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A Study of Legal Transplants

A study of Legal Transplants:

"Legal Transplants are more common than we thought and almost all legal systems are a mixture of different legal traditions”

Authored By: MANAN PARMAR | University of Edinburgh

The concept of ‘Legal Transplants’ has come a long way since Alan Watson introduced it in 1974. In the span of more than forty years, this concept has been subject to various commendations as well as criticisms. But this appraisal and critique can be considered only in relation to Watson’s understanding of the concept. In present, I believe, this concept is no longer confined to the old perspective and that it is not the term, which needs substitution, but the definition, which needs some modification.

The fact that there exists a viewpoint, that even Roman law was considered to be a mixture of cultures from different civilizations, helps us conclude that legal transplants were already in existence, conceptually, way before the actual coinage of the term. Imagine the amount of such borrowing that has taken place since then till date. And that the frequency of the same must have increased exponentially with time, owing to the fact that the world has only become smaller and more complex with time. Therefore, it further helps in concertizing the view, to which I do agree, that most legal systems are actually mixed. And that it is the degree of heterogeneity, which helps us determine how mixed or pure they are... [Read More]