Abstract and Keywords
The comparative study of transplants and receptions investigates the patterns of change triggered by contacts among laws and legal cultures. The study of legal transfers offers considerable intellectual rewards. It shows that the law is a complex phenomenon and corrects simplistic views regarding what law is and how it develops. Furthermore, it highlights how the language of the law is transformed as a consequence of such a dynamic through translations and adaptations. The spread of legal institutions, ideals, ideologies, doctrines, rules, and so on, is often in the hands of professional elites. The study of transplants and receptions demonstrates that the knowledge and standing of those elites comes from interactions between the local and non-local dimensions of the law. This picture is true in Berlin, in New York, in London, and in Lima, but it is also true in less cosmopolitan environments. The study of legal transplants has sometimes been accused of embracing a conservative orientation. Yet, this study simply subjects the law’s pretensions concerning its origins and ends to critical analysis. Doing so is not inconsistent with advancing progressive goals at all; in fact, it may be vital to a progressive agenda.
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