other traditions and peoples. Mutual influences throughout history are noted and, whilst the major and important differences are admitted, the various traditions are nevertheless shown to be fundamentally commensurable. Legal Traditions of the World concludes witha synthesis of the contribution of legal traditions to the understanding of tradition generally. The normativity and multiplicity of the world's legal traditions are examined, as is their ability, as complex traditions, to reconcile major differences of opinion or belief in a peaceable manner. Complex traditions are ultimately shown to represent multivalent forms of logic and can thus be regarded as the best means of facilitating sustainable human diversity in an increasingly interdependent world.

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About the author (2000)

H. Patrick Glenn is Peter M. Laing Professor of Law at McGill University, Montreal, and a former Director of the McGill Institute of Comparative Law. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada and a Member of the International Academy of Comparative Law.

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