Encyclopedia of Law and Economics

2019 Edition
| Editors: Alain Marciano, Giovanni Battista Ramello

Civil Law System

  • Pier Giuseppe MonateriEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-7753-2_591


This entry defines what is meant today for civil law; sketches an outline of its historical background; individualizes the two main models of it, German and French; and points to the difficulties of comparison with the common law, as to the hardships of a work of harmonization.

Introduction: What Is Civil Law as a Legal Family?

What we call “civil law system” is indeed a family of different legal systems tracing their historical roots to the Roman law.

As such, this family of legal systems is differentiated, today, especially in regard to the other two major legal families existing in contemporary world legal landscape: the common law legal family and the Sharia of the Islamic legal model. As well as the civil law, the “common law” is a set of highly differentiated systems of law sharing the same origin to be found in the history and development of the English common law. Differently the Muslim Sharia is supposed to be a unique system of principles and rules, based on the...

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.SciencesPo, Ecole de droitUniversity of TorinoTorinoItaly