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Law and Long-Term Economic ChangeA Eurasian Perspective$
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Debin Ma and Jan Luiten van Zanden

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780804772730

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804772730.001.0001

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The Evolution of Law

The Evolution of Law

Political Foundations of Private Law in Medieval Europe and Japan

Chapter:
(p.19) Chapter Two The Evolution of Law
Source:
Law and Long-Term Economic Change
Author(s):
John O. Haley
Publisher:
Stanford University Press
DOI:10.11126/stanford/9780804772730.003.0002

This chapter traces the historical process that led to the rise of one of the specific features of the Western legal tradition, the emphasis on private law and the reliance on adjudication disputes. It examines a parallel historical process of fragmented power structures in Japan that partly accounted for the emergence of a similar Japanese legal tradition of adjudication as the primary means of formal law enforcement. However, in comparison with Western legal tradition, there is a distinct absence of a conceptual system of law or legal rights that could enable recognition of substantive rules and analogous principles of private or public laws. Still, this chapter notes that this historical background of political fragmentation and reliance on adjudication laid the foundation for the successful reception of European private law during the late nineteenth century.

Keywords:   adjudication disputes, European private law, political fragmentation, Japan, formal law enforcement

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