20 January 2012

The Civil Law and its Codes: A Journey Through the Americas


Les Editions Thémis, Montreal, published Le droit civil et ses codes: parcours à travers les Amériques, a collection of papers presented at a workshop series conducted at the Quebec Research Center of Private and Comparative Law at McGill University, edited by Jimena Andino Dorato, Jean-Frédérick Ménard and Lionel Smith. View the Table of Contents.

Les neufs juristes conviés par le centre de recherche en droit privé et comparé du Québec de l'Université McGill à parcourir le droit civil à travers les Amériques et leurs codes en dressent un portrait pluriel. Cela dit, comme le relève Benoît Moore dans le rapport de synthèse qui clôt cet ouvrage collectif dans lequel il se penche sur l'unicité, la centralité et la pérennité des "codes d'Amérique", des thèmes récurrents traversent les textes des auteurs, indépendamment de leur origine nationale. Ainsi, on observe l'évolution du rôle normatif du Code civil en Argentine avec Julio César Rivera qui s'attarde notamment à ses interactions avec le common law et la lex mercatoria. On constate aussi, tant avec Olivier Moréteau, qui réfléchit à la place du Code civil en Louisiane qu'avec Jimena Andino Dorate, Graciela Jasa-Silveira et Nelcy Lopez Cuellar qui abordent le dialogue des codes civils avec les normes constitutionnelles et internationales en Argentine , au Mexique et en Colombie, que la place du code civil dans l'univers juridique a beaucoup changé depuis la première vague de codification au 19ème siècle. De même, l'exposé de de José Antônio Peres Gediel sur la modernisation du droit des personnes physiques en réponse aux innovations médicales et scientifiques et dans la foulée de l'adoption par le Brésil d'un nouveau code civil rejoint à la fois le propos sur les défis associés à la réforme et à la recodification du droit privé que livre Luis Muniz-Argüelles à partir de Puerto Rico et le point de vue québécois de Sophie Morin sur l'avenir du Code civil du Québec. Tel que l'évoquent en ouverte Jimena Andino Dorato, Jean-Frédérick Ménard et Lionel Smith, cet ouvrage pose un regard renouvelé sur le droit civil tel qu'il s'est développé sur le continent américain et constitue une excellente introduction à son étude comparée.

REMINDER: Call for Papers - Doing Justice: Official and Unofficial ‘Legalities’ in Practice

Doing Justice:
Official and Unofficial ‘Legalities’ in Practice


Juris Diversitas is organising, with the Centre Jacques-Berque, a colloquium on Mediterranean laws and norms. It will be held in Rabat, Morocco from 15-16 June 2012.

Participants, both jurists and others, are asked to speak on the complexity of

  • state laws (both Western and non-Western), including the gap between legal theory and practice
  • other non-state normative orders (religious, customary, etc)

Speakers may discuss, in English or French, either of these aspects (including case studies) or the relationship between the two.

Those engaged in our Mediterranean Hybridity Project may also present preliminary overviews of the jurisdictions they’re working on. Indeed, related proposals focusing on similar themes beyond the Mediterranean are also welcome.

For additional information, see the original Call for Papers or contact Seán Patrick Donlan (sean.donlan@ul.ie) or Baudouin Dupret (baudouin.dupret@cjb.ma).

Those interested in making a presentation should send a short (250 word) proposal to Baudouin Dupret by 7 February 2012.

17 January 2012

NOTICE: Pargendler on the Rise and Decline of Legal Families

Mariana Pargendler (Fundação Getulio Vargas School of Law at São Paulo)'s 'The Rise and Decline of Legal Families' (2012) 60 American Journal of Comparative Law is now available on SSRN.

The abstract reads:

The effort to group jurisdictions around the world into a handful of legal families based on common characteristics of their laws has traditionally occupied a central role in the comparative law literature. This Article revisits the intellectual history of comparative law and surveys the evolution of legal family taxonomies from the first efforts at classification in the late-nineteenth century to the influential categorizations advanced by René David and Zweigert and Kötz in the 1960s. The early taxonomies differed from their modern counterparts in important ways. Although the nineteenth century is usually viewed as the apex of the common-civil law dichotomy, this distinction was conspicuously absent from legal family classifications until the twentieth century. A number of economic and political factors – ranging from economic liberalism to anti-colonialist sentiment – likely played a role in minimizing the salience of legal traditions in nineteenth-century legal thought.

16 January 2012

NOTICE: Palmer on 'The Great Spill in the Gulf . . . and a Sea of Pure Economic Loss'

Vernon Valentine Palmer has recently published 'The Great Spill in the Gulf . . . and a Sea of Pure Economic Loss: Reflections on the Boundaries of Civil Liability' in the (2011) 116 Penn State Law Review 105. It begins:

What has been called the greatest oil spill in history, and certainly the largest in United States history, began with an explosion on April 20, 2010, some 41 miles off the Louisiana coast. The accident occurred during the drilling of an exploratory well by the Deepwater Horizon, a mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU) under lease to BP (formerly British Petroleum) and owned by Transocean. The well-head blowout resulted in 11 dead, 17 injured, and oil spewing from the seabed 5,000 ft. below at an estimated rate of 25,000-30,000 barrels per day.

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