'Opening the Barbarians' Gate' or Watching the Barbarians from the Coliseum: A Requiem on the Nomos of the Louisiana Civil Law
38 Pages Posted: 15 Aug 2006 Last revised: 5 Feb 2013
Date Written: 2006
Comparative Law tends to focus on the differences and similarities present in different legal systems. Such analysis has led some to conclude that a third legal system has appeared in the West and in particular in Louisiana. The idea of a mixed jurisdiction, they claim, combines certain elements of Civil law and Common law into a hybrid system. This article challenges the supposition that a legal system's core identity can be of a mixed nature. Rather, this article suggests that the proper way a legal system should be viewed is through its normative values as depicted in the narratives the system spawns - a Nomos that directs the purveyors of the system towards the sources and identity that the system enchants. Focusing primarily on Louisiana, Part I of this article describes three normative elements that narratives tell about the Louisiana civil law: its Frenchness, its distinctiveness, and its dependency on a Code. Part II then tells two narratives that demonstrate how these narratives are revealed, even when they are not completely accurate. Part III challenges the readers to inhabit the Nomos.
Keywords: Civil Law, Mixed Jurisdictions, Bijural, Common Law, Robert Cover, Slave Law, Secured Transactions
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation