Private Law Codification in a Mixed Legal System – The Israeli Successful Experience
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Israel is a mixed legal system, profoundly influenced by both the Common Law and Civil Law traditions. Against the background of an unprincipled mixture of Ottoman, British, and religious legal norms, Israel embarked on the challenging project of crafting its own modern Civil Code, based primarily on Civil Law systems, but incorporating Common Law concepts and institutions as well. This process, which was carried out gradually from the 1960s, relied considerably on extant international attempts to harmonize Civil Law and Common Law, including the Uniform Law on International Sales 1964. This process resulted in 20-odd separate Laws, each comprehensively dealing with a certain field or transaction. In substance, Israel now enjoys a modern, codificatory legislation in most fields of private law. A Bill integrating the separate Laws into a unified Code is currently discussed in the parliament.
As a pioneer in legislatively harmonizing Common Law and Civil Law concepts and rules in all spheres of private law, Israel may serve as a laboratory for current attempts to unify and harmonize legal systems on the regional and even global levels.