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Vol 23 No 5 May/June 2018

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Roman Law, Contemporary Law, European Law: The Civilian Tradition Today

Reinhard ZimmermannProfessor of Law, University of Regensburg, Germany

ISBN13: 9780198299134
ISBN: 0198299133
Published: July 2003
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: UK
Format: Hardback
Price: £64.00

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Legal history helps us to understand our modern law. It explains why the law has become what it is. It lays open the premises on which the modern law is based. It constitutes a rich source of experience which is as valuable for the development of modern legal doctrine as for law reform. It may also reveal where a wrong turn has been taken and thus prevent us from repeating an error.

Today, however, historical legal scholarship has acquired an added legal significance in view of the Europeanization of private law and private law scholarship. It enables us to see the common ground between our modern national legal systems and to understand existing differences. It makes us aware of the fact that the law has not developed in national isolation and can, therefore, not properly be understood under purely national auspices. It constitutes the foundation for scholarship in comparative law and paves the way towards re-establishing a European legal culture.

The first section of this book demonstrates how legal history lost touch with modern legal doctrine in nineteenth-century Germany. This process of emancipation was enormously beneficial, as far as our knowledge of classical antiquity is concerned. Arguably, however, the pendulum has swung too far. There has always been in the development of the civilian tradition, a competition between an ""elegant"" and a ""utilitarian"" approach. It would be highly desirable if legal historians, apart from exploring for their own sake the details of past times, would once again set itself the task of tracing the ways in which our modern law emerged from its historical origins.

The second section is devoted to a demonstration that this kind of approach is still possible, and meaningful, in spite of the fact that German law - like all other Continental legal systems - has been codified. Codification has influenced our ideology. But it has not cut us off from the common legal past. Adjudication and scholarship under the BGB remain German emanations of the civilian tradition.;The final section substantiates the claims that common principles underpin different legal systems by focusing on a number of examples.

This book contains the text on which Professor Zimmermann's Clarendon Lectures at the University of Oxford in October 1999 were based.

Roman Law and Greek Law
1. The End of an Era: Transformation of Scholarship in Roman Law
2. The Transition from Civil Law to Civil Code in Germany: Dawn of a New Era
3. A Change in perspective: European Private Law and its Historical Foundations
Final Observations

Series: Clarendon Law Lectures

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Mistake and Non-Disclosure of Fact: Models for English Contract Law (eBook) ISBN 9780191641916
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Women, Crime, and Character: From Moll Flanders to Tess of the D'Urbervilles ISBN 9780199544363
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Active Liberty: Interpreting a Democratic Constitution ISBN 9780199227075
Published March 2008
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Same Sex Relationships: From Odious Crime to Gay Marriage ISBN 9780199297733
Published May 2006
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Gatekeepers: The Professions and Corporate Governance ISBN 9780199288090
Published May 2006
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State Liability: Tort Law and Beyond ISBN 9780199272648
Published September 2004
Oxford University Press
Intellectual Property: Omnipresent, Distracting, Irrelevant?
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ISBN 9780199263073
Published February 2004
Oxford University Press
Managing Intellectual Capital New ed
David J. TeeceUniversity of California at Berkeley, USA
ISBN 9780198295426
Published September 2003
Oxford University Press
The Practice of Principle: In Defence of a Pragmatist Approach to Legal Theory New ed
Jules ColemanWesley Newcomb Hohfeld Professor of Jurisprudence and Philosophy, Yale University, USA
ISBN 9780199264124
Published June 2003
Oxford University Press
Some Landmarks of Twentieth Century Contract Law
Guenter TreitelFellow, All Souls College, University of Oxford
ISBN 9780199255757
Published September 2002
Oxford University Press
Change and Continuity: Statute, Equity and Federalism ISBN 9780198298236
Published July 2001
Oxford University Press
The Law's Two Bodies ISBN 9780199245185
Published May 2001
Oxford University Press
The Practice of Principle: In Defence of a Pragmatist Approach to Legal Theory
Jules ColemanWesley Newcomb Hohfeld Professor of Jurisprudence and Philosophy, Yale University, USA
ISBN 9780198298144
Published May 2001
Oxford University Press
Economic Torts
Tony WeirFellow and Reader in Law, Trinity College, University of Cambridge
ISBN 9780198265931
Published October 1997
Oxford University Press
Law and Legal Theory in the UK and USA
Richard A. PosnerChief Justice, Court of Appeals Seventh Circuit for the United States, Chicago, USA
ISBN 9780198264712
Published September 1997
Oxford University Press