How to Think About Law in North America

  • H. Patrick Glenn


How should we think about law in North America? Even formulating the question is difficult. Should there be, for example, a comma after the word law, which would direct our attention to jurisprudential reflection about the nature of law that has (perhaps fortuitously) occurred in North America? There have been distinguished North American legal philosophers. Or perhaps the question would be better phrased in terms of how we should think about “North American law.” This would suggest, though ambiguously, a more unified concept, one of practical and not merely theoretical interest, and a law that could apply, more or less consistently, from the high Arctic to the southern borders of Mexico, and Chiapas. In a similar manner, there is discussion today of “European law.” So the question of how to think about “law in North America” is, like many questions, already suggestive of an answer, and it is this answer that this chapter defends.We should be thinking about law in North America in terms of different and varied manifestations of law, of both state and nonstate origin, which are capable of nonconflictual coexistence, such that North America, with its many advantages, can play a leading role and constitute a major model in the world, of mutual legal understanding and the conciliation of different laws.


North America Legal System Supra Note Civil Code Hague Convention 
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© James T. McHugh 2012

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  • H. Patrick Glenn

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