An Historical Introduction to Modern Civil Law

The civil law systems of continental Europe, Latin America and other parts of the world, including Japan, share a common legal heritage derived from Roman law. However, it is an inheritance which has been modified and adapted over the centuries as a result of contact with Germanic legal concepts, the work of jurists in the mediaeval universities, the growth of the canon law of the western Church, the humanist scholarship of the Renaissance and the rationalism of the natural lawyers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. This volume provides a critical appreciation of modern civilian systems by examining current rules and structures in the context of their 2,500 year development. It is not a narrative history of civil law, but an historical examination of the forces and influences which have shaped the form and the content of modern codes, as well as the legislative and judicial processes by which they are created are administered.