Legal Systems of the World (Updated)

by Roger Alford

After reviewing the comments from my last post expressing general dissatisfaction with the chart showing the legal systems of the world, I decided to do a little more research to find a more accurate chart.

Fortunately, those efforts paid off in spades, with a series of wonderful charts produced by the University of Ottawa. As you can see, these charts are much more accurate, and in the case of mixed systems provide much greater detail on the nature of each mixed system.

Here are charts for the World, for Africa, North America, and Asia.

Legal Systems of the World Updated

African Legal Systems

North America Legal Systems

Asia Legal Systems

5 Responses

  1. Very fascinating, and far more thorough than the previous map (though still missing South Sudan, for example).  Thank you, Prof. Alford!

  2. That is better indeed! though I have to ask what counts as being a country governed by Customary Law? For example, there are Constitutional provisions in most Andean countries granting indigenous customary law enforceability. Should Peru, Bolivia, Ecuador, etc. be marked as partially customary? particularly in the Amazon and Andes regions?

    Dear Roger
    I think the first chart is not telling the truth about the Iranian legal system. You know, although after the 1979 revolution the Islamic Government tried (and is trying) to pass laws concurrent with Sharia values, esp. criminal and family laws, but it maintained (and prefers to maintain) some of the characteristics inherited from civil law, e.g. commercial, administrative law and public laws are much rooted in their French counterparts. Therefore, it should be classified as Muslim/Civil Law System, notwithstanding that the Government tends to respect Sharia rules.

  4. Hassan,

    If you follow the link and click on the Middle East map I think it does identify Iran as Muslim/Civil law with a green background and red dots.

    Roger Alford

  5. Response…
    Whoever drew the map of the Americas seems to have confused the Sabine River for the Mississippi.  I sure didn’t know they had civil law in what looks like East Texas.  Maybe Louisiana was intended, just to the east?

Trackbacks and Pingbacks

  1. There are no trackbacks or pingbacks associated with this post at this time.