Journal of Civil Law Studies


Caveat emptor is one of the most well known maxims of the legal world. Interpreters from different countries have their own understanding of this doctrine. At first glance, Louisiana law and Islamic law have nothing in common. Louisiana, at least superficially, adheres to the great civil law tradition that the legislature is supreme. Its primary sources of law are legislation and custom. Islamic law is divine in origin, a direct manifestation of Allah’s will. Its primary sources of law are the Koran and the wisdom of the Prophet Muhammad. Yet, in practice, these two systems have developed surprisingly similar approaches toward duties of disclosure and the doctrine of caveat emptor. The similarities between the above mentioned legal systems’ approach to caveat emptor and duties of disclosure are uncanny. Regardless of whether the issue is dealt under the heading of mistake, misrepresentation, or error and fraud, there is a commonality of approach that cannot be missed. Despite this obvious diversity of methods, traditions and styles, it is possible to notice an element, or better, a tendency common to the examined regulations, that may be found more in operational rules than in principle statements.

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