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On the Role of Inequalities in Legal Systems: A Tocquevilian View

Bertrand Crettez and Bruno Deffains

No 2008-13, EconomiX Working Papers from University of Paris Nanterre, EconomiX

Abstract: The present paper proposes to interpret the differences in legal systems between common-law and civil- law nations as arising from the importance given to adjudication in comparison with statute laws. It focuses on the relative costs of legal change by adjudication (case law development) when compared with legislation (statutory law development). The main argument is that the public concern with equality is a major determinant of the relative cost of adjudication in a legal system. We develop a model of the legal process that illustrates Tocqueville's fundamental intuition with regard to the uniformity of legal rules, and as a consequence, the relative importance of adjudication and legislation.

Keywords: Inequality; Law and Economics; Adjudication; Legislation (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: K40 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 20 pages
Date: 2008
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-law
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