oa Comparative and International Law Journal of Southern Africa - The characteristic features of the Civil Law

Volume 14, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0010-4051



In this paper the author compares the original branches of the Civil Law group and Common Law group. The reason being that, with relatively few exceptions, these are the systems that have been exported to Africa and which still dominate the African legal scene. Therefore, when I refer to the Civil Law, I have Western Civil Law in mind, and when I refer to the Common Law, English law serves as the prototype. Of course, the comparative law discipline should not stop at classifying laws but should also assist in comparing them in detail. The comparison of laws, subsequent to their classification, constitutes the field of micro-comparative law.

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