A Comparative Analysis of Louisiana and the Philippines

Ryan McGonigle

The modern trend of convergence between the legal systems of the civil- and common-law traditions offers a unique opportunity for mixed legal jurisdictions such as Louisiana and the Philippines. The flexibility of mixed jurisdictions is found in their ability to act as a 'doctrinal sieve,' straining out the inherent weaknesses of both parent traditions. This article aims at discovering the proper role of precedent (judge-made law) within the mixed or hybrid legal systems of Louisiana and the Philippines. By first setting out the historical and specific legal experiences of both jurisdictions, the question of whether the civilian concept of jurisprudence constante or the common-law theory of stare decisis obtains in our paradigmatic examples is answered, leaving room for the mixed category sui generis. By viewing our mixed jurisdictions through a comparative lens, this paper also presents comparatists with the opportunity to bypass stumbling blocks and legal chauvinism and obtain vrai rapprochement.

Cite as: Ryan McGonigle, The Role of Precedents in Mixed Jurisdictions: A Comparative Analysis of Louisiana and the Philippines, vol 6.2 ELECTRONIC JOURNAL OF COMPARATIVE LAW, (July 2002), <>

I. Introduction
II. The historical development of Louisiana's theory of precedents
III. The Philippine doctrine of stare decisis
IV. Conclusion

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