Legal métissage in a micro jurisdiction:the mixing of Common Law and Civil Law in Seychelleses
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This thesis is an exploration of the laws of Seychelles in terms of their genesis, evolution and status today. While all legal traditions are hybrids, so-called mixed legal systems where laws are explicitly the product of different traditions, provide a unique perspective on the process of the movements and mixing of laws. In the Seychellois national language, kreol, a métis is someone of mixed parentage. This métissage of race, culture and language is parallelled in its legal system. These small islands, in the middle of the Indian Ocean, colonised twice, combine French and English legal ideas in a non-Western setting. Recently, the world recession has brought new challenges in the form of a third wave of quasi colonisation with the bail out of struggling economies, including Seychelles, by financial bodies like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund which, as part of the aid packages, impose homogenous common law style legislation. The research is a comparative analysis of the Seychellois legal tradition. Seychelles is also, given its small size, one of many micro-jurisdictions around the world. As with mixed systems, such small legal orders provide important information for general legal theory. The thesis adds to the understanding of both mixed and micro-jurisdictions, and as a result, allows a reconsideration of the relevance of both to comparative law. It permits an examination of the utility of contemporary legal taxonomies, rooted in Western experiences, to non-European, post-colonial jurisdictions. The Seychellois experience may have important lessons for legal transplantation, reception and harmonisation of laws as well as relevance for colonialism (including neo colonialism) and culture and for the viability and sustainability of such mixed systems of law.
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