Civil Law and Common Law: Toward Convergence?

Ugo Mattei and Luca G. Pes

in The Oxford Handbook of Law and Politics

Published in print August 2008 | ISBN: 9780199208425
Published online September 2009 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks of Political Science

Civil Law and Common Law: Toward Convergence?


Convergence between the common law and the civil law tradition is a well-established topic of the academic discipline known as comparative law. In order to analyze analogies and differences between the common law and the civil law systems, comparative lawyers have developed a number of tools, among which convergence is quite an important one. Perhaps the best way to explore the issue of convergence between civil law and common law is thus that of observing a few classic loci oppositionis between the two families of legal systems. This article first presents a definition of convergence, offering examples of the various meanings that convergence has been given in comparative legal literature in different contexts. It then offers some illustration of both current and classic debates, in comparative legal literature, on the convergence of common law and civil law. The first part of the article unveils deterministic logic as one of the constitutive elements of the notion of convergence.

Keywords: convergence; common law; civil law; comparative law; loci oppositionis; deterministic logic

Article.  6111 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; Politics and Law

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