The law, as we know it today in Western societies, is a conceptual system in which legal professionals are mere interpreters. This function is performed mostly on the basis of verbal forms (laws, decrees, verdicts, directives) produced by state-based political powers capable of achieving deference toward legal norms. In other cultures, on the contrary, we find traditional and custom-based forms of law and latent legal phenomena, in which state-based institutions have no role and in which written expression may not even be contemplated. For this reason jurists should adopt an anthropological perspective, in order to better understand non-Western models that previously received little attention. Sacco, a pioneering comparative law scholar and a student of "mute" forms of law, offers, in this book, a sturdy coming together of the two disciplinary vantage points, rendered necessary due to the relevance of issues raised by multiculturalism, globalisation, and pressure for international unification of law. The text explores a variety topics: norms, their legitimacy, and their relationship to basic phenomena such as loyalty, submission, human knowledge and conceptions of the supernatural.
Rodolfo Sacco is professor emeritus of Civil Law, has been president several times of international comparative law associations, and is a member of the Accademia dei Lincei.
Portuguese language rights (Brazil only) sold.