comparative law. The scholarly study of the similarities and differences between the legal systems of different jurisdictions, such as between civil-law and common-law countries.

¡ª Also termed comparative jurisprudence. See INTERNATIONAL LAW.

¡°What is known as comparative jurisprudence ¡ª namely, the study of the resemblances and differences between different legal systems ¡ª is not a separate branch of jurisprudence co-ordinate with the analytical, historical, and ethical, but is merely a particular method of that science in all its branches. We compare English law with Roman law either for the purpose of analytical jurisprudence, in order the better to comprehend the conceptions and principles of each of those systems; or for the purpose of historical jurisprudence, in order that we may better understand the course of development of each system; or for the purpose of ethical jurisprudence, in order that we may better judge the practical merits and demerits of each of them. Apart from such purposes the comparative study of law would be merely futile.¡± John Salmond, Jurisprudence 7¨C8 n. (c) (Glanville L. Williams ed., 10th ed. 1947).

descriptive comparative law. The inventory of legal systems (past and present) as a whole, as well as of individual rules that these systems establish for several categories of legal relations. ? Descriptive comparative law is sometimes considered one of three subsets of comparative law, the other two being comparative legislation and comparative history of law. See COMPARATIVE LEGISLATION; COMPARATIVE LEGAL HISTORY.

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