On the Role of Inequalities in Legal Systems: A Tocquevilian View

21 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2008

See all articles by Bertrand Crettez

Bertrand Crettez

University of Burgundy Franche-Comté - L.I.B.R.E.

Bruno Deffains

Université Paris II - Panthéon-Assas; Institut Universitaire de France

Abstract

The present paper proposes to interpret the differences in legal systems between common-law and civil-law nations as arising from the importance given to adjudication in comparison with statute laws. It focuses on the relative costs of legal change by adjudication (case law development) when compared with legislation (statutory law development). The main argument is that the public concern with equality is a major determinant of the relative cost of adjudication in a legal system. We develop a model of the legal process that illustrates Tocqueville's fundamental intuition with regard to the uniformity of legal rules, and as a consequences, the relative importance of adjudication and legislation.

Keywords: legal systems, codification, judge, inequalities, Tocqueville

JEL Classification: K40

Suggested Citation

Crettez, Bertrand and Deffains, Bruno, On the Role of Inequalities in Legal Systems: A Tocquevilian View. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1099804 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1099804

Bertrand Crettez

University of Burgundy Franche-Comté - L.I.B.R.E. ( email )

avenue de l'Observatoire
F25030 Besancon
France

Bruno Deffains (Contact Author)

Université Paris II - Panthéon-Assas ( email )

12 place du Pantheon
Paris cedex 05, 75005
France

Institut Universitaire de France ( email )

103, bld Saint-Michel
75005 Paris
France

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