Legal Transplants: An Approach to Comparative Law / Edition 2

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Overview


In Legal Transplants, one of the world's foremost authorities on legal history and comparative law puts forth a clear and concise statement of his controversial thesis on the way that law has developed throughout history.

When it was first published in 1974, Legal Transplants sparked both praise and outrage. Alan Watson's argument challenges the long-prevailing notion that a close connection exists between the law and the society in which it operates. His main thesis is that a society's laws do not usually develop as a logical outgrowth of its own experience. Instead, he contends, the laws of one society are primarily borrowed from other societies; therefore, most law operates in a society very different from the one for which it was originally created. Utilizing a wealth of primary sources, Watson illustrates his argument with examples ranging from the ancient Near East, ancient Rome, early modern Europe, Puritan New England, and modern New Zealand. The resulting picture of the law's surprising longevity and acceptance in foreign conditions carries important implications for legal historians and sociologists. The law cannot be used as a tool to understand society, Watson believes, without a careful consideration of legal transplants.

For this edition, Watson has written a new afterword in which he places his original study in the context of more recent scholarship and offers some new reflections on legal borrowings, law, and society.

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Editorial Reviews

Booknews
A reprint of the 1974 edition (Scottish Academic Press). Highly controversial then and now, Watson's argument is that a society's laws do not usually develop from within, but are borrowed from other societies. A new (12 pp.) afterword by Watson places the study in the context of recent scholarship, and offers some new reflections. No index. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780820315324
  • Publisher: University of Georgia Press
  • Publication date: 7/1/1993
  • Series: Virginia Legal Studies Series
  • Edition description: Second Edition
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 144
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Meet the Author


Alan Watson, Distinguished Research Professor and Ernest P. Rogers Chair at the University of Georgia School of Law, is regarded as one of the world's foremost authorities on Roman law, comparative law, legal history, and law and religion.
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Table of Contents

Preface
Preface to First Edition
Abbreviations
1 Comparative Law as an Academic Discipline 1
2 The Perils of Comparative Law 10
3 The Virtues of Comparative Law 16
4 Introduction to Legal Transplants 21
5 Romans and Roman Law in Roman Egypt 31
6 Roman Systematics in Scotland 36
7 The Reception of Roman Law in Scotland 44
8 Meaning and Authority 57
9 Lo Codi 61
10 The Early Law of the Massachusetts Bay Colony 65
11 English Law in New Zealand 71
12 Roman Law in the Late Republic 75
13 Lex Aquilla: Reception and Non-Reception 79
14 Transfer of Ownership and Risk in Sale 82
15 Authority Again 88
16 Some General Reflections 95
17 Comparative Law and Legal History 102
Afterword 107
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