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Ratio decidendi

Guiding Principles of Judicial Decisions. Vol. 2: 'Foreign' Law

2010. 238 S.
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ISBN 978-3-428-13433-5
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Ratio decidendi is a technical legal term of art in Anglo-American jurisprudence, a concept opposed to the idea of obiter dictum. Ratio decidendi is the reason of the judge in coming to a judicial decision in a lawsuit presented to the court by the litigants for an official decision. Obiter dictum is whatever else a judge might say in passing. This concept of ratio decidendi operated very differently in the different nations of Western Europe and their former colonies at different periods of early-modern history as is demonstrated in the first volume (25/1) which was published in 2006.

The second volume focuses on a specific aspect of ratio decidendi: the use by the courts of foreign law as the basis of their decisions when appropriate to the issues to be decided in a particular case brought to them by the litigants. The term foreign law refers to law that is not part of the law binding upon the court, in other words law outside the court’s system of jurisprudence. Thus, one must consider what is domestic law in order to discern what is foreign to, or outside of, it. These comparative essays thus center on what law is foreign in various continental and Anglo-American legal systems from the Middle Ages until the 20th century and how it supports legal arguments and decisions.


Inhalt: W. H. Bryson, Introduction - K. W. Nörr, Iura novit curia: aber auch fremdes Recht? Eine rechtsgeschichtliche Skizze - A. Cordes, Acceptance and Rejection of 'Foreign' Legal Doctrine by the Council of Lubeck Around 1500 - A. Wijffels, Orbis exiguus. Foreign Legal Authorities in Paulus Christinaeus's Law Reports - S. Dauchy / V. Demars-Sion, Foreign Law as ratio decidendi. The 'French' Parlement of Flanders in the Late 17th and Early 18th Centuries - A. M. Godfrey, Ratio Decidendi and Foreign Law in the History of Scots Law - J. J. del Granado / A. Mayagoitia, Roman Law and ratio decidendi in Spanish Colonial Law 16th through the 19th Centuries - J. Oldham, Foreign Law in the English Common Law of the Late Eighteenth Century - W. H. Bryson, The Use of Roman Law in Virginia Courts - J.-L. Halpérin, Foreign Law in French Courts from 1804 to 1945, with the Example of the Law of Trusts - G. Martyn, In Search of Foreign Influences, other than French, in Nineteenth-Century Belgian Court Decisions - H. Pihlajamäki, "Stick to the Swedish law": The Use of Foreign Law in Early Modern Sweden and Nineteenth-Century Finland - B. Durand, Reconnaissance et Refus d’un droit étranger? Magistrats français et Droit musulman dans la colonie du Sénégal - C. Craycraft Clark / M. H. Hoeflich, Roman Law as Ratio Decidendi in Early American Law - M. C.Mirow, Military Orders as Foreign Law in the Cuban Supreme Court 1899-1900 - M. C.Mirow, Conclusion: Foreign Law and the Birth of Comparative Law

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