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date: 25 May 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Legal systems generally are ‘mixed’ in the sense that they have been influenced by a variety of other systems. However, while some legal systems, for a period of time at least, reach a certain level of uniformity, the diversity or ‘mixedness’ of the origins of other systems is more pronounced. This chapter deals with the experiences of the latter systems, and especially with their relevance to the discipline of comparative law. The focus is first on the concept of a mixed legal system, as well as related concepts, such as legal pluralism and hybridity, that have gained prominence in comparative analyses. Thereafter key questions that arise from these analyses are then considered in detail. These questions include how the mixed nature of legal systems is to be dealt with in representations of legal diversity of the world, how mixed legal systems are formed, and what could be learned from their experiences.

Keywords: civil law, common law, customary law, hybridity, legal development, legal families, mixed jurisdictions, mixed legal systems, pluralism, religious laws

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