Pacific Punch: Tropical Flavours of Mixedness in the Island Republic of Vanuatu
29 Pages Posted: 23 Nov 2012
Date Written: June 12, 2012
It is recognised by comparativists that there are a number of possible 'legal families' in the world's legal systems, some of which are 'mixed'. Tradtionally this is understood to be a mix of common law and civil law but in more recent times it has been recognised that this mixture may include religious and customary laws. The more expansive understanding of this category of 'mixed' creates a broader family, with potentially more members. This paper consider the process of mixing, unmixing and re-mixing which is illustrated by the legal system of the Pacific republic of Vanuatu. Ruled uniquely by an Anglo-French Condominium government prior to independence, Vanuatu has formally retained the English and French laws in force at independence and the two languages, and in principle might seem to be a perfect mixed system. In practice however things are different and this paper considers the factors which influence the mixing process and the consequences of this.
Keywords: Mixed legal systems, Vanuatu, French, English, customary
JEL Classification: K00, K19, K40
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation