Comparative law scholars have long known that Louisiana possesses one of the most intriguing legal systems in the world, a living laboratory of common law and civil law. From the circumstances of its birth to the nature of its law, legal methods, and institutions, Louisiana presents a model — a microcosm — to which other mixed jurisdictions such as the Philippines, South Africa, and Quebec may be compared.
Palmer elucidates the nature of the Louisiana experience over the past two centuries. What were the original forces at work — demographic, political, linguistic, and economic — which produced this dual legal structure? Was it necessity or rather discretion which led to the founding of a mixed system? As Louisiana's French speaking population declined, would it be possible to sustain a vibrant civil law element? What kind of judges, judicial institutions, and legal education would emerge from these crosscurrents? In areas where judges exercised the choice of discretion, such as the development of commercial law and civil procedure, where would they turn? And what new creations would be generated by the constant interaction of common law and civil law?
Through these and other questions, this book serves to inform and stimulate new thinking about Louisiana and the far-flung world of mixed legal systems.
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