Civil Law And Common Law In Europe Sociology

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‘The estimate of civil jurisprudence and common jurisprudence in Europe is no longer a undertaking of the hereafter but really much an endeavor of the present’The enterprise to make a European Civil codification is an ambitious undertaking with the Principles of European Contract Law having most prominence. The development of such a codification has invoked unfavorable judgment in peculiar from Pierre Legrand who argues that legal integrating should non be considered because of cardinal differences in legal civilizations throughout Europe. This essay will see what is meant by legal civilization, through an scrutiny of Legrand ‘s statement every bit good as sing the statements of those such as Zimmerman and Hoecke who believes that misinterpretations have taken topographic point in relation to the harmonization of private jurisprudence in Europe. Having considered these statements the essay will turn to the grade to which the focal point on legal civilization impacts on integrating.

The birth of modern comparative jurisprudence is by and large recognised as holding begun at the International Congress of Comparative Law held in Paris in 1900. In malice of its international charge the Congress consisted of delegates merely from Europe, nevertheless, this did non stamp down the optimism held by Lambert, one of the carbon monoxide laminitiss who articulated his vision of comparative jurisprudence being responsible for a new universe order:

… ‘comparative jurisprudence must decide the accidental and dissentious differences in the Torahs of peoples at similar phases of cultural and economic development, and cut down the figure of divergencies in jurisprudence, attributable non to the political, moral or societal qualities of the different states but to historical accident or to impermanent or contingent fortunes ‘ .

As De Cruz remarks there has been much alteration in the subject of comparative jurisprudence since this Congress, non in the least the fact that people do non necessitate to be ‘at similar phases of cultural and economic development ‘ for the comparing to take topographic point. Since its academic acknowledgment the job of seeking to work out what comparative jurisprudence is has been replaced with what is its intent? Orucu asserts that there is non one simple reply to this inquiry as comparative jurisprudence has more than one intent and can be broken down into five chief countries:

comparative jurisprudence as a agency of understanding and consolidating cognition

as an of import facet of legal instruction

as an assistance to jurisprudence reform and statute law

as a tool of reading and building

as a agency of uniting or harmonizing Torahs.

Although it has been listed as the concluding intent, comparative jurisprudence as a part to harmonization and fusion is by no agencies an undistinguished one, and for many is viewed as a cardinal dogma of the comparative research workers work. It is deserving sing at this phase some nomenclature and to see what is meant when the comparatist negotiations about fusion, harmonization and integrating and how the impressions might be distinguishable from one another.

Of class comparings need to come from someplace, and peculiarly when comparative jurisprudence is being used to unite or harmonize Torahs the of import construct of categorization is introduced. Assorted attacks have been taken to the categorization of legal systems notably in the 2nd half of the 20th century from a Western position: the civil jurisprudence, common jurisprudence and socialist jurisprudence household. This western point of position was further used to sort non-western states, sorting India, New Zealand and Australia for illustration, as common jurisprudence states and sorting all Asiatic states under a socialist header. When communist governments collapsed in the early 1990s so did the differentiation of the ‘socialist household ‘ as Hoecke and Warrington point out this both simplified and complicated comparative jurisprudence:

‘At first sight comparative jurisprudence seemed to hold become instead more simple. At 2nd glimpse, nevertheless, it was slightly awkward to see how a pure political alteration, straight impacting merely public jurisprudence, could do a private jurisprudence household disappear at one time. In a more critical attack, one had to inquire whether it did non intend that something was incorrect with the traditional legal household categorization as such. ‘

The influence of European jurisprudence and the soaking up of European Directives have doubtless altered the legal household landscape and are conveying about alteration to the one time quite separate common and civil jurisprudence traditions. The sum of statute law to regulate private jurisprudence is increasing in the United Kingdom, and as Palmer says, ‘English jurisprudence has already absorbed near to twenty EC Directives impacting the country of traditional private jurisprudence. Even more important in impact, it has been required to accommodate to continental logical thinking and reading techniques. ‘ Puting these alterations together with the gap of the Supreme Court, which Palmer asserts ‘satisfy, Continental constructs of separation of powers ‘ the consequence he concludes is ‘that non merely England but the other member provinces every bit good have become assorted legal systems. ‘ However, a ‘mixed legal system ‘ is non in its ego a categorization, it could be argued that all legal systems are in some manner assorted no modern-day system can claim to be made up of wholly original Torahs. Even if it accepted that a assorted system is an equal categorization the focal point is still upon the ‘law as regulations ‘ attack that divides common jurisprudence and civil jurisprudence, and although it can be argued that the development of European jurisprudence has broken down the construct of ‘legal household ‘ it is merely partly responsible.

The westernised attack is a colored one and truly ignores factors of legal tradition and legal civilization, the option to the legal household differentiation is hence to categorize into four initial subdivisions: Asiatic civilization, African civilization, Islamic civilization and Western civilization. This type of categorization moves beyond the thought that jurisprudence merely consists of legislative act and judicial determinations and recognises that a legal civilization is an merger of tradition, values and common patterns. However, the differentiations are still wide, and while utile for comparing at a macro-level the cultural categorization still presents possible troubles for comparing legal systems at the micro-level. If the importance of civilization is recognised for the intents of wider categorization so it can non be ignored within the Western cultural household itself. The cultural household will hold within it differing legal system, different states incorporating a ‘different history, or socio-economic conditions, about the content of the jurisprudence, the legal rules, regulations concepts or establishments. ‘ As Friedman says ‘legal civilization consists of attitudes, values, and sentiments held in society, with respect to jurisprudence, the legal system, and its assorted parts. ‘ Sing this, and the figure of states that will be contained within the Western cultural household entirely, so it would look that we have a really rich beginning of comparing but non needfully a formula for legal integrating.

However much we blend and bend classification for Legrand there still exists two quite distinguishable mentalities- two different ways of believing that exist between the common and civil jurisprudence that make such integrating a force to be argued against, and is peculiarly relevant in visible radiation of the desire to make a common European private jurisprudence. The development of a supra-system every bit far as Legrand is concerned could non be adequately respectful of the local legal civilizations such a development fits the position that Zweigert and Kotz advocate which states ‘the legal system of every society faces basically the same jobs and solves these jobs by rather different agencies though really frequently with similar consequences. ‘But, by believing about legal systems in this manner we are merely truly sing the regulations of the legal system that which is on the surface, instead than acquiring to the roots of what that legal system is truly approximately. In his ulterior work Friedman talked about there being a ‘dizzying array of civilizations within states or states ‘ traveling on to state that ‘a complex society has a complex legal culture’in order to exemplify his point Friedman cites the United States as an illustration and suggests ‘there is a legal civilization of rich and hapless ; of inkinesss, Whites or Asians ; of steelmakers or comptrollers ; of work forces, adult females and kids, and so on. ‘Of class far from proposing that diverseness means an inability to meet, such a rich legal civilization could conversely show the possibility of integrity between ‘what may be highly diverse elements of thoughts, patterns, values and traditions. ‘ This becomes rather debatable though if Legrand ‘s statement is considered, that civilization ‘is about corporate mental programmes… .that have formed as a map of the community to which we belong ‘ regulations are embedded so profoundly in this cultural experience that the regulations become as much a beginning of individuality as the civilization does. On this footing it seems impossible to conceive of that any codification could capture every legal civilization successfully peculiarly if we give respect to conventions, which once more Legrand argues ‘reveals much beneath the surface ‘ and ‘have deep cultural significance ‘

By manner of illustration Legrand draws our attending to the English common jurisprudence attack of denominating instances by the parties ‘ names, as opposed to the Gallic convention of foregrounding the tribunal rendering the determination and the day of the month of judgement. Legrand argues that this is a convention that reflects the English tribunals view that they arbitrate between people, as opposed to the Gallic position that it is of import to foreground the place of the State. However, if we do things the manner they have ever been done so nil alterations, advancement is non made. Law and political relations in the United Kingdom are bound in tradition and convention, where else possibly would a State gap of Parliament Begin with an functionary in leotardss named Black Rod have a big wooden door slammed in his face to mean the independency of the House of Commons? Defending convention because we believe it to be utile, or of great cultural significance is one thing, continuing convention for fright of the alternate merely inhibits advancement.

Before the focal point on cultural facets of jurisprudence are discussed farther, it is of import to see in more item precisely why Legrand has such a cultural axe to crunch. In his recent article puting out the latest place in the effort to follow a European private jurisprudence Zimmermann remarks that ‘we are faced with a perplexing assortment of paperss purporting to set up common land ‘ his list includes the Principles of European Contract Law, the Aquis Principles, the Draft Common Frame of Reference, the Consumer Gross saless Directive, a proposal for a Directive on Consumer Rights, the United Nations Convention for the International Sale of Goods, and the Principles of European Gross saless Law The European Parliament passed a declaration in 1989 that called for a European Civil Code and while many of the countries are yet to be to the full explored, although non implemented the most outstanding so far are the Principles of European Contract Law. Writing in ‘Towards a European Civil Code ‘ Ewoud Hondius concluded that it was clip for Contract Law to be codified, yet Eidenmuller et alsay ‘that at present such a European Code of Contract Law is neither feasibly come-at-able nor-as is really widely held-legally possible ‘ because of this the suggestion of an optional contract jurisprudence instrument has been raised to sit alongside the bing 30 strategies that presently exist throughout Europe.

If Eidenmuller is right, why so, attempts to go on with this ambitious undertaking? The grounds for harmonization of European contract jurisprudence appear to be two fold. First, it is a affair of economic sciences ; the basiss of the internal market are the four freedoms, the free motion of people, goods, services and capital. By opening up the boundary lines to merchandise we have opened up a greater necessity to be able to make and execute contracts, a consonant jurisprudence of contracts would take barriers to trading. Second, an optional codification would give parties legal pick and cut down uncertainness caused by linguistic communication diverseness, peculiarly in the instance of a disputed contract where those involved would be able to mention to the same papers in their ain linguistic communication.

If such a strategy is to be successful a figure of factors need to be taken into consideration, the creative activity of a European broad codification can non be achieved through the tribunals, harmonization of this nature needs to be systematic, working under codification of this sort is perchance non a trouble for the civil attorney, but what about those brought up within the system of justice made jurisprudence? Munday states that ‘a attorney brought up within a system of judge-made jurisprudence has a legal mentality absolutely different from one who has grown up with a statute system ‘ a sentiment that had earlier been raised by Pound who commented ‘behind the characteristic philosophies and thoughts and technique of the common-law attorney there is a important frame of head ‘ . This draws us back to Legrand ‘s construct of outlooks and all that is of import about the ‘cognitive construction ‘ of a civilization and the irreducible differences that occur between the civil and common jurisprudence and come from two wholly different manners of sing the legal universe. For Zimmermann this can be resolved through the necessary legal preparation that would hold to attach to such an execution, whereby university pupils would larn to believe about jurisprudence outside of their ain national legal system alongside the encouragement of programmes such as Socrates and Erasmus which enable pupils to pass a Semester in another European state, and show a greater engagement in one another ‘s legal civilization. However, developing takes clip and harmonizing to observers who oppose integrating of legal system will ne’er be plenty to exceed the legal trainees ain socialization ;

‘no affair how acute the penetration he brings to bear on Italian jurisprudence, the English attorney will needfully believe otherwise from the Italian- lawyer-understanding-Italian-law, that he will of necessity non believe as an Italian attorney. The English attorney will, hence, ne’er understand Italian jurisprudence on its ain footings, that is, in the manner Italians make given the manner it appears to them ‘

Merely as the English attorney can non experience as an Italian attorney, so we can widen the statement and say that hubby will ne’er genuinely understand his married woman, and will surely non be able to experience as his married woman does. However, this is non a necessity for harmoniousness, integrity or integrating, and what is of import in the regard of harmonizing legal civilizations is ‘to what extent we can we do a similar logical thinking refering foreign legal systems, and what effects must be drawn from it? ‘ That is non to state that we ignore cultural differences, but instead, recognize civilization as a dynamic entity. Hoecke illustrates the dynamism of civilization through the illustration of how ‘we have taken over many elements of American civilization. Our kids are partially educated as small Americans by legion telecasting series and films. Europeans are, by this, non going Americans, but we are meeting ‘ . Writing in “ Are civilians educable? ” Legrand expressed the sentiment that it would be both awful and sad if Europe were to hold civil codification, but it becomes clear that Legrand is visualizing a codification that is foist upon us from one portion of Europe to another. Hoecke appears to happen this ill-conceived and instead than a European civil codification being an infliction he sees it as a ‘natural procedure of the development of jurisprudence and legal scientific discipline throughout Europe ‘ and accuses Legrand of non taking into history the possibility that ‘preparing such a codification may take to a complete rethinking of cardinal constructions, differentiations, constructs and rules, non merely of the common jurisprudence, but besides, and possibly to a larger extent, of the civil jurisprudence ‘

Zimmermann asserts that a turning figure of comparative and European attorneies unlike Eidenmuller et al see the readying, and debut, of a European Civil Code as both ‘feasible and desirable. ‘Two groups have been involved in an effort to organize bill of exchange codes the one being the Avant-Project of a European Contract Code and The Study Group on a European Civil Code who in puting out their purposes says the importance lies in ;

‘Not taking any one national jurisprudence as a theoretical account which, with version, is to be made the footing of European rules. We take the position that every legal system in the EU potentially has much to offer and the rightness of regulations is determined on their virtues instead than their national beginning ‘ .

This is painstaking work and is possibly a good indicant as to why twenty old ages subsequently the Principles of European Contract Law are still working their manner into text editions on private jurisprudence, or possibly it is due to the farther purposes of the group who consider it of import that the integrating is a voluntary convergence thereby giving the feeling of a natural and organic procedure. The survey group are non disregarding the being or relevancy of civilization in their comparative work and recognize that ‘certain countries of private jurisprudence seem more likely than others to be enveloped by considerations of policy or societal values which will change comparatively markedly between single legal powers ‘ .

Recognition of legal civilization is of import for the comparatist as everything we need to cognize can non be told to us by legal regulations entirely. But the thought of civilization causes jobs ; it is hard to specify and to hold on when and where a legal civilization might be. Legrand, for illustration starts from the given of a state sharing a common legal experience and uses it to underscore the differences of other legal civilizations and the grounds for non-legal integrating. This is in blunt comparing to Watson who views civilization as a ‘filter for legal alteration or development ‘ .

The construct of legal civilization can enable us to look both externally at other civilizations, and hence the demand to esteem cultural differences, and inside at the common experience within a civilization. Harmonizing to Cotterell ‘recognition of jurisprudence ‘s roots in civilization might do it possible to demo profound integrities between the Torahs of different legal systems ‘ in this manner it is possible to happen a common European civilization or at least ‘provide inspiration and way for legal integrating, and a promise of an ultimate harmonisation of jurisprudence ‘ . Legrand ‘s unfavorable judgments indicate that there is a long manner to travel, but being cognizant of the cultural differences does non intend integrating will non take topographic point ; it can alternatively be examined in order to find ‘which facets legal civilization, favour convergence and which aspects hamper it? ‘ which in bend inform us as to what type of convergence we favour instead than whether convergence is possible, and work toward the construct of a wholly new European legal system.

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