Pub. date: 2007 | Online Pub. Date: September 25, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952637 | Print ISBN: 9780761923879 | Online ISBN: 9781412952637| Publisher:Sage Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Comparative Legal Systems
David S. Clark
The methods of comparing legal systems involve a broad view for the discipline of comparative law, which often focuses more narrowly on legal rules. Since there have been many philosophies and definitions of law, ideas about legal systems have been similarly diverse. A system involves regular interactions among elements that together make up an entity with boundaries. Thus, lawyers, judges, legislators, administrators, the police, and legal scholars all work with rules in regularized ways that involve cultural expectations about their roles and the legal institutions with which they interact. This view of a legal system is greater than the rules themselves. Comparison contemplates more than one legal system, which often raises the question of classification and the search for similarities and differences among legal systems. John Merryman and colleagues have developed a teaching and research approach to comparative law that defines law as a “legal system” rather than simply Law ...