le 4 mai 2011
Upon learning that I have read this book, a friend of mine (who happened to be a law student) remarked that "there is no such thing as a very short introduction to law." She was referring of course to the voluminous cases and laws that all law students are supposed to study and even memorize in many instances. This is a daunting process that requires many hours and hard work, and on a surface it would seem inconceivable that it could be condensed into a very short book that does justice to it. In the light of that, it is quite remarkable that something like this has been accomplished in the form of this book. The important thing to keep in mind is that the subject of this book is law in general, and not any particular instances of it that are dealt with here. Raymond Wacks does a remarkable job narrating the story of law: its origins, history, different legal systems that exist in the world, and the future of law. The two major legal traditions in the world - the common and civil law - are described and explained at some detail. Even so, there are many jurisdictions around the world that mix elements from both traditions, and within each tradition there are many subcategories and peculiar practices. Thus, US legal system in particular, although it belongs to the common law tradition, has many characteristics that are at odds with the rest of the common law universe. The visually most conspicuous one is the lack of any special attire that is required of lawyers at trials. Even the very profession of a lawyer is somewhat particular to the US, and does not quite exist in other jurisdictions.
Overall, this is a very readable and informative book that does not require much preexisting knowledge of the law, and it does not overwhelm the reader with the legal language. It is an excellent introduction to a very important aspect of the way that the world operates.
le 22 juillet 2012
Simple, helpful, easy to read introduction to Law, including history, philosophy, and basics.
A good place to start to learn about the subject.