Louisiana was the first jurisdiction in the Western Hemisphere to enact a civil code and was also the first mixed jurisdiction to codify her civil law. Her past is an unbroken line of codes stretching back nearly 200 years. It is a history closely entwined and virtually concurrent with that of the Code Napoleon, which celebrated its bicentennial in 2004.
These essays deal with the perennial and persistent questions about the Louisiana civilian experience. What were the original sources of the codes and was Spanish law or French law the major influence? If the drafters had instructions to codify Spanish law, why did they extensively use French models? Did these codes remain true to their original premises or were they transformed by the pressures of the American experience into mere digests of the civil law?
Written by one of the leading scholars of comparative law and an authority on mixed jurisdictions, these essays contain Professor Vernon Palmer's critiques and personal reflections on the great debates of the Louisiana civilian experience.
“Themes ignored by the recent scholars are revisited with significant advances and important insights offered… the legal history of Louisiana has been well served by this elegant, erudite book.” — John W. Cairns, Edinburgh Law Review
“There is no doubt that his book, at the confluence of history and comparative rights, constitues an irreplacable instrument for better understanding of the rights of Louisianians…” — Xavier Blanc-Jouvan, Revue Internationale de Droit Compare (translated from French)