Saturday, December 13, 2008

Monateri on the Multicultural Origins of the 'Western Legal Tradition'

Black Gaius: A Quest for the Multicultural Origins of the 'Western Legal Tradition' has been posted on SSRN by P. G. Monateri, University of Torino, School of Law. It appeared in the Hastings Law Journal (2000). Here's the abstract:
In this paper I intend to signal an independent appraisal of the roots of the Western Legal Tradition as both a critique of this tradition's originalism, and of its being a tradition at all, thereby challenging the premises behind new projects of international cultural governance in the context of globalisation. From the standpoint of legal history and comparative law this paper shows that Roman Law has no claim to supremacy in the ancient world. The myth of this supremacy was manufactured by the biases of xix century European historicism so that the Western indebtedness toward non-Western civilizations was denied. The rejection of conventional unsound picture has important consequences for the consciousness of the Western legal tradition as such, which is to be seen more as a multicultural enterprise than as the peculiar evolution of one culture. This implies that the projects of governance based on the conventional picture are untenable, and must be abandoned.