Below is an introduction to family law and what it entails. The attribution of moral and ethical qualities to certain positions in legal policy debates that went beyond the level of pragmatic positivism often led to an (unconscious) demarcation of distant non-Western legal systems. For example, attitudes towards the death penalty within a society or legal system have often been seen as a measure of the degree of social or political development. It also highlights the strong belief in progress that existed in 19th century European thought. « It should not be indifferent to the testimony of history that, for each people, the way in which the death penalty is conceived depends on the degree of morality, and that as soon as the people reach a higher level of education (…), the death penalty also disappears from the code of law … » 20 An essential criterion for the establishment of different legal systems – for example, when examining the differences between continental European and Anglo-American legal systems (civil law – common law) – is the predominance of legal law/codification, on the one hand, and (precedent) case-law, on the other. This is the difference between two legal ways of thinking – the establishment of abstract normative norms through legislation and academia on the one hand, and a decision-based procedure, i.e. a judicial approach based on long-established jurisprudence, on the other. The examination of the question of the classification of global legal matters is still relatively young – at least according to Western jurisprudence. In fact, the division into legal systems is still difficult today. With a few notable exceptions, such as copyright or patent law, which followed (and still have) an international orientation very early, European jurisprudence focused on Western legal systems until the end of the 19th century. The German « universal lawyer »5 Josef Kohler (1849-1919) compared all the legal systems of the world with which he was familiar,6 but did not classify them into legal systems. States have the right to set « reasonable formal conditions » for marriage, including age and legal capacity, as well as rules and procedures for divorce and other family law matters.
The most common reasons to hire a family lawyer are: Legal families that had been extensively researched, but from a colonial perspective, were now also included in this more comprehensive legal historical approach. Thus, the consideration of the Latin American legal sphere, which has long served only as an example of the extra-European influence of Romanesque law, now pursues the question of the influence of the colonial periphery on Europe in a reversal of perspective. Examining the relationship between colonial law and the legal system of the metropolis, missionary law and the legal effects of the colonial experience in Europe have not only led to new perspectives, but also to the generation of new perspectives on these legal families, are particularly interesting and no less beneficial. Examples of this change in interest were the new treatment of legal documents in the Spanish and Portuguese colonial archives or the papal archives on Latin America. It was classified by the French comparative jurist Adhémar Esmein (1848-1913). At the beginning of the 20th century, he proposed a division into Romanesque, Germanic, Anglo-Saxon, Slavic and Islamic legal systems: « It is necessary to classify legislation (or customs) of the different peoples, reducing them to a small number of families or groups, each of which represents an original system of law. » 7 The doctrine of legal families seeks to form common groups, to identify similar practices, activities and legal subjects, and thus to divide all global legal transactions and activities into « families » according to certain criteria. The term « legal family » is used in a number of sub-disciplines of law, but not always in the same way. The first attempts to establish such a separation in the 19th century were made by jurists, but also by legal historians. The traditional and almost exclusive emphasis on continental European and Anglo-American systems that had prevailed for so long in this discipline then underwent a process of « globalization » that included non-European law as a distinct and independent object of investigation. Legal theory has gradually developed a large number of classifications, which have themselves been discussed again and again in terms of value and interaction as well as their « material » and « temporal » relevance. In the process, a whole series of new taxonomies emerged, some of which succeeded in replacing older, more established classifications.