COMPARATIVE LAW IN A CHANGING WORLD Second edition Peter de Cruz, LLB, LLM, PhD Professor of Law Staffordshire University Cavendish Publishing Limi...
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Peter de Cruz, LLB, LLM, PhD

Professor of Law Staffordshire University

Cavendish Publishing Limited London • Sydney

CONTENTS Preface List of Abbreviations




INTRODUCING COMPARATIVE LAW Introduction Definitions and derivations Terminology: subject or method? The elements of 'comparative law' Comparative law distinguished from other disciplines Private international law and comparative law Public international law and comparative law Legal history, legal ethnology and comparative law Sociology of law and comparative law A rationale for comparative law The origins of comparative law Early comparative law The roots of comparative law Comparative law in England The contemporary significance of comparative law Functions and purposes of comparative law Comparative law as an academic discipline Comparative law as an academic tradition Using comparative law in research A tool of construction Aid to understanding legal rules The African situation The international law dimension Key concepts in the comparative law method The parent legal family and legal traditions Sources of law Comparative law method Selective bibliography

1 1 3 3 7 7 8 9 9 10 10 11 11 13 16 18 18 18 19 19 21 22 24 24 26 26 28 29 30


THE CLASSIFICATION OF LEGAL SYSTEMS INTO LEGAL FAMILIES Terminology Legal traditions and legal families Classification of legal systems Criteria used to classify legal systems Examination and application of the criteria Historical development Mode of legal thinking

33 33 33 34 36 36 36 38

Comparative Law in a Changing World Distinctive legal institutions Choice of sources of law Ideology of a legal system Convergence theory and legal unity Selective bibliography

39 40 40 41 42

THE CIVIL LAW SYSTEM Terminology Different meanings of 'civil law' Meaning of codification in the civil law context Historical development of the civil law tradition Roman law and Western civilisation History of French law Structure and overview of the French Civil Code Sources of law Doctrine Status of judicial decisions (jurisprudence) in French law Key features of the French legal system Public and private law Distinctive French legal doctrines and concepts History of German law Application of the BGB Overview of the civil law tradition Selective bibliography


THE ENGLISH COMMON LAW SYSTEM Introduction Terminology The English common law tradition The common law in the United States Preliminary observations Linguistic issues History of American law: some observations Uniformity and diversity in American law Comparative overview The common law tradition in South East Asia Historical introduction to the English legal world in South East Asia Reception of English law in Singapore and Malaysia Reception of English law in Singapore Reception of English law in Malaysia The common law in India The common law in the Far East: Hong Kong

43 43 46 47 47 59 64 "6 67 68 69 74 77 79 90 95 96 99 99 101 102 107 107 108 108 114 118 118 119 121 122 123 125 127



New legislative formula Hong Kong after 1997 Can socialism and capitalism co-exist? The future of the common law in Hong Kong Comparative overview Selective bibliography

128 129 131 132 136 137

EUROPEAN COMMUNITY LAW Introduction Scope of chapter Monism, dualism and accession of Britain The Single European Act 1986 The institutional framework of the Community EC institutions and traditional international organisations The Council of Ministers The European Commission The European Parliament The European Court of Justice Difficulties in comparison Comparison of legal style of Community law with other systems The influence of French law The influence of German law The influence of the common law tradition The language of Community law Legislation as language The Community's legal order/regime Nature of Community law Direct applicability and direct effect Supremacy of Community law Community techniques of legal interpretation Distinctive legal institutions/doctrines Choice of sources of law Ideology of the system The Maastrict Treaty The general aims of the Treaty Steps to European Union Subsidiarity European citizenship A single economy Powers of the European Parliament Education Culture Justice and Home Affairs

139 139 140 140 144 144 145 146 147 149 150 156 157 158 160 161 162 163 164 164 165 168 169 170 171 172 174 175 175 175 176 176 176 176 177 177

Comparative Law in a Changing World The Social Chapter and social policy Conclusions Selective bibliography

177 17° 180

SOCIALIST LAW AND OTHER TYPES OF LEGAL SYSTEMS Scope of chapter The socialist system and Russia The socialist concept of law Differences between civil law and socialist systems Similarities between civil law and socialist systems Was the socialist system part of the civil law system? Inquest on the Russian Empire The end of the USSR and the new Russian Federation Russian law - return to civil law or hybrid system? Towards a Russian social democratic State? Other recent developments Hybrid legal systems Other types of law Eastern legal conceptions The Chinese conception of law The Japanese conception of law Selective bibliography

183 183 183 184 186 186 188 189 190 191 200 201 202 203 203 204 207 212

TECHNIQUES OF COMPARATIVE LAW Scope of chapter General considerations Linguistic/terminological problems Cultural differences between systems Arbitrary selection of objects of study 'Comparability7 in comparison Viability of theory of a common legal pattern Imposition of one's own legal conceptions Omission of extra-legal factors The quest for methodology Introduction Clarifying the general character of comparative law The subject matter of the comparison Macro-comparison and micro-comparison Suitability of topics for micro-comparison Comparative method: requirements The test of functionality The comparative law method

213 213 213 214 216 219 220 222 223 224 225 225 225 226 227 228 228 230 233

Contents A three stage approach A method of comparison: a blueprint Selective bibliography

233 235 240

A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF JUDICIAL STYLES AND CASE LAW The meaning of 'case law' Case law as a source of law Key issues The authority of case law in non-common law jurisdictions The authority of case law in non-common law countries Styles of judicial decisions Appellate court decisions The five styles of judgments Ratio and dicta The French style of judgment The German style of judgment General style of Federal Supreme Court judgments The Swedish type of judgment The relevance of overriding general principles Aequitas Selective bibliography

243 243 243 244 244 244 247 247 247 248 252 254 256 258 259 259 263

A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF STATUTORY INTERPRETATION Defining 'statutory interpretation' Defining 'interpretation' General comparative observations Methods/techniques of statutory interpretation Civil law approaches The logical interpretation methodology The legislative history approach The teleological approach Scope and limitations of the teleological approach Common law approaches to statutory interpretation Inadmissible evidence of statutory intent Summary of legislative history position The mischief rule Filling gaps in a statute Other linguistic canons of construction/interpretation Presumptions and precedents Conflict of statutes with other legal principles Scholarly/doctrinal writing in English

265 265 265 265 267 267 267 269 270 270 271 272 274 275 277 278 280 281

Comparative Law in a Changing World



statutory interpretation Typical structure of English statutes Comparative overview Similarities in approaches between legal systems Common judicial arguments on statutory interpretation Differences in statutory interpretation between the systems Conclusions Selective bibliography

282 283 284 285 286 287 290 290

THE LAW OF OBLIGATIONS: A COMPARATIVE STUDY OF CONTRACT AND TORT Introduction Historical development: a comparative analysis The early Roman law of obligations Contracts Origins of the modern English law of contract Tortious or delictual liability Law of obligations: contract in civil law Tort and contract: contemporary comparative aspects Formation of contracts German law French law German law English law Scope of tortious liability American law Civil law Tort law and traffic accidents French law English law German law Fault in the law of contract and tort Interaction of tort and contract Comparative overview Selective bibliography

293 293 294 294 294 300 304 308 312 312 314 317 318 319 320 324 325 331 331 332 333 334 336 338 339

CORPORATE AND COMMERCIAL LAW Scope of analysis Problems in comparison of company laws Key conceptual questions Paillusseau's enterprise notion Forms of business organisation: a comparative overview Corporate terminology in France and Germany

341 341 342 342 344 345 345

Contents Companies and contracts Partnership law Company law in France Legislative sources of law Incorporation of a societe Status of a societe pending incorporation SAs and SARLs Societe a responsabilite limitee (SARL) The GIE and the GEIE Company law in Germany Types of business organisation Partnerships and sole traders Sole traders Partnerships The silent partnership Limited companies and public limited companies A comparative overview of agency Historical origins Modern agency law: common law v civil law European Community corporate law The notion of European Community (EC) law Non-profit making undertakings Removal of restrictions on freedom of movement Statutory foundations of harmonisation of laws Nature of EC company law Directives already in force in the United Kingdom Comparative corporate law: conclusions Selective bibliography

349 351 354 356 356 357 357 358 359 362 363 364 364 365 368 368 371 371 373 377 377 378 378 378 379 379 380 380 381

SALE OF GOODS Introduction The historical background Sale of goods in Roman law The law merchant Key issues in sales of goods Comparative study of European civil law countries French law German law Remedies of buyer and seller Contributory fault in damages Seller's remedies The English common law approach General

383 383 384 384 385 387 388 388 394 398 400 402 404 404

The Daily Mail case


Comparative Law in a Changing World Definition of goods under English law Transfer of property and transfer of ownership Transfer of ownership and risk of loss The Romalpa case Effect of the Romalpa case Principle of the Romalpa case Delivery at seller's own risk Duties of buyer and seller Remedies of the buyer and seller The Supply of Goods and Services Act 1982 The uniform laws on international sales Meaning of 'international sale' Sale of goods Validity and passing of property excluded Interpretation of the Convention Ratifications Comparative overview Selective Bibliography

405 406 407 415 415 416 417 417 430 434 436 437 438 443 443 444 445 446


LABOUR LAW Scope of chapter Historical development Great Britain Germany France Comparative overview Selective bibliography

449 449 449 449 452 463 472 474


A NEW WORLD ORDER? Introduction The significance of legal history A new world order? Global wars and civil strife: historical perspectives Reasons for the transformation of the world order Reasons for the fall of communism in Eastern Europe Theories of convergence Current convergent trends European convergence Philosophies of convergence The jus commune theory Global convergence and the Fukuyama thesis Unification of legal systems

475 475 477 478 478 479 480 481 481 482 485 485 488 490

Contents Strategies of convergence Legal transplants Natural convergence Convergence and divergence between common law and civil law Convergence between European countries The dawn of a new era in world history Conclusions Selective bibliography Index

490 491 491 492 493 494 495 496 499