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Comparative Law and Legal Transplantation in South East Asia: Making Sense of the "Nomic Din"

[ch.9 of Nelken, D., and Feest, J. (ed), Adapting Legal Cultures (Oxford, Hart Publishing, 2001); NB. Excuse some minor transcription errors which are due to scanning hard copy. This piece is probably my most-cited one, and is used often in comparative law courses; so much so that some generations of law students know me as the 'The Nomic Din Guy'.]


INTRODUCTION
In the mainstreams and occasional eddies of comparative law, as well as in the related fields of comparative sociology of law, legal theory in general, and law and development, virtually no account has been taken of the South East Asian legal experience, even though some excellent and highly relevant work on the region has been done. Scholars in the field of law in South East Asia have therefore trodden a somewhat lonely path.[1] The neglect of South East Asia is a very unfortunate missed opportunity to experiment in an ideal laboratory. The region has an abundance of legal traditions, practically all of them having been…