International Encyclopedia of Comparative Law

International Encyclopedia of Comparative Law

International Encyclopedia of Comparative Law (IECL) is a multivolumen (17-volume Encyclopedia), one of the well-known law works, a much-cited reference work, and an ambitious project that brings together works from leading scholars in comparative law. Maybe because its ambition it is somewhat dated.

The International Encyclopedia of Comparative Law appears under the auspices of the International Association of Legal Sciences, an association sponsored by the UNESCO.

This comprehensive scholarly introduction to worldwide legal systems, fruit of the work of about 400 “reporters”,it is an extensive and thorough treatment of comparative law. In fact, the Encyclopedia incorporates not only detailed description of the legal systems of nearly 150 countries. It includes a thoroughly documented comparative analyses of the main issues in civil and commercial law and related comparative legal areas.

This impressive seminal work try to offer thoroughly researched comparative analyses of all the main issues addressed by the law in an important number of jurisdictions. Volume two, The Legal Systems of the World, is particularly in structive for students of comparative law.

Editors and Organization

The Responsible Editors for the Encyclopedia as a whole are Professors Ulrich Drobnig (and formerly K. Zweigert), Director of the Max-Planck-Instituts für auslandisches und internationales Privatrecht (Max Planck Institute for Foreign and International Private Law) in Hamburg, Germany.

This seventeen volumes encyclopedia is also edited by R. David, H. Egawa, R. Graveson, V. Knapp, A. T. von Mehren, Y. Noda, S. Rosmaryn, V. M. Tschchikvadze, H. Vallado, H. Yntema, K. Zweigert, U. Drobnig. Because each volume has a Chief Editor or Editors, whose primary duty is to organize and coordinate the work on the major topic of that volume. The Chief Editors are assisted by an Advisory Group of Legal experts.

The final responsibility for specific chapters is assumed by hundreds of lawyers and scholars, who followed a system of subdivisions and a uniform system of citations and abbreviations for clarity and consistency of presentation.

Known authors and editors include: William Tetley, Silke von Lewinski, Alejandro M Garro, Marcus Lutter, Detlev F Vagts, Gianmaria Ajani, Alfred Conard, Ernst-Ulrich Petersmann, Arthur Taylor Von Mehren, André Tunc, Gareth H Jones, Ernst A Kramer, Michael Coester, Thomas Probst, Mary Ann Glendon, Gunnar Karnell, Anthony H Angelo, Frank E Vogel, Dagmar Coester-Waltjen, Karl H Neumayer, Joseph Straus, Bea Verschraegen, René David, Salvatore Patti and many more.

Review of the International Encyclopedia of Comparative Law

By Ulrich Drobnig, published in the Cornell International Law Journal (Volume 5, Issue 2, 1972)

“Practical concern with, and scholarly interest in, specific foreign legal institutions and comparative law in general are increasing rapidly on a worldwide scale. However, there have thus far been few attempts to place at the disposal of the researcher compendia containing a sophisticated analysis of the world’s legal systems on a broad, comparative basis. It is becoming clear that the traditional one-man treatises on comparative law,’ though often admirable masterpieces, are limited by the author’s perspective to primarily an individual view of selected
geographical areas or subject matters. Although such selections are indispensable for teaching and introductory purposes, they do not satisfy the current demand for a compendium containing a comparison of all legal systems on an international scale and covering broad segments of the law.

The seventeen volume International Encyclopedia of Comparative Law, edited under the auspices of the International Association of Legal Science (the Association is a non-governmental international association related to UNESCO and concentrates its efforts on the promotion of comparative law; for a description of its activities, see 13 YEARBOOK OF INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS 270, year 1970-71), is intended to fill this need. A considerable amount of thought and practical experience have already been invested in this probably unprecedented collective enterprise. Although the undertaking is still in its embryonic stages, it has developed sufficiently to be susceptible to an interim assessment of its progress and the solutions developed for the multitude of methodological and organizational problems which have arisen.

Purposes of the Encyclopedia

In view of the immense investment of effort, time and money in this enterprise, it is appropriate to delineate the primary objectives of the editors of the Encyclopedia.

In the first place, a negative delimitation is in order. The Encyclopedia was not designed, as its title might perhaps suggest, to serve as a handbook in which practitioners would find the solution to any legal issue arising under the law of some country of the world. A handbook
performing this service would necessarily greatly exceed in length the 17,000 pages of the Encyclopedia and, moreover, would contradict its expressly scientific purpose.

The Encyclopedia addresses itself primarily to lawmakers, national and international. Many European legislators customarily lay the groundwork for major legislative projects by first undertaking a comparative study. A broad systematic comparative work can offer legislators
a multitude of models for the solution of recurring as well as novel problems. The variety of alternatives presented should help the legislators of the more advanced countries to improve their legislation, and assist their judges in the interpretation of existing statutes and the
development of case-law. But the Encyclopedia is intended to be of particular value for the legislators of developing nations. These men are in the course of reorganizing their social and economic orders, and some of them strive for comprehensive codification. For this important,
but also difficult task, the Encyclopedia should serve as a source of information and ideas based on practical experience.

The Encyclopedia will be most useful to lawmakers on the international level. The drafting of international legislation for purposes of unification or harmonization of diverging national laws is an unthinkable act, both legally and politically, without a careful comparative study prior to the actual drafting. Judges of international courts will also benefit from this intensive comparative investigation since such investigations are the primary basis for ascertaining the “general principles of law” which are a fundamental source of public international law.

The academic community will be yet another major beneficiary of the project. In universities, the Encyclopedia will serve as a very useful tool for the teaching of comparative law on a broad basis. It should also serve to greatly stimulate research in foreign and comparative law
since it should constitute in many respects a definite point of departure for future research.

Last but not least, the benefits of just producing the compendium are hard to overestimate. The book incorporates an enormous amount of original research. Numerous personal contacts across national lines and intensive cooperation on a supranational level have been instigated.
Many younger lawyers have been introduced into and trained in a broad comparative method, and many novel approaches to legal problems, scientific as well as technical, have been developed.

Characteristics of the Encyclopedia

The salient features of the Encyclopedia have been developed in delimiting and distinguishing it from a predecessor, an uncompleted Comparative Dictionary of Civil and Commercial Law (which was edited by Schlegelberger and was never completed; it was published in Germany between 1927 and 1940 and consisted of more than 4350 page). That work was in at least two respects national in character. First, the authors and language were German, thus limiting the readership. Second, the terms which the dictionary utilized, and its methodology, were derived from German law. Furthermore, it was concerned primarily with a comparison of the other continental European legal systems.

It dealt with the Anglo-American orbit on a more limited scale, but barely mentioned the non-European legal systems. Structurally, it was divided into articles covering approximately 300 key words, with an average length of about 16 pages per article.
The Encyclopedia deliberately deviates in all four respects from this earlier dictionary. It will be primarily an international collective work rather than a national effort. This has consequences principally for the personnel and the language of the compendium, but also affects its
structure and coverage.


The various directing bodies of the Encyclopedia as well as the teams of lawyers responsible for writing it are of multi-national composition. It must be conceded, however, that the worldwide invitation to participate that was issued has not been universally accepted (the majority of the authors are from Europe and North America; however, the national reports for volume one have been written by local authors whenever feasible). It has become apparent that both qualified personnel and library facilities for comparative legal research are still entirely lacking or seriously deficient in many countries, and even in wide areas of the world. The dearth of libraries on foreign law cannot be fully compensated by the information fund that is placed at the disposal of each collaborator. Few libraries located outside the continents of Europe and North America would contain the material necessary to conduct a worldwide legal study.

The unfortunate result of these practical difficulties is that those countries in which the skills and tools of comparative law are less developed or lacking are underrepresented among the collaborators. The only consolation is that these countries should derive substantial benefits from the publication of the Encyclopedia, and hopefully it should stimulate development of their interest in foreign legal systems.
Both the international utility of the Encyclopedia and its financial feasibility depend primarily on a solution of the language problem, regarding which there was strenuous debate at the outset of the project. Various multilingual solutions were initially considered. Under the most ambitious, the whole text would have appeared in English, French and German. A more modest
proposal was to publish only one text of each separate contribution in either English, French, German, Russian or Spanish. The first of these multilingual alternatives was far too expensive. The second was both commercially undesirable and vulnerable to criticism based on national prestige by those countries whose languages were not selected.

After careful consideration it was decided to publish the Encyclopedia entirely in one language, English. Questions of national prestige are thus, if not eliminated, at least drastically reduced. The selection of a single language guarantees the linguistic unity of the entire work that is desirable from the standpoint of the reader and essential for the successful marketing of the work. The selection of English was motivated in particular by the fact that it is the most widely used language in the world today, and thus, the publication should reach the largest possible

The advantages of a unilingual text are not without their corresponding costs, since a relatively large number of contributions must be translated into English. The price that must be paid (in every sense of the phrase) for these translations was underestimated in the beginning. First,
it has proven to be difficult to find qualified legal translators, especially for the more exotic languages such as Arabic, Hungarian and Russian.

For the more current European languages, a corps of free-lance translators has been selected using the expensive method of trial and error. Optimal results have been achieved by close personal cooperation of non English-speaking authors with English-speaking graduate students.

Second, apart from being expensive, the translations are time-consuming. Not only do they delay publication of the non-English manuscripts, but they also require the precious time of the author and the executive staff, which must be spent in examining and revising the translation. To produce a satisfactory text, a manuscript must often be translated and revised several times. Third, the price in the material sense of the word is the fees that must be paid to the translators. These fees are considerable although much work has been done by a devoted and interested group of persons who do not charge on a commercial basis. Last but not least, the
highest price that has to be paid is the diminution of the linguistic quality and elegance of the translated contributions, which is the almost unavoidable consequence of any translation of a technical text.

In spite of these considerable sacrifices, both material and intellectual, the decision in favor of a unilingual version appears to be justified. (…)

Structure of the Encyclopedia

In keeping with a general trend of modern encyclopedic compendia, the new comparative enterprise is not a dictionary as was its German precursor. This again is in part a consequence of its international character.

Initial attempts to find specialized key words for the purpose of preparing an encyclopedia of international design which would be valid for all legal systems, and therefore meaningful for readers from every country, proved unsuccessful. The Encyclopedia itself may help to create in part a generally accepted supranational legal terminology that is presently lacking. Experience has shown that divergencies among national systems are much more pronounced regarding details than they are with respect to the delineation of major subjects.9 Moreover,
even a large number of individual key words might not exhaust a given field and thus would fail to assure the desired full coverage.

These considerations led to the logical conclusion that the whole Encyclopedia should be divided into sixteen relatively untechnical major topics, each comprising a full volume of approximately 1000 pages of lexicon format. These volumes are preceded by an introductory
volume containing concise descriptions of each legal system of the world-a survey full of novel and interesting information, particularly about the new nations in Africa and Asia.

Other issues:

  • The material in each volume must be further subdivided, and an explanation of these subdivisions is contained within the volume in which they appear. Adjoining subdivisions of the same major topic are all found within the covers of the same volume.
  • The structure of the Encyclopedia outlined above has not yet met with any objection and has proved entirely practicable.
  • As may be seen from the titles of the volumes, the Encyclopedia is at present limited essentially to private and commercial law including a number of fringe areas. This limitation was imperative to keep the project to a manageable size. It is, on the other hand, not necessarily permanent because in the future an extension into penal, constitutional and other branches of public law may be possible.

The desired international character of the Encyclopedia would be incomplete if a world-wide coverage were not achieved. This postulate is probably the most ambitious of the entire endeavor. It has necessitated the elaboration of a proper method of presentation for the Encyclopedia and has required special organizational precautions.

Methodology used in the Encyclopedia

The international character of the Encyclopedia has posed the most difficult problems for the process of comparison itself. In this regard, four questions have been the most difficult to resolve:

  • which legal systems are to be compared?
  • what role should be afforded socialist legal systems and religious laws?
  • how should material be structured?; and
  • what terminology should be used?

Selection of the Legal Systems to be Compared

The Encyclopedia claims to cover all legal systems of the world. Taken literally, this would force each author to cover an innumerable mass of national legal systems that differ more or less from each other.

Neither our present state of legal documentation nor our traditional methods of writing permit us to realize this goal. It is therefore necessary and has long been the practice to select a limited number of legal systems for discussion.

The decisive question then is, which criteria should be used for choosing the legal systems to be compared? Traditionally, the reply has been that the respective leading systems of the five great “families of law” must be covered. A few authors, among them some particularly authoritative ones, have denied the utility of any such a priori classification of national legal systems on the ground that none of the “great” legal orders is completely original or typical (especially H.G. Gutreidre, Comparative Law 74, 2d ed. 1949). This leads to the decisive objection to the traditional approach: it is based upon the implied assumption that the so-called leading systems have a monopoly on discovering and developing original solutions. Neither in theory nor in practical experience is there any foundation for this assumption. From an historical perspective the matter may be different, at least in the area of private law. The sum total of legal experience will be greater in major countries. This wealth of legal experience when aided by practical imagination and conceptual training is particularly apt to produce a greater number of original solutions.

It was therefore necessary to develop a new approach to this key issue. The method of selection and presentation which has been adopted is that of the so-called “typical solutions”. It is based upon the observation that in fact the legal solutions that have been developed for any given social problem (such as defects of goods sold) are limited in number. The essential task is to find these typical solutions. This necessitates first a very broad survey of the existing state of the law throughout the world. In many areas, existing literature can be helpful for this first step. In addition, the advisory groups for the various volumes and the informants can be consulted. Each of the solutions selected is not described in abstracto, but rather as utilized by a specific legal system.

Other legal orders that have adopted the same general approach are only mentioned in summary form, but important deviations are explained in detail. The description of the various typical solutions to a given problem is then followed by an intensive comparison and critique.

This method of “typical solutions” is possibly the only realistic means of achieving the claimed worldwide coverage of the Encyclopedia, and it also presents the comparative material in a readable form. Contributions setting out the results of broad research by describing in detail
the solutions of 10 or 20 countries for various issues would make extremely tiresome reading. Apart from this stylistic advantage the main virtue of the “typical solutions” approach is the limitation which it places upon the number of legal systems that have to be investigated
and described in detail.

The Responsible Editor has invested considerable energy in explaining this novel approach to all the general reporters of the comparative volumes in writing and through the course of oral discussions. Moreover, each general reporter has received a printed “model section” of some
10 pages which illustrates the new approach. Some authors have not been able to implement the new method completely effectively, but this difficulty is being remedied wherever possible in the course of the revision (s) to which each manuscript is subjected. The work of those
authors who have utilized the “typical solutions” method bears out the virtues of the new approach.

Systematic Structure

It would be contrary to the international character of the Encyclopedia if the arrangement of its contents followed the classifications of any particular national system. If the analysis of the material selected on a worldwide basis is to be integrated into an adequate logical context, the
structural criteria must also be cosmopolitan. The details of a new international system of classification will have to be the fruits rather than the stepping-stones of the comparative effort and can therefore not yet be determined. At a rather early stage, however, it was necessary to
distribute the material to be covered among the sixteen volumes.

Two phenomena are noteworthy in this connection. First, it was deemed desirable, at least for this most general ordering, not to detach the supranational major topics for the sixteen volumes too much from existing generally accepted classifications. It was contemplated that this would enable uninitiated readers from potentially every nation to at least find their way easily to the proper volume (within each volume of the encyclopedia further subdivisions may be more original since they can be fully explained there ). Moreover, it is a fortunate circumstance that certain very basic notions such as contract, property, persons and family, and succession, although varying in detail, on tile whole are universally known as designating certain broad areas of law.

However, certain difficulties remain, such as the proper classification of the trust-an institution unknown on the whole outside the Common Law orbit. After very careful consideration it was decided not to treat the trust as a major topic, but to deal with it, following the Continental
approach, in the volumes on family, succession, property and contracts, wherever its functional counterparts are being discussed. This splittingup of a discrete institution is, however, compensated by a short chapter devoted exclusively to the trust in which the history and practical applications as well as the basic notions of the institution are described.


The problems of systematic structure and of terminology are closely intertwined, if for no other reason than because a new system of classification requires the creation of new terminology. Moreover, the insights of worldwide comparison cannot be unambiguously expressed if, e.g., English legal terms are used since at least any lawyer from the AngloAmerican world will automatically associate them with rules of English law. The lack of an independent comparative terminology is, in fact, a very serious handicap for the Encyclopedia. One writer has voiced the
serious admonition that without such a firm foundation all the fine comparisons may be built on sand. In fact, in the early planning stage the compilation of an international legal dictionary had been proposed as an alternative. But this idea was rejected since the initiators of the
Encyclopedia preferred a comparative compendium as the more ambitious enterprise that would in itself furnish the basis for a new, comparatively elaborate terminology.

In practice, however, it proved impossible to wait until the happyday on which the terminological harvest of the Encyclopedia could be reaped. It was necessary to formulate certain uniform terms in order to offer a relatively consistent text. Uniformity of expression proved to be indispensable in four major situations:

  • First, certain legal terms are ambiguous for an international audience because while they are familiar to several languages, their connotations differ among those languages. An example is the Anglo/French word “jurisprudence” (the word “jurisprudence” means the practice of the courts in French, whereas in English, as well as in German, it connotes legal writers ). Ambiguity could only be avoided by replacing this term.
  • Second, new English terms must be coined for those institutions of non-English legal orders which are unknown to English lawyers, e.g., cause, Rechtgeschdft and Gesellschalt mit beschriikter Haftung.
  • Third, and ironically even more difficult, are those cases in which English and American legal terminology differs. It is often impossible to select one over the other without creating, if not bad feelings, at least ample opportunity for misunderstanding. In these situations, a new neutral term must be invented (where English and American terminology differ in describing the same thing, a neutral term is called for which must be sufficiently descriptive to be understood ) which must be sufficiently descriptive to be understood everywhere.
  • Fourth, no invention, but a convention is necessary in all other instances in which a word current in many languages, but with varying legal implications, is used in a comparative context; the author must not leave any doubt whether he uses the term as understood in state A, or in state B, or in a general, supranational sense.

Publication of the Encyclopedia

The printing and distribution of the Encyclopedia is entrusted to an international consortium of publishers, consisting of Mohr (Siebeck) in Tuebingen, Mouton in Paris and the Hague, and Oceana in Dobbs Ferry, New York.33

The method of publication has been adapted to the peculiar features of a collective work. At the beginning it had been planned to publish the work volume by volume, as the contributions for each volume became ready. However, it proved impossible to receive the manuscripts of the
10 or 15 general reporters of any volume within a reasonable period of two or even three years. In order not to penalize those who had delivered their manuscripts first, the method of publication has been changed to the advance-sheet installment plan. Every three or four months an installment of 500 pages will be issued comprising a differing number of chapters from various volumes. Each chapter appears as a separate pamphlet and can thus be inserted in its proper place. When a volume is complete, a bound edition will be supplied. The first installment was released in December, 1971, and the second in April, 1972. If publication
continues as planned, on a schedule of three to four installments per annum, the whole compendium will be complete after about eight years.


Whether it will be possible to bring this unique project to a successful conclusion remains to be seen. Other men will have to judge whether the high goals which were set have been reached. In any event, the foregoing view of the workshop of a very ambitious undertaking should at
least testify to the imagination, diligence and patience that have already been invested in the venture by all participants. The description and evaluation of the problems encountered and the solutions found has also pointed to the peculiar difficulties with which any international
project of a comparable nature will presumably be confronted. Finances apart, the greatest difficulty outside the legal field is posed by the language problem. Hopefully the Encyclopedia itself may furnish the material for clarifying a great deal of the divergencies of legal terminology.


Each volume of the International Encyclopedia of Comparative Law is divided into 6-44 chapters. Being a work in progress, rather than delaying publication of a given volume until all the chapters are ready, every chapter is published upon completion in paper bound form. Several of the chapters, not necessarily of the same volume, are sent to subscribers in single instalments.

16 of these volumes are devoted to one large area of private and commercial law, each of which is dealt with exclusively from a comparative law perspective, whereas the 4rst volume provides reports on all the countries of the world, in alphabetical order, pertaining to the same subjects.

Once all the chapters of a given volume are ready, they are indexed, updated where necessary, and dispatched to subscribers in hardback form.

Volume 1: National Reports

  • A: Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Andorra, Argentine, Australia, Austria.
  • B: Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belgium, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Brazil, Bulgaria, Burma, Burundi.
  • C: Cameroon, Canada, Central African Empire, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Comoro, Congo, Costa Rica, Cuba, Cyprus, Czechoslovakia.
  • D: Dahomey, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Democratic Republic of Vietnam, Denmark, Dominican Republic.
  • E/F: Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Federal Republic of Germany, Fiji, Finland, France.
  • G/H: Gabon, the Gambia, German Democratic Republic, Ghana, Greece, Grenada, Guatemala, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Hungary.
  • I: Iceland, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Ivory Coast.
  • J/K: Jamaica, Japan, Jordan, Kenya, Khmer Republic, Kuwait.
  • L/M: Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malagasy Republic, Malawi, Malaysia, Maledives, Mali, Malta, Mauritania, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Mongolia, Morocco.
  • N/O: Nauru, Nepal, Netherlands, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Niger, Nigeria, Norway, Oman.
  • P: Pakistan, Panama, Papua New Guinea, Paraguay, People’s Republic of China, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal.
  • Q/R: Qatar, Republic of China, Republic of Korea, Republic ofSouthvietnam, Republic of Vietnam, Rumania, Rwanda.
  • S: Saint Christopher and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Somalia, South Africa, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, Syria.
  • T: Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey.
  • U: Uganda, Union of Arab Republics, Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United Kingdom Dependent Territories, United States of America, Upper Volta, Uruguay.
  • V/Z: Vatican, Venezuela, Western Samoa, Yemen Arab Republic,Yugoslavia, Zaire, Zambia.

Volume 2: The Legal Systems of the World – Their Comparison and Unification

Chapter 1: The Different Conceptions of the Law
Chapter 2: Structure and the Divisions of the Law
Chapter 3: Sources of Law
Chapter 4: Comparative law
Chapter 5: The International Unification of Private Law

Volume 3: Private International Law

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Sources
Chapter 3: Fundamental Approaches (Structure)
Chapter 4: Connecting Factors
Chapter 5: Characterization
Chapter 6: Renvoi
Chapter 7: The Law Applicable to Preliminary (Incidental) Questions
Chapter 8: Intertemporal Conflict of Laws
Chapter 9: Interlocal (Interregional) Conflict of Laws
Chapter 10: Interpersonal Conflict of Laws
Chapter 11: Public Policy (Ordre Public)
Chapter 12: Operation of Foreign Public Law
Chapter 13: Effect of Constitutional Law Upon Conflict of Laws
Chapter 14: The Application of Foreign Law
Chapter 15: Persons
Chapter 16: Marriage and Divorce
Chapter 17: Personal Effects of Marriage
Chapter 18: Effects of Marriage
Chapter 19: Children
Chapter 20: Succession
Chapter 21: Property
Chapter 22: Industrial and Intellectual Property
Chapter 23: Trusts
Chapter 24: Contracts
Chapter 25: Transport by Rail and and by Road
Chapter 26: Transport by Sea and Inland Waterways
Chapter 27: Transport by Air
Chapter 28: Labour Contracts (Contracts of Employment)
Chapter 29: Agency
Chapter 30: Quasi-Contracts
Chapter 31: Torts Introduction
Chapter 32: (Torts -) Enterprise Liability
Chapter 33: (Torts -) Intentional Torts
Chapter 34: Unfair Competition
Chapter 35: Restrictions on Competition (Anti-Trust)
Chapter 36: Currency
Chapter 37: Companies
Chapter 38: Jurisdiction
Chapter 39: Recognition and Enforcement
Chapter 40: Non-Litigious Proceedings, General Problems
Chapter 41: Insolvency
Chapter 42: Arbitration
Chapter 43: Judicial Assistance
Chapter 44: Procedure

Volume 4: Persons and Family

Volume IV of the International Encyclopedia of Comparative Law contains comparative analyses mainly of family law.
Chapter 0: Introduction: Family Law in a Time of Turbulence
Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Persons
Chapter 3: Conclusion of Marriage
Chapter 4: Interspousal Relations
Chapter 5: Divorce
Chapter 5A: Informal Marriages
Chapter 6: Creation of Relationships of Kinship (Legitimacy, Illegitimacy, Adoption)
Chapter 7: Children, Parents and Guardianship
Chapter 8: Family Support
Chapter 9: Intra-Family Torts (Torts Against and Within the Family)
Chapter 10: The Family in Post-Socialist Countries
Chapter 11: The Family in Religious and Customary Laws

Volume 5: Succession

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Decedent, Heir and other Beneficiaries
Chapter 3: Intestate Succession
Chapter 4: Testate Succession
Chapter 5: Limits and Restrictions of the Freedom of Testation
Chapter 6: Acts inter vivos Concerning the Estate of a Future de cuius
Chapter 7: Transactions Concerning the Rights of an Heir on Legatee After the Death of the de cuius
Chapter 8: Liability for Obligations of the Inheritance (Acquisition and Administration of the Estate)
Chapter 9: Succession to Agricultural Property (Relationship Between Heirs and Other Beneficiaries inter se)
Chapter 10: Liability for Obligations of a Decedent
Chapter 11: Procedure in Matters of Succession
Chapter 12: Rural Succession
Chapter 13: Religious Systems of Law

Volume 6: Property and Trust

Chapter 1: General
Chapter 2: Structural Variations in Property Law
Chapter 3: Movables
Chapter 4: Immovables: General
Chapter 5: Apartment Ownership (Immovables: Limited Interest)
Chapter 6: Immovables: Leases
Chapter 7: Immovables: Apartment Ownership
Chapter 8: Recordation of Interests in Land (Immovables: Neighbourhood and Urban Problems)
Chapter 9: Immovables: Agrarian Problems
Chapter 10: Intangibles and Funds
Chapter 11: Trust
Chapter 12: Security in Movables and Intangibles
Chapter 13: Security in Immovables
Chapter 14: Registration of Immovables
Chapter 15: Natural Resources

Volume 7: Contracts in General

Chapter 1: A General View of Contract
Chapter 2: Contract in Pre-Commercial Societies and in Western
History (Contract The Legal Institution)
Chapter 3: Impact of Large Scale Business Enterprise Upon Contract
Chapter 4: Public Contracts
Chapter 5: Conctracts in the Socialist Economy
Chapter 6: Contract in the Far East China and Japan (Contract in Japan and China)
Chapter 7: Contract Law of Islam and the Arab Middle East (the Role of Contracts in Islamic Law)
Chapter 8: Contract in Developing Societies
Chapter 9: The Formation of Contract
Chapter 10: Formal Requirements
Chapter 11: Defects in the Contracting Process
Chapter 12: Contracting Subject to Standard Terms and Conditions (Contracting under General Conditions)
Chapter 13: Rights of Third Parties. Third Party Beneftciaries and Assignment (Parties to Contractual Obligations)
Chapter 14: Contracting Through Others: Agency
Chapter 15: Breach of Contract (When ist a Party Aggrieved by Deficiencies in the Other Party’s Performance)
Chapter 16: Remedies for Breach of Contract, Courses of Action Open to a Party Aggrieved
Chapter 17: Comparative Observations

Volume 8: Specific Contracts

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Civil Law and Commercial Law
Chapter 3: Sale of Goods, Sale of Intangibles; Special Forms of Sales
Chapter 4: Installment Sales
Chapter 5: Overseas and Export Sales
Chapter 6: Sale of Land
Chapter 7: Use of Movables
Chapter 8: Contracts for Work on Goods and Building Contracts
Chapter 9: Professional Services (Commercial Services)
Chapter 10: Professional and Other Independent Services

Volume 9: Commercial Transactions and Institutions

Chapter 1: Credit Transactions
Chapter 2: Banks and Banking
Chapter 3: Public Law of Banking
Chapter 4: Negotiable Instruments
Chapter 5: Letters of Credit
Chapter 6: Documents of Title
Chapter 7: Public Law of Insurance (Insurance Contracts)
Chapter 8:
Chapter 9: Stock Exchanges
Chapter 10: Contracts of Guarantee and Indemnity
Chapter 11: Commodity Exchanges

Volume 10: Restitution-Unjust Enrichment and Negotiorum Gestio

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Historical Development in Continental European Law
Chapter 3: History of Restitution in Anglo-American Law (Historical Development in the Common Law)
Chapter 4: Unjust Enrichment in Eastern European Countries (Socialist Legal Systems)
Chapter 5: Restitution of Benefits Conferred without Obligation
Chapter 6: Restitution of Benefits Conferred Without Obligation
Chapter 7: Restitution of Gifts
Chapter 8: Unjust Enrichment By Interference with Property Rights (Restitution of Benefits Conferred Under Illegal Contracts)
Chapter 9: Restitution of Benefits Acquired in Breach of Fiduciary Relations (Restitution of Benefits Acquired Trough Interference with Another’s Property)
Chapter 10: Payment of Another‘s Debt
Chapter 11: Adjustment Among Multiple Debtors (Reimbursement for Discharge of Another’s Obligation)
Chapter 12: Restitution of Benefits in Family Relationships
Chapter 13: Enrichment on Account of Family or Personal Relations
Chapter 14: Other Types of Unjust Enrichment
Chapter 15: Indirect Enrichment
Chapter 16: Object and Scope of Restitution
Chapter 17: Negotiorum Gestio

Volume 11: Torts

Volume XI (in two part volumes) of the International Encyclopedia of Comparative Law is
devoted to the general issues of tort law. The fourteen chapters of this volume o:er an
introduction into the law of tort, and deal with the prerequisites for liability, as well as
remedies, the various types of damages and procedural questions.

Chapter 1: Introduction
Chapter 2: Liability for One’s Own Act
Chapter 3: Liability for Persons Under Supervision (Liability for Acts of Persons Unter Supervision)
Chapter 4: Private and Governmental Liability for the Torts of Employees and Organds
Chapter 5: Liability for Damage Caused by Things
Chapter 6: Professional Liability
Chapter 7: Causation and Remoteness of Damage
Chapter 8: Consequences of Liability
Chapter 9: Personal Injury and Death
Chapter 10: Various Damages
Chapter 11: Collateral Benefits
Chapter 12: Complex Liabilities
Chapter 13: Procedural Questions
Chapter 14: Traffic Accident Compensation: Law and Proposals

Volume 12: Law of Transport

Chapter 1: Introduction to Transport Law and Combined Transports
Chapter 2: Carriage by Rail (Railways)
Chapter 3: Highways
Chapter 4: Maritime Transportation
Chapter 5: Inland Navigation
Chapter 6: Internationa Air Transportation
Chapter 7: Pipelines
Chapter 8: Transport Insurance
a Land Transport
b Inland Navigation
c Maritime Transports
d Air Transportation

Volume 13: Business and Private Organizations

This volume of the International Encyclopedia of Comparative Law contains comparative analyses of the law of business and private organizations. The emphasis is on the European and on U.S.-American legal systems. Of the 13 chapters (written by Continental and American authors), 11 chapters deal with business organizations. Two chapters are devoted to comparative analyses of the legal regimes of private associations and foundations.
Chapter 0: Introduction (Scope and Terminology)
Chapter 1: Partnership and Other Personal Associations for Profit
Chapter 2: Limited Liability Companies and private Companies
Chapter 3: The Formation of Marketable Share Companies
Chapter 4: Management and Control of Marketable Share
Companies (Marketable Share Companies: Administration and Control, Supervision)
Chapter 5: Capital and Securities of Marketable Share Companies (Marketable Share Companies: Capital and Securities)
Chapter 6: Fundamental Changes in Marketable Share Companies
Chapter 7: Company Systems and Affiliation
Chapter 8: Associations (Cooperative Organizations)
Chapter 9: Non-profit Organizations
Chapter 9A: Foundations
Chapter 10: Securities Regulations An Introduction
Chapter 11: Taxation of Business Organizations
Chapter 12A: Law and Accounting in Business Associations
Chapter 12B: Financial Disclosure in State Enterprises of Socialist Countries
Chapter 13: Governmental (Public) Enterprises

Volume 14: Copyright and Industrial Property

Chapter 1: General Questions. The International Conventions
Chapter 2: Copyright: National (Systems) and International Developments
Chapter 3: Copyright: Comparison of law
Chapter 4: Neighbouring Rights National and International
Developments (Protection of Inventions: National Systems and International Development)
Chapter 5: Neighbouring Rights Comparison of Laws (Patents and Utility Models)
Chapter 6: Collective Administration of Copyrights and Neighbouring Rights ()
Chapter 7: Employee Inventions
Chapter 8: Exploitation of Inventions and Know-How
Chapter 9: Industrial Designs
Chapter 10: Trademarks: National Systems and International Developments
Chapter 11: Trademarks: Comparatison of law
Chapter 12: Unfair Competition: National Systems and International Developments
Chapter 13: Unfair Competition: Comparison of Law

Volume 15: Labour Law

Chapter 1: International Sources and Institutional Aspects (of Labour Law)
Chapter 2: National Sources of Labour Law
Chapter 3: Scope of Labour Law as Regards Persons and Subject-Matter
Chapter 4: Making, Modification and Termination of Employment Relationships and the Obligations Resulting from Such Relationships in General
Chapter 5: Wages and Remuneration in General
Chapter 6: Hours of Work, Weekly Rest; The Employment of Protected Persons
Chapter 7:Law Safety and Health at Work (Health, Safety and Welfare)
Chapter 8: Occupational Risks and Social Security (Accidents at Work and Occupational Diseases: Social Insurance)
Chapter 9: Tort Liability for Work Injury
Chapter 10: Equality of Treatment in Employment (Labour Market Regulations)
Chapter 11: Trade Unions and Employers’ Associations
Chapter 12: Collective Bargaining and Collective Agreements
Chapter 13: Representation of the Employees at Plant and Enterprise Level
Chapter 14: Prevention and Settlement of Labour Disputes, Other than Conflicts of Right
Chapter 15: Lockouts and other Kinds of Hostile Actions (Strikes, Lockouts and Other Hostile Actions)
Chapter 16: Labour Court and Organs of Arbitration

Volume 16: Civil Procedure

Chapter 1: Introduction Policies, Trends and Ideas in Civil Procedure
Chapter 2: History of European Civil Procedure
Chapter 3: The Organization of Lawyers and Judges (Organization and Roles of the Legal Profession)
Chapter 4: Types of Relief Available (Judicial Remedies)
Chapter 5: Parties
Chapter 6: Ordinary Proceedings in First Instance:
Chapter 7: Evidence
Chapter 8: Attacks on Judicial Decisions
Chapter 9: Effects of Judicial Decisions
Chapter 10: Enforcement Proceedings
Chapter 11: Special Proceedings and Provisional Remedies
Chapter 12: Arbitration
Chapter 13: State Arbitration in the Socialist Countries
Chapter 14: Insolvency Procedures
Chapter 15: Civil Procedure in Developing Countries

Volume 17: State and Economy

Chapter 1: General Introduction
Chapter 2: State and Economy in Transformation. Revolution by Law
in the Central and Eastern European Countries (The General Theory of the State and the Economy)
Chapter 3: Law and Economic Reform in Eastern Europe The Transition from Plan to Market during the Formative Years of 1989-1994. (State Intervention: Introduction)
Chapter 4: Monetary Policy and Fiscal Policy
Chapter 5: Law Against Monopoly and Cartels
Chapter 6: Direct State Intervention
Chapter 7: Mandatory Contracts and Controls on Forms of Contract
Chapter 8: Planning
Chapter 9: Instruments and Consequences of State Regulation: Introduction
Chapter 10: Regulation (Instruments of State Regulation)
Chapter 11: Legal Consequences of State Regulation (Legal Consequences of Comprehensive Planning)
Chapter 12: Particular Consequences of Comprehensive Planning
Chapter 13: Legal Protection of Firms Against State Regulation and State Inaction
Chapter 14: History and Theory of Property in Market Economy Countries
Chapter 15: History and Theory of Property in Socialist Countries
Chapter 16: Socialist Enterprises
Chapter 17: State Enterprises in Market Economy Countries
Chapter 18: Expropriation of Particular Property
Chapter 19: Regulation of Ownership and Use of Private Property
Chapter 20: Money and Foreign Exchange
Chapter 21: Introduction to Foreign Commerce and Investment
Chapter 22: (Special Rules on) Foreign Commerce and Investment in Market Economy Countries
Chapter 23: (Special Rules on) Foreign Commerce and Investment in Socialist Countries
Chapter 24: Regional Economic Organizations
Chapter 25: Universal Economic Organizations


Salvador Trinxet Llorca

See Also

  • Dictionary of International and Comparative Law
  • Comparative Law Classification (Max Planck Institute)
  • Encyclopedia of Public International Law update
  • International Law Encyclopedia
  • Encyclopedia of Public International Law updates
  • Encyclopedia of Public International Law
  • International Law Encyclopedia
  • The American and English Encyclopedia of Law
  • International Law Encyclopedia 4

Further Reading

  • Adolf Sprudzs: The International Encyclopedia of Comparative Law: A Bibliographical Status Report. In: The American Journal of Comparative Law. Vol. 28, Nr. 1, 1980, S. 93-104.
  • Peter DeCruz, Comparative Law in a Changing World (London: Cavendish, 1995)
  • Mary Ann Glendon, et al, Comparative Legal Traditions In a Nutshell (St. Paul: West, 1999)
  • Bernhard Grossfeld, The Strength and Weakness of Comparative Law (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1990)
  • Rene David and John E.C. Brierly, Major Legal Systems in the World Today: An Introduction to the Comparative Study of Law (London: Stevens, 1985)
  • George E. Glos, Comparative Law (Littleton: Rothman, 1979)
  • Frederick H. Lawson, A Common Lawyer Looks at the Civil Law (Ann Arbor: Universityof Michigan Law School, 1953)
  • Herbert J. Liebesny, Foreign Legal Systems: A Comparative Analysis (Washington D.C.: George Washington University, 1981)
  • John Henry Merryman, The Civil Law Tradition: An Introduction to the Legal Systems of Western Europe and Latin America (Stanford: Stanford University Press, 1994)
  • Csaba Varga, Comparative Legal Cultures (New York: New York University Press, 1992). A comparative study of legal cultures.
  • Alan Watson, Legal Transplants: An Approach to the World’s Legal Systems (St. Paul: West, 1993).
  • Conrad Zweiget and Hein Kotz, Introduction to Comparative Law (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1998).