- Elgar original reference
Edited by Jan M. Smits
Chapter 44: Legal transplants*
While dating back to antiquity, ‘free trade in legal ideas’ (Kahn-Freund, 1974, p. 10) has increased dramatically over the past decades; borrowing from another system is today certainly ‘the most common form of legal change’ (Watson, 1991, p. 73). Many factors have contributed to this development. Prominent among them is the demise of Socialism in Eastern Europe towards the end of the 1980s and its various knock-on effects across the globe: the desire of many countries to join the European Union and to develop commercial relationships with the United States; the democratization of societies in parts of Africa and South America; the quest for free trade and internationally harmonized rules for the protection of intellectual property; and the worldwide trend towards greater recognition of human rights and the rule of law. All of this has favoured a spread of legal ideas regardless of political borders or cultural differences. It has also blurred the seemingly neat theoretical distinctions that have traditionally been drawn between various ‘legal families’ by comparatists in the second half of the 20th century – a phenomenon which is currently also beginning to affect the relationship between Islamic law and ‘western’ concepts of criminal, commercial, or family law as a consequence of what has become known as the Arab Spring.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.