Black Gaius: A Quest for the Multicultural Origins of the 'Western Legal Tradition'
P. G. Monateri
University of Turin, Faculty of Law; Law School, University of Torino (Italy)
December, 12 2008
Hastings Law Journal, Vol. 51, No. 3, 2000
In this paper I intend to signal an independent appraisal of the roots of the Western Legal Tradition as both a critique of this tradition's originalism, and of its being a tradition at all, thereby challenging the premises behind new projects of international cultural governance in the context of globalisation. From the standpoint of legal history and comparative law this paper shows that Roman Law has no claim to supremacy in the ancient world. The myth of this supremacy was manufactured by the biases of xix century European historicism so that the Western indebtedness toward non-Western civilizations was denied. The rejection of conventional unsound picture has important consequences for the consciousness of the Western legal tradition as such, which is to be seen more as a multicultural enterprise than as the peculiar evolution of one culture. This implies that the projects of governance based on the conventional picture are untenable, and must be abandoned.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 72
Keywords: Comparative Law, Roman Law, Globalisation, Critical Studies, State, Contract,Tradition, German Law, African Law, Law and Politics, Law and Culture, Cultural Studies
JEL Classification: K10, K30, K40Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: December 12, 2008
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