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Throughout the Commentaries, Blackstone repeatedly availed himself of comparative legal history. Comparison allowed him to detect the invariable principles of legal experience and organise his systematic exposition of English law around them. This method proved crucial in Blackstone’s treatment of custom, as it allowed him to present the chief source of English common law by addressing the main questions concerning the nature of custom that had been raised earlier by Western jurisprudence. The paper will explore the depth of Blackstone’s engagement with such traditions. In doing so, it will investigate whether custom was understood differently on the two sides of the Channel.
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