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200 years ago many civil law jurisdictions adhered to exclusive national codifications of private law, and abandoned the old Ius Commune. Other jurisdictions in the civilian tradition did not engage in codifying private law, and continued along lines of authoritative opinions, case law and fragmented legislation. In our contemporary days the shades of national law slowly melt away, and we imagine a future where new common laws will continue to take shape. This book deals with this mirror image and explores the law in its everlasting tension between tradition and change. Historic and comparative analyses from European, Latin-American and South-African jurisdictions provide us with perspectives on the role of substance, methodology, institutions as well as individuals in developments of law towards the future.