Conscientious scholarly exploration of a burgeoning family of mixed jurisdictions dates from 1958. Visiting Louisiana law faculties in that year, a Scots law professor, Sir Thomas Brown Smith, urged comparison of Scotland’s legal system with that of Louisiana as “a means of overcoming the perils of isolation and steady assimilation by the Common Law.” Spurred by Smith’s lectures, scholars in time classified over a dozen hybrid systems into a “third legal family,” featuring a blend of civilian and common law influences. The private laws in a number of these jurisdictions (for example, Louisiana, Quebec, and Puerto Rico) were enshrined in a civil code of typically French or Spanish provenance. Although other mixed systems (such as South Africa and Scotland) had no civil code, their legal communities found “proto-codes” in major treatises and institutional writers indebted to Roman law.. . .

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