Private Legal Systems

A private legal system is one not ordained by the state and its institutions. Such systems are related but not identical to folk law or customary law. Broadly speaking, any purposeful human interaction results in the growth of law in its most rudimentary form. The process of law creation is not necessarily conscious. It involves rules of conduct that, in case of violation, may result in sanctions by the group concerned and its members. These sanctions may vary, extending from mere teasing to exclusion from the group and in some severe cases even in death. Formal procedure is not necessary but some consensus is required. Any form of tribal law, based on oral tradition, constitutes a private legal system in the following sense. It is ...

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