Sources of Law and Legal Method in Comparative Law
published earlier in: Mathias Reimann/Reinhard Zimmermann (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Law (2nd edn), Oxford University Press 2019, p. 878-901, ISBN 9780198810230
28 Pages Posted: 11 Mar 2020
Date Written: March 26, 2019
Sources of law serve to separate the province of law from the realm of non-law. Only propositions that are derived from a valid source of law are genuinely legal propositions. This article outlines the role of sources of law and legal method in the study of comparative law. The second section explains why these topics have been central to comparative legal scholarship from its very beginnings. The third section attempts to clarify their ambit for the purposes of comparative study, and identifies the pitfalls lurking for the comparative lawyer who wants to determine another system’s sources of law and the methodological approach prevailing there. The fourth section gives an overview of the most important comparative studies specifically dedicated to these matters. The fifth section maps out some areas which merit further research.
Keywords: legal sources, legal method, comparative law, legal propositions, legislation, case law
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