Abstract: The Central European region is characterised by struggles between modernising endeavours and insisting on (legal) identity, by imposed and voluntary legal transplants — sometimes even by competing legal transplants; law reforms accelerated by rapid political, economic and social changes and European legal harmonisation. Three countries (the Czech Republic, Romania and Hungary) enacted new civil codes recently, which rely on legal transplants to a greater or lesser extent. The general rethinking of private law and the implementation of European Union law in these legal systems enhance the so-called “applied comparative law” from the perspective of both the legislature and the judiciary. This article begins with a short discussion that shows why and how comparative considerations necessarily lead to legal transplants in general. It then proceeds to analyse the three central European countries that have recently enacted new civil codes, with a special reference to legal transplants at the macro level in a historical perspective. The article concludes with a plea for more comparison.
Keywords: legal transplants; comparative law; applied comparative law; Czech Republic; Romania; Hungary; civil law; civil code; codifi cation; Central Europe
“In our view, the scientifi c conclusion can be only that the acceptance and application of legal principles and legal institutions in the course of the codifi cation of our private law cannot depend on their national origin, but on their expediency, i.e. their harmony with the present social needs, interests and conditions” Rezső Dell’Adami, 18771
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