© 2020

Legal Traditions in Asia

History, Concepts and Laws


Part of the Ius Gentium: Comparative Perspectives on Law and Justice book series (IUSGENT, volume 80)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-viii
  2. Janos Jany
    Pages 1-17
  3. The Ancient Near Eastern Legal Circle

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 19-19
    2. Janos Jany
      Pages 21-48
    3. Janos Jany
      Pages 49-81
    4. Janos Jany
      Pages 83-116
    5. Janos Jany
      Pages 117-146
  4. The Islamic Legal Circle

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 147-147
    2. Janos Jany
      Pages 149-162
    3. Janos Jany
      Pages 163-230
  5. Hindu Legal Circle

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 231-231
    2. Janos Jany
      Pages 233-264
    3. Janos Jany
      Pages 265-306
  6. The Chinese Legal Circle

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 307-307
    2. Janos Jany
      Pages 309-353
    3. Janos Jany
      Pages 375-395
  7. Customary Laws

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 397-397
    2. Janos Jany
      Pages 399-415
    3. Janos Jany
      Pages 417-445

About this book


This book offers a comparative analysis of traditional Asian legal systems. It combines methods from legal history, legal anthropology, legal philosophy, and substantive law, pursuing a comprehensive approach that offers readers a broad perspective on the topic. The geographic regions covered include the Near East, Middle East, Central Asia, India, China, Japan, and Southeast Asia.

For each region, the book first provides historical and political context. Next, it discusses major milestones in the region’s legal history and political institutions, as well as its forms of government. Readers are then presented with fundamental principles and terms needed to understand the legal arguments discussed.

The book begins with the Ancient Near East and important topics such as Jewish law. The next part considers Islamic law, while also exploring modern issues. The third part focuses on Hindu and Buddhist law, while the fourth part covers China and Japan. The book’s closing section examines tribal societies, e.g. Mongols, Pashtuns and Malays.

Topics covered include the interaction of legal systems within a legal circle, inter-systemic interactions, reasons for the failure and success of legal modernization, legal pluralism, and its effects on Asian societies. Family law, law of obligation, criminal law, and procedural law are also explored.


Comparative Asian Laws Islamic Law Chinese Law Hindu Law Jewish Law Japanese Law Laws of Southeast Asia Legal Cultures in Asia Asian Legal Philosophy Legal Modernisation in Asia Societies under Chinese Legal Influence Customary Laws of the Mongol-Turkish Peoples

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Pázmány Péter Catholic UniversityBudapestHungary

About the authors

Janos Jany is head of the Institute of International Studies at Pazmany University, Hungary. As a trained lawyer (LLM, PhD) and scholar of oriental cultures (BA,MA, PhD) he dedicated his academic career to Asian legal traditions focusing on the Middle Eastern tradition (Islamic, Jewish, Persian laws). He publishes books and scholarly articles by high standard international publishers and journals across the globe.

Bibliographic information

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