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Australian Journal of Asian Law

Abstract from Volume 3 No 2 (2001)

Labelling the Law - Security for Credit Sales and the Classification of Legal Systems in Southeast Asia

Richard Foster has a BSc, LLB (Hons), LLM, University of Melbourne and is a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria; a Lawyer of the National Court of Justice of Papua New Guinea; and is currently Legal Counsel, Head of Legal, Compliance and Risk with Homeside Lending Services (a division of National Australia Bank Limited), Melbourne.

Comparative law can serve a range of functions. One of these functions is to enhance lawyers' understanding of the practical operation of legal systems in different countries. This article examines a particular aspect of commercial law - the forms of security available in Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam where goods are supplied on credit terms - to show that the traditional classification of systems of law used by comparative lawyers does not take sufficient account of the political and cultural factors that influence the operation of these legal systems. Consequently, the traditional classification of systems of law does not provide a realistic picture of the legal environment for doing business in these countries. Ugo Mattei's classification of systems of law into professional, political and traditional systems provides a superior delineation of the 'law in action' and therefore provides better basic information on a country's business conditions.

(2001) 3(2) Asian Law 167

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