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International Law

Civil Law & Mixed Jurisdictions Toolbox

For students of the law of all ages and lawyers faced with transactions involving foreign law in Civil Law or Mixed Jurisdictions perhaps for the first time, we at LexisNexis can provide you with fundamental tools and sources to enable you to grasp the concepts of non-common law based legal systems.

Welcome to the I&FLC Civil Law & Mixed Jurisdictions Toolbox!   

Whether you're an actual law student or a legal practitioner encountering or learning about this practice area for the first time, LexisNexis offers several works that can help the beginner in this field.

Why Learn about Civil Law and Mixed Jurisdictions?

This can be succinctly stated by considering the following two paragraphs from the "Fondation pour  le Droit Continental" website:


"60% of world market subject to civil law

"Systems of civil (or Romano-Germanic) law, together with mixed systems drawing on civil law, account for approximately 60% of the world's GDP. The figure for common law is 35%. The percentage of the world's population governed by continental legal systems is exactly the same.

"The many advantages of civil law

"No system of law is intrinsically better than any other, but civil law has a number of strong points. It is accessible, having been largely consolidated into codes. It is based on preventing litigation and promoting certainty in transactions. It rests on rules known in advance, rather than rules identified by a judge, after the fact. Civil law is also characterized by its concern for balance between contracting parties, its flexibility, and its openness to all sources of law (European sources in particular). Lastly it is a relatively inexpensive system of law, in terms of both legal advice and litigation. Accordingly it enables parties to reduce the legal costs related to their transactions."


Foreign and Comparative Law Practice Notes: As an American lawyer, you are not permitted to practice "foreign" law (unless you are duly admitted to the practice of law in the jurisdiction in question, of course), but you may be faced with your client's request of you for an opinion, formal or otherwise, about the laws and regulations of another jurisdiction that may impact their transaction in another country. You will need to select foreign local counsel and will likely want their legal opinion on various topics that you will refer to in your opinion (with the appropriate disclaimers that you are not admitted to practivce in the foreign jurisdiction, you are relying on local foreign counsel's opinion (a copy of which you should attach as an exhibit), etc. In order to go about selecting foreign local counsel and to have a meaningful discussion with that foreign counsel, it behooves you to have some understanding of how that jurisdiction's laws work. You will find a useful summary of such laws in the Martindale-Hubbell International Law Digest, but to gain a basic understanding and an analysis of how those laws work, we direct you to the following:

The Civil Law Tradition: Europe, Latin America, and East Asia, Cases and Materials, 1994

Author: John Henry Merryman, Sweitzer Professor of Law Emeritus, Stanford Law School;  David S. Clark, Maynard and Bertha Wilson Professor of Law, Willamette University College of Law;  John Owen Haley, Wiley B. Rutledge Professor of Law & Director of the Whitney Harris Institute for Global Legal Studies, Washington University at St. Louis School of Law

You may also find it useful to examine some of the following works for more particular analysis of the Civil law  or mixed jurisdiction legal systems:


Louisiana Pocket Civil Code

Louisiana Law of Obligations in General: A Précis, Second Edition
Alain Levasseur 

Louisiana Law of Sale and Lease: A Précis
Author: Alain Levasseur and David Gruning 

***** LexisNexis' new Louisiana Pocket Civil Code has been praised for its utility in a recent review in the influential French law journal, Revue Internationale de Droit Comparé.      Click here to read the review!*****


Jean Domat          Robert Joseph Pothier

To access the Bookstores of our sister companies around the world for other local foreign law titles:

Go to the LexisNexis Bookstore and select "Non-US Products" in the left Navigation menu. This will take you to a page that will allow you to select one of our various non-US LN Bookstores. If you can't find what you are seeking there, return to the homepage, select the "Company Information" link at the top of the page, and on the next page at the top click on "Worldwide" by the world map to find a link to the jurisdiction you are seeking then follow that to the particular country Bookstore link.

Work Around the World With The Global Reach of LexisNexis Via Our Online Catalogues and Bookstores

Where you can find these and other great works:


Introduction générale au droit

Auteur(s) :  Daniel Mainguy

Droit des Obligations, Malinvaud, Phillipe  

Introduction historique au droit des obligations, Emmanuelle Chevreau, Yves Mausen, Claire Bouglé


South Africa

Introduction to South African Law and Legal Theory, by Hosten/Edwards/Bosman/Church

Principles of The Law of Contract (hard cover) by A.J. Kerr

History and Principles of Roman Private Law, by D.H.van Zyl

Indigenous Law (LAWSA Student AText) by Olivier, Becker, Olivier and Olivier

The Botswana Legal System by Fombad/Quansah



Bas-reliefs in the chamber of the United States House of Representatives



Glossary - Scottish and European Union Legal Terms and Latin Phrases, Second Edition

The Laws of Scotland - Stair Memorial Encyclopedia

The Laws of Scotland: Consolidated Index 2007



The Law of Bilingual Interpretation by The Hon. Michel Bastarache et alios with an Introductuion by Dean Nicholas Kassirer of Mc-Gill University School of Law (click on the title for a podcast about this book; click here for its LN Canada bookstore link)

JurisClasseur Québec - Obligations et responsabilité civile

JurisClasseur Québec - Preuve et prescription

JurisClasseur Quebec - Series entry

The Civil Code of Quebec



Et  pour droit québécois, découvrez nos ouvrages en français !


Related reference works:


Butterworth's Spanish/English Legal Dictionary

Author: Guillermo Cabanellas del las Cuevas, Eleanor C. Hoague


Conflict-of-Laws Anthology, A, 1997

Author: Gene R. Shreve, Richard S. Melvin Professor of Law, Indiana University School of Law , Bloomington


Jewish Law (Mishpat Ivri): Cases and Materials, 1999

Author: Justice Menachem Elon, Caroline and Joseph S. Gruss Professor of Jewish Legal Studies, New York University School of Law; Bernard Auerbach, Professor of Law, University of Maryland School of Law (retired); Daniel D. Chazin, Esq., Attorney-at-Law, Teaneck, NJ; Melvin J. Sykes, Esq., Attorney-at-Law, Baltimore, MD


To explore Civil Law more and find other resources, also see:

Guide to International Legal Research

The George Washington University Law School International Law Review


In addition to the above offerings, you may find the following links to be useful:

World Society of Mixed Jurisdiction Jurists


University of Ottawa's World Legal Systems

Association Henri Capitant

Fondation pour le Droit Continental - Civil Law Initiative

American Society of Comparative Law

International Academy for Comparative Law

Compare Law/Droit: Canadian Bijuralism: Studies in Comparative Law

Quebec Research Center of Private and Comparative Law, McGill University

Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law

The Civil Law Center, University of Aberdeen

Bucerius Law School

Eason-Weinmann Center for Comparative Law, Tulane University


For an engaging and informative blogging experiences in the Civil Law and Mixed Jurisdictions world, be sure to visit:

The Yellow Shoe Civil Law Blog

Edinburgh Legal History Blog


Conference : The Worlds of the Trust | 23-25 September 2010

Click on the highlighted title above to view conference details.


50th Anniversary Conference of the Québec Society of Comparative Law

Université de Sherbrooke  October 2011, 27-29

Click on the highlighted title above to view conference details.



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