Sources of Law in a Changing Legal Order, The

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Glendon, Mary Ann
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INTRODUCTION|My subject for this TePoel lecture arises from a difficulty I have had in my current work, which is the preparation of a casebook on comparative law and, specifically, that part of the casebook which deals with the continental European civil law systems. My difficulty was not unlike what those of you who are first year law students may be experiencing-how does one grasp and present a legal system as a whole? How do we penetrate its formal structures and technical apparatus so as to fully understand it and-if it is a foreign legal system-usefully compare it with our own? In trying to deal with this difficulty, I encountered another problem which was this: the widely accepted categories of legal thought in civil law systems (the way most legal scholars understand and explain their own system to themselves and others) did not seem to correspond to the actual predominance of the various materials of legal reasoning in those systems. But then I had to ask myself whether the American situation is really any different in this respect. Have not the conceptual tools which are now generally in use in American law schools become increasingly obsolete over the past sixty or so years? If I am able to persuade you today that they have, this does not mean that law as a discipline is especially retarded. I ask you to consider in this connection the fact that Charles Darwin's essay On the Origin of Species was published in 1859, but it was not until the 1940's that the classification systems used in the life sciences were adjusted to reflect the changes brought about by Darwin's theories. Obviously, it takes a long time for a new outlook to enter the mainstream of a field, and the changes that have taken place in law in our century, I will argue, are comparable in magnitude to the effect of evolutionary theory on biology....
17 Creighton L. Rev. 663 (1983-1984)
Creighton University School of Law
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