European Traditions: Integration or Dis-integration?
European legal traditions can be characterized as a continuous balancing act of two seemingly contradictory forces: centralization and de-centralization. On the one hand, Justinian's Corpus iuris, the medieval ius commune of Roman and Canon law, the usus modernus pandectarum, and the current European harmonization efforts all have a centralizing or rather an integrative quality about them. While the ius proprium - including the English Common law, and particularly the national codifications of the 19th century, as well as the study of these laws - exhibit more diverse, decentralizing forces within European legal traditions. This book shows how comparative legal history can be used as a tool to analyze similarities and differences between legal systems. It provides a deeper understanding of common strands in law shared by European countries, in particular, those at a substantive level, through shared legal ideas and principles, such as clausula rebus sic stantibus, unjustified enrichment, cessio bonorum, subsidiarity, or popular sovereignty; as well as those at a formal level, through a common legal language, and created by scholarly networks and appellate courts. Above all, the book's contributions - though eclectic in their subject matter, time period, and methodology - all reflect from a historical perspective on the fascinating, diverse, European legal traditions.
Publication Date: 12/31/2012