Through the Codes Darkly: Slave Law and Civil Law in Louisiana
Palmer, Vernon Valentine. Through the Codes Darkly: Slave Law and Civil Law in Louisiana. xvi, 196 pp. Clark, New Jersey: The Lawbook Exchange, Ltd., 2012. ISBN-13: 9781616193119. ISBN-10: 1616193115. Hardcover. New. $69.95 * A path-breaking and masterly study of Louisiana slave law, this fascinating study offers: - an examination of the complex French, Spanish, Roman and American heritage of Louisiana's law of slavery and its codification - a profile of the first effort in modern history to integrate slavery into a European-style civil code, the 1808 Digest of Orleans - a trailblazing study of the unwritten laws of slavery and the legal impact of customs and practices developing outside of the Codes - an analysis that overturns the previous scholarly view that Roman law was the model for the Code Noir of 1685 - a new unabridged translation (by Palmer) of the Code Noir of 1724 with the original French text on facing pages. Vernon Valentine Palmer is the Thomas Pickles Professor of Law and Co-Director of the Eason Weinmann Center for Comparative Law at Tulane University. He is the author of more than forty books and articles, including Mixed Jurisdictions Worldwide: The Third Legal Family (2nd ed., Cambridge University Press, 2012), Mixed Jurisdictions Compared: The Private Law of Louisiana and Scotland (co-edited with Elspeth Reid) (Edinburgh University Press, 2009), The Louisiana Civilian Experience: Critiques of Codification in a Mixed Jurisdiction (Carolina Academic Press, 2005), Strict Liability in Europe (co-edited with Franz Werro)(Carolina Academic Press 2004), Pure Economic Loss in Europe (co-edited with Mauro Bussani) (Cambridge University Press 2003), Louisiana: Microcosm of a Mixed Jurisdiction (Carolina Academic Press, 1999), and The Paths to Privity: The History of Third Party Beneficiary Contracts at English Law (Austin & Winfield, 1992, reprinted by Lawbook Exchange, 2006). "When it comes to demystifying slave law in Louisiana, Vernon Palmer is practically peerless. It's probably because he is equally comfortable in the weeds of lived experience as he is poring over the pages of classical learning. These masterful essays on the Code Noir's origins, plus Louisiana's 150-year interplay between custom and legal practice, belong on the shelf of anyone with the f.
Book number 59912