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Contribution to Book
Legal Culture as Mental Software, or: How to Overcome National Legal Culture?
Private Law and the Many Cultures of Europe (2007)
  • Jan M Smits
Abstract
The concept of legal culture plays an important role in the debate about the unification of private law within the European Union. The question whether national cultural differences or differences between the civil law and the common law tradition, in particular, stand in the way of establishing a uniform private law led to a fierce debate. The aim of this contribution is to offer a general account of how we should deal with legal culture in the European context. In doing so, we build upon the work of Geert Hofstede. The point is made that when discussing the Europeanization of private law, we should turn away from national legal cultures and pay more attention to so-called 'cultural segments', legal cultures that are not national but functional in nature and that cross state borders. This is not to say that such an approach can be applied easily: the problems it raises will also be discussed.
Keywords
  • legal culture,
  • unification,
  • Hofstede
Disciplines
Publication Date
2007
Editor
Thomas Wilhelmsson, Elina Paunio, Annika Pohjolainen
Publisher
Kuwer Law International
Citation Information
Jan M Smits. "Legal Culture as Mental Software, or: How to Overcome National Legal Culture?" Alphen aan den RijnPrivate Law and the Many Cultures of Europe (2007) p. 141 - 151
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/jan_smits/16/