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Max Planck Encyclopedia of Public International Law [MPEPIL]

Unification and Harmonization of Laws

Martin Gebauer, Felix Berner

From: Oxford Public International Law (http://opil.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved.date: 21 May 2022

Subject(s):
International co-operation

Published under the auspices of the Max Planck Institute for Comparative Public Law and International Law under the direction of Professor Anne Peters (2021–) and Professor Rüdiger Wolfrum (2004–2020). 

1 Unification or harmonization of laws can be achieved on very different levels, and by very different means. The evolution of the common law in English legal history, for example, can be regarded as a process of unification. To a certain degree, the reception of the ius commune throughout the European continent, starting at the end of the Middle Ages, unified the application of the law as well. The ius commune, however, never replaced the local laws but applied subsidiarily. As a consequence, the idea of a national codification was not born in England, but on the...
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