MAJOR LEGAL SYSTEMS IN THE WORLD TODAY by Harsh Vardhan Chaturvedi @lexcliq

There would appear to be three at least which occupy the uncontested place of prominence: the
Romano-Germanic family, the Common law family and the family of Socialist law. These three
groups whatever their value and extension throughout the world do not however take into
account all contemporary legal phenomena. There are other systems, situated outside these
three traditions or sharing only part of their conception of things, which prevail in a large
number of contemporary societies and in their regard too, a number of observations will be

Romano-Germanic family
A first family may be called the Romano-Germanic family. This group includes those countries in
which legal science has developed on the basis of Roman jus civile. Here the rules of law are
conceived as rules of conduct intimately linked to ideas of justice and morality. To ascertain and
formulate these rules falls principally to legal scholars who, absorbed by this task of enunciating
the “doctrine” on an aspect of the law, are somewhat less interested in its actual administration
and practical application. These matters are the responsibility of the administration and legal
practitioners. Another feature of this family is that the law has evolved, primarily for historical
reasons, as essentially private law, as a means of regulating the private relationships
between individual citizens; other branches of the law were developed later, but less perfectly,
according to the principles of the “civil law” which today still remains the main branch of legal
science, Since the nineteenth century, a distinctive feature of the family has been the fact that
its various member countries have attached special importance to enacted legislation in the
form of “codes”.
The Romano-Germanic family of laws originated in Europe. It was found by the scholarly efforts
of the European universities which, from the twelfth century and on the basis of the
compilations of Emperor Justinian (A.D. 483-565), evolved and developed a juridical science
common to all and adapted to the conditions of the modern world. The term Romano-
Germanic is selected to acknowledge the joint effort of the universities of both Latin and
Germanic countries.
Through colonization by European nations, the Romano-Germanic family has conquered vast
territories where the legal systems either belong or are related to this family. The phenomenon
of voluntary “reception” has produced the same result in other countries which were not
colonized, but where the need for modernization, or the desire to westernize, has led to the
penetration of European ideas.

Outside Europe, its place of origin, these laws although retaining membership in the Romano-
Germanic family nonetheless has their own characteristics which, from a sociological point of
view, make it necessary to place them in distinct groups. In many of these countries, it has been
possible to “receive” European laws, even though they possessed their own civilization, had
their own ways of thinking and acting and their own indigenous institutions, all of which ante-
date such reception. Sometimes reception has left some of these original institutions in place;
this is particularly clear in the case of Muslim countries where the reception of European law
and the adhesion to the Romano-Germanic family have been only partial, leaving some legal
relations subject to the principles of the traditional, local law. The old ways of thinking and
acting peculiar to these countries may also mean that the application of the new has been quite
different from what it is in Europe. This question is particularly important in the case of the
countries of the Far East, where an ancient and rich civilization existed long before the
reception of western law.
Finally, with respect to the countries of Africa and America, it will also be necessary to ask
whether their geographical conditions and populations’ distribution, creating conditions
entirely different from those in Europe, have not led to the development of laws substantially
different from their European models.


My name is Harsh vardhan chaturvedi. I belong to Agra (Uttar Pradesh). I am currently pursing B.Tech in Computer Science with LLB (Hons.) specialisation in Cyber Laws. I am a self motivated person. I have been in situations where i was not having any motivation to proceed further. Like choosing a branch such as cyber law where your parents are also not sure about the future of the branch. Motivating yourself to move further in this field of law is a great example of self motivation. A person who does not have any legal background motivating himself for this course which involves study of two different areas itself is a challenging task. I am very good at managing tasks as i have been the Event head of UURJA i.e fest of UPES. I try to take part in every activity whether it is curricular, co-curricular or extra curricular. I believe a person should not only focus on academics but also focus on other activities for overall development. I have great legal drafting skills. In my free time i love to portrait landscape . My hobbies includes travelling and photography. I believe travelling make you learn how one should never stop when they want to reach their goal. Travelling are challenging but one should never look back once started. Hence each treks and travel has always taught me something. I have always been a fan of movies which calms you down. I have a passion for everything i do and i believe this passion makes me going.

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