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Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Civil Law and the Law School Curriculum

Last week, I attended a meeting of Pacific McGeorge's International Board of Advisors.  This group includes a number of judges and lawyers based outside the U.S.  During one of the meetings, the discussion turned to the degree to which U.S. law schools provide students with exposure to Civil Law legal systems. It occurred to me that, unless a students registers for an international or comparative law course, that grounding might not occur.

After the meeting, I looked around for some short, well-written resources geared for those familiar with the common law.  I found this resource, A Primer on the Civil Law System, by James G. Apple and Robert P. Deyling, on the Federal Judicial Center's website.  It's an interesting read.  I particularly like the material in the Appendices, which provide a nice contrast between the French and German Civil Law systems.  

Posted by Amy Landers on May 26, 2010 at 05:17 AM in International Law | Permalink


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I recently read an earlier edition of the Merryman book, and found it a very readable and informative introduction to the Civil Law system, and highly recommend it. I am interested in comparing the 2007 edition to the earlier edition I read, as I am sure it contains interesting and consequential updates concerning trends in the Civil Law, especially in Europe in the last fifteen to twenty years.

Posted by: Ed White | Jul 3, 2010 11:16:21 PM

"Any statutory course will give a decent exposure to civil law."
Any statutory course will give you a decent exposure to statutes. They do nothing to understand how a civil law SYSTEM works. The minimum for that is a class in comparative law (though the linked primer is a good place to start) ...

Posted by: Positroll | May 28, 2010 6:21:24 AM

Thanks for this link - I've opened it up on my computer and intend to read it on and off between other work.

Posted by: anon | May 27, 2010 3:51:17 PM

Any statutory course will give a decent exposure to civil law. Corporate, securities, sales, secured credit, commercial paper, banking, insurance, etc etc etc.

Posted by: lawanon | May 27, 2010 2:07:40 PM

if a student takes any classes regarding U.S. federal law (whether tax, immigration, bankruptcy, environmental), won't s/he receive fairly significant exposure to a civil law system?

Posted by: andy | May 26, 2010 1:48:57 PM


Posted by: Scott Dodson | May 26, 2010 8:50:55 AM

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