Monday, March 27, 2006

On Legal Traditions

In a very convoluted way this takes of from Vikram's post on M C Setalvad's Common Law in India and his silence on the Statute of Frauds question. Was reading Harrold Berman's Law and and Revolution II: The impact of the protestant reformation on the western legal tradition (, where Berman mentions in passing the incorporation of the statute of frauds ( in the 1660s) as a rule of the English Common Law courts as it took over the jurisdiction of the prerogative courts of the Stuart-Tudor Monarchy in the thick of the English Revolution (1640-1689).

Anyway all this detail aside, both Setalvad's lecture (of which I have only read a review by Marc Galanter in JSTOR) and Berman's prolific writing on the Western legal tradition have raised a couple of question for me.

1. Why has the approach of studying 'legal traditions' lost steam in the contemporary study of law ?

2. If we were to talk of an 'Indian Legal Tradition' (one presumes that Setalvad despite his love for the mother jurisprudence of the English Common Law was attempting something along these lines) where would we start? What directions would such an enquiry take us?

Any thoughts?
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