Legal Transplants and the Code of Serbian Tsar Stephan Dushan: A Comparative Study

58 Pages Posted: 22 Dec 2006

Date Written: December 22, 2006


This Comparative Study investigates the spontaneous convergence of law in the cultural and social milieu of medieval Serbia under the reign of Tsar Stephan Urosh IV Dushan (1331-1355). It argues that legal transplants, as a means of this convergence in the Code of Dushan, constitute a fruitful source of medieval Serbia's legal development. The process of legal transplantation has long been the subject of a polarized debate in international academic circles and has generated opposing approaches to the transfer of legal regulations or entire systems of law from one country to another. The approach to diffusion herein comprises a synthesis of multiple methodologies of comparative law (and jurisprudence on the whole) supplemented with the routes of non-legal disciplines. Such interdisciplinary approach facilitates an exhaustive insight into legal transplants and their applicability as a concept of legal development. This Comparative Study offers a systematic rationalization for legal transplants in Middle-age Serbia and draws some general tendencies with regard to the overall diffusion of law.

Keywords: Stephan Dushan, Dushan's Code, diffusion of law, legal transplants, Roman-Byzantine law

JEL Classification: K1

Suggested Citation

Batricevic, Ana, Legal Transplants and the Code of Serbian Tsar Stephan Dushan: A Comparative Study (December 22, 2006). Available at SSRN: or

Ana Batricevic (Contact Author)

University of Belgrade ( email )

Bulevar Kralja Aleksandra 67
11000 Belgrade, 11000
Republic of Serbia

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