This collection of readings sets out the two fundamental distinctions between common and civil law, namely that the former originated in the English courts, the latter in the Roman legal tradition, and that the common law is based on judicial decisions whereas codes form the basis of modern civil law. The core of the book consists of cases, statutes and code provisions shaping the doctrines central to the law of property, tort, contract and unjust enrichment in the United States, England, France and Germany. These materials provide a road map of the law of each, allowing the reader to consider how doctrines differ, how these differences emerged and whether the underlying problems and solutions are common to all. They also allow for comparison to be made between the approaches of common and civil law and to consider the extent to which they depend on the origin and nature of the law.
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These readings explore differences between the law of property, contract, tort and unjust enrichment of two common law jurisdictions: the United States and England, and two civil law jurisdictions: France and Germany. Focusing on cases, statutes and codes, it provides a guide to basic doctrines of private law in each.About the Author:
James Gordley is Shannon Cecil Turner Professor of Jurisprudence, University of California at Berkeley. He has published extensively on comparative law and jurisprudence and has held the post of visiting professor at many European universities. Arthur Taylor von Mehren is Story Professor of Law, Emeritus, at Harvard University. He has written on various aspects of international law, from comparative law, to conflict of laws and international commercial arbitration.
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