Tulane Law School
HomeThe CenterActivitiesFor StudentsNewsComparative Law GatewayCivil LawThe DonorsContactThe Lounge
New Publications

Through the Codes Darkly by Vernon Palmer.


Vernon Valentine Palmer's new book Through the Codes Darkly is a pioneering historical work on slave law and civil law in Louisiana. The volume examines the complex French, Spanish, Roman and American heritage of Louisiana's law of slavery and its codification. The author profiles the first effort in modern history to integrate slavery into a European-style civil code, the 1808 Digest of Orleans, and offers a trailblazing study of the unwritten laws of slavery and the legal impact of customs and practices developing outside of the Codes. Professor Palmer's in-depth research overturns the previous scholarly view that Roman law was the model for the Code Noir of 1685, and he also provides the first unabridged translation of the Code Noir of 1724 into English, with the original French text on facing pages.

View the Flyer 

Double Reasoning in the Codified Mixed Systems – Code and Case Law as Simultaneous Methods by Vernon Palmer.


Mixed jurisdiction judges use the code and case law in various combinations to produce a system of double reasoning. Where the texts contain principles (rather than rules) and hence are particularly wide, judges of codified systems are prone to use two methods at once. The field of tort law, presided over by a general clause, serves as one area par excellence to observe this phenomenon, but dual reasoning will be used in all branches of law and in all legal systems where the texts or terminology are of similar breadth. Judges begin their analysis with the relevant - and initially controlling - general code provision and then appear to be deducing their way toward a conclusion based upon that codal premise. However, they frequently cannot finalize a syllogism (or rather the series of syllogisms involved). The text offers no more than undefined words like fault or causation in articulating its principle, and it may even be considered a standard too nebulous to be called a 'principle.' Judges frequently need an additional rule to serve as a subordinate premise. There are at least three distinguishable types of jurisprudence that fill this inter-space. The first is what is popularly called the 'seminal' or 'leading' case; the second may be described as the 'concretizing' case; and the third may be called the 'lacuna-filling' case. The study of these three types will indicate that the judge under a code pays such close attention to the 'facts' and 'rules' generated by such cases that it is sometimes difficult to distinguish the reasoning from that of a common law jurist operating without a civil code.

Read the Paper 


Volume 27 (2012) of the The Tulane European and Civil Law Forum has been published.

Professor Palmer, Co-Director of the Center and Editor-in-Chief of The Tulane European and Civil Law Forum, is pleased to announce the publication of Volume 27 (2012) of the Forum. The Forum, published by Tulane Law School, is currently ranked the most often cited journal on European law in the United States in a survey conducted by Washington and Lee School of Law. Worldwide it is ranked the third most often cited journal in this area. A peer-reviewed publication, the Forum has achieved this distinction by attracting manuscripts of the highest quality. A contribution by Professor Hein Kötz (Hamburg), who gave the Eason-Weinmann Lecture in 2011, heads Volume 27 (2012). Other authors include Iain Stewart (Sydney), Johann Andreas Dieckmann (Freiburg), François du Toit (Western Cape), and Augstín Parise (Maastricht).

Electoral Reform in Egypt by Jörg Fedtke.

Egypt is at a constitutional crossroads – multiple crossroads, actually, given the number of choices that its people can hopefully make now that the time of Hosni Mubarak is over. This essay addresses only one of the many issues that will have to be resolved in the course of the next few months: the choice between a majoritarian election system and a form of proportional representation (PR). It is a particularly important decision, however, given that majorities in the first People's Assembly and Shura Councils that emerge from the September elections are to determine the composition of the body that will draft the new constitution and hence influence substantially the political future of the country.



The Integration of European Financial Markets by Noah Vardi appears in Series co-edited by Jörg Fedtke

Integration of European Financial Markets
The last decade has seen the increasing integration of European financial markets due to a number of factors including the creation of a common regulatory framework, the liberalisation of international capital movements, financial deregulation, advances in technology and the introduction of the Euro. The process of integration has proceeded largely in the absence of any comprehensive legal regulation, however, and has rather been constructed on the basis of sectorial provisions dictated by the needs of cross-border transactions. This has meant that many legal barriers still remain as obstacles to complete integration. Noah Vardi considers the discipline of monetary obligations within the wider context of financial markets. The book provides a comparative and transnational examination of the legal rules which form the basis of transactions on financial markets. The first part concentrates on the micro-discipline of money, debts, payments and financial instruments. The second part goes on to analyse the macro-context of integration of the markets, looking at the persistence of legal barriers and options for their removal, as well as the development of new legal sources as a consequence of the transfer of monetary and political sovereignty. Finally, the author draws links between the two parts and assesses the consequences of the changes at the macro-level of regulation on the micro-level of legal discipline of monetary obligations, particularly focusing on the emergence and growing importance of soft law.

Series website: http://www.taylorandfrancis.com/books/series/ut_austin_studies_in_foreign_and_transnational_law_CAV29/ 

Human Rights and the Protection of Privacy in Tort Law by Hans-Joachim Cremer appears in Series co-edited by Jörg Fedtke

The European Court of Human Rights has acknowledged on numerous occasions that national courts are bound to give effect to Article 8 of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR), which sets out the right to private and family life, when they rule on controversies between private individuals. Article 8 ECHR has thus been accorded mittelbare Drittwirkung or indirect ‘third-party’ effect in private law relationships. The German law of privacy - based on the allgemeines Persönlichkeitsrecht - has a long history, and the interpretation given by the European Court of Human Rights to the Convention has arguably led to an even stronger protection of privacy under German law. This book considers how English courts could possibly use and adapt approaches developed by the German legal order in response to Strasbourg rulings to strengthen the protection of privacy rights und English law.

Taking Back Eden: Eight Environmental Cases That Changed the World by Oliver Houck

Taking Back Eden is a set of case studies of environmental lawsuits brought in eight countries around the world, including the United States, beginning in the 1960s. The book conveys what is in fact a revolution in the field of law - ordinary citizens (and lawyers) use their standing as citizens in challenging corporate practices and government policies to change not just the way the environment is defended but the way that the public interest is recognized in law. This comparative examination of environmental and judicial decision making appeals to both academics and the casual reader.

Taking Back Eden at the Island Press website. 

Unified Business Laws for Africa: Common Law Perspectives on OHADA by Martha Simo Tumnde, Mohammed Baba Idris, Jean Alain Penda Matipe and Claire Dickerson

The OHADA (Organization for Harmonization in Africa of Business Laws) system has so far been adopted by 17 West African nations in order to increase their attractiveness to foreign investors and business partners. Based on the Francophone legal system it is now essential to make OHADA accessible to the Anglophone legal and business community. This book introduces OHADA laws to common-law trained, English-speaking jurists who have current or prospective clients with business or litigation in West or Central Africa. For legal academics, the book also offers a tantalizing view of the highest technical level of commercial legal practice in the OHADA region. English-speaking, common-law trained legal professionals who have gained practical experience with OHADA will be uniquely placed to act on behalf of clients developing business in Africa and to provide an introduction to other common-law jurists, whether they be practitioners, judges, professors or students.

Engaging with Foreign Law by Sir Basil Markesinis and Jörg Fedtke

Engaging with Foreign Law, a sequel to Comparative Law in the Courtroom and Classroom (2003), was published by Hart (Oxford and Portland, Oregon) in May 2009. The book presents a developed theory of how national lawyers can approach, understand, and make use of foreign law. The theme is pursued through a set of detailed essays which look at the courts as well as business practice and – with the help of statistics – demonstrate what type of academic work has any impact on the ‘real’ world. Engaging with Foreign Law thus aims to carve out a new niche for comparative law in this era of globalization, and may also be the only book which deals in some depth with both private and public law in countries such as England, Germany, France, South Africa and the United States.

Review: King's Law Journal 

Review: Review de Droit International et de Droit Comparé 

Introduction to Spanish Private Law appears in Series co-edited by Jörg Fedtke

intro spanish private law
Introduction to Spanish Private Law by Professor Teresa Rodriguez de las Heras Ballell (Madrid) is the latest volume to appear in the UT Austin Series in Foreign and Transnational Law. The Series, published by Routledge Cavendish in the United Kingdom, is co-edited by Sir Basil Markesinis and Jörg Fedtke. It now includes the following titles:

Teresa Rodriguez de las Heras Ballell, Introduction to Spanish Private Law (2009)
Vernon Valentine Palmer/Mauro Bussani, Pure Economic Loss (2008)
Vincenzo Zeno-Zencovich, Freedom of Expression (2008)
Dawn Oliver/Jörg Fedtke (eds), Human Rights and the Private Sphere (2007)
Guido Alpa/Vincenzo Zeno-Zencovich, Italian Private Law (2007)
Peter E. Quint, Civil Disobedience and the German Courts (2007)
Alain Plantey, International Negotiation in the Twenty-First Century (2006)
Sir Basil Markesinis/Jörg Fedtke, Judicial Recourse to Foreign Law (2006)
Jean-Luis Halperin, The French Civil Code (2006).

Vernon Palmer and Elspeth Reid (eds): Mixed Jurisdictions Compared

mixed jurisdictions compared
Returning to a theme featured in some of the earlier volumes of the Edinburgh Studies in Law, this book offers an in-depth study of ‘mixed jurisdictions’ – legal systems which combine elements of the Anglo-American common law and European civil law traditions. This new collection of essays compares key areas of private law in Scotland and Louisiana. In thirteen chapters, written by distinguished scholars on both sides of the Atlantic, it explores not only legal rules but also their underlying reasons – drawing on legal history, social and cultural factors, and law in practice – in order to account for patterns of similarity and difference between the two jurisdictions. Contributors are drawn from Tulane University, Louisiana State University, Loyola University New Orleans, the American University Washington DC, and the universities of Aberdeen, Strathclyde, and Edinburgh. This title will be of interest to students of comparative law at senior undergraduate and postgraduate level, academics and researchers, and also those who are interested in mixed jurisdictions for the lessons they offer in the context of European private law harmonization.



Pure Economic Loss: New Horizons in Comparative Law by Vernon Valentine Palmer and Mauro Bussani

pure economic loss
Pure economic loss is one of the most-discussed problems in the fields of tort and contract. This book, edited by Vernon Palmer and Mauro Bussani, takes a comparative approach to the subject by exploring the principles, policies and rules governing tortious liability for pure economic loss in a number of countries and legal systems across the world. The jurisdictions covered are the United States, Canada, Japan, Israel, South Africa, Romania, Croatia, Denmark and Poland. Leading scholars from these systems take a comparative fact-based approach through the use of hypothetical problems to analyze and then summarize the each country's tort law approach. Using a common questionnaire, a tested taxonomy, and sophisticated comparative methodology, the authors convincingly demonstrate that there are liberal, pragmatic and conservative regimes throughout the world. The recoverability of pure economic loss poses a generic question in all of these legal systems - it is not just a civil law versus common law issue. This publication will be of interest to students and academics studying tort law and comparative methodology.

This volume is now available in paperback. 

Giudici e diritto straniero by Sir Basil Markesinis and Jörg Fedtke

Giudici e diritto straniero
This is the Italian edition of Judicial Recourse to Foreign Law (Routledge, Oxford 2006) published by Società editrice il Mulino (Bologna 2009). The book explores where, how and why foreign law can be put into practical use by a receiving system. The authors cover both private and public law, analyse judicial mentality and how it can help or hinder recourse to foreign ideas, and address the advantages and difficulties that accompany comparative law in practice. The jurisdictions covered include the United States, Canada, England, France, Germany, Italy, Israel, South Africa and, briefly, the European Court of Justice. Ideal for practitioners and academics, Judicial Recourse to Foreign Law includes contributions by leading judges in the field: Laurie Ackermann (former Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa), Aharon Barak (former President of the Supreme Court of Israel), Brun-Otto Bryde (Justice of the German Federal Constitutional Court), Guy Canivet (former First President of the French Cour de Cassation, now Member of the Conseil Constitutionnel), Sir Sydney Kentridge, KCMG, QC (former Justice of the Constitutional Court of South Africa), Christoph Rozakis (Vice President, European Court of Human Rights) and Sir Konrad Schiemann (Justice of the European Court of Justice).
©Tulane University Law School | Weinmann Hall | 6329 Freret Street | New Orleans, LA 70118 | 504.865.5939    Privacy Policy
Tulane University Home
admin login