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date: 19 November 2019

Abstract and Keywords

In 1934, F. P. Walton claimed that interest in foreign law had increased greatly in the last fifty years. He also pointed out that ‘comparative law’now meant something different from evolutionary jurisprudence. Towards the end of the nineteenth century, that view of comparative law emerged in Britain as a scholarly domain still garners general agreement. The late-Victorian crystallization of comparative law reflected the period's increased focus on law as a national rather than universal discipline. As a discipline, however, it was full of tensions, and the significance ascribed to different dates arose from different emphases among comparatists. Despite such variation, most strands in the early development of British comparative law were closely linked to the experiences and needs of the British Empire.

Keywords: comparative legislation, historical jurisprudence, British Empire, F. P. Walton, universal discipline

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