The course intends to examine the legal systems of the world that are not part of the Western legal tradition. For this purpose, the course will use the comparative legal method, which is useful in cross-national analyses. In this regard, we intend to focus on the interrelations and interferences between non-Western legal systems and Euro-Atlantic constitutionalism. Therefore, the course will start with the definition of the concept of tradition, which governs the constitutional narrative in the different legal systems of the world. Thus, the constitutional narrative resorts to the concept and to the institutes that are typical of a specific legal tradition in order to confer legitimization to constitutional and legal changes in the different legal families. The lectures will shed light on the non-Western legal tradition by examining the sources of law, the frame of government, and the protection of minorities.
The course will be divided into three parts:
1. Comparative method and constitutional legal studies. The concept of legal tradition. Assessing of the Eurocentric classifications: the legal systems of the world. Legal systems, legal families, ethnocentrism and Euro-Atlantic constitutionalism: mutual interferences and legal borrowings. The role of legal linguistics, legal geography, legal anthropology in assessing the legal traditions of the world. The functions and forms of the constitutional designs in non-Western legal systems: protecting, overriding and legitimising the legal tradition.
2. African Law. Mixed jurisdictions. Islamic Law. Hindu Law. Hebrew Law. Far Eastern legal systems. The Russian area.
3. Constitutional legal traditions and protections of minorities. The cases of the Russian-based- and Islamic-law-based countries.