South and Central America: Overview
SOUTH AND CENTRAL AMERICA. [This entry contains six subentries, an overview of South and Central American law and discussion of pre-colonial laws, Spanish colonial law, Portuguese colonial law, other colonial laws, and legal pluralism.] Overview: Apart from a few significant civilizations, little is known .. about the legal systems of indigenous peoples of the region before European contact. Where indigenous legal customs are present today, some extrapolation can be made to precolonial practices. Colonial legal systems mostly obscured prior customary law, although some indigenous law has continued to operate alongside colonial law, particularly in communities ,where colonial powers permitted local autonomy.
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Law | Legal History
M.C. Mirow, South and Central America: Overview, in 5 THE OXFORD INTERNATIONAL ENCYCLOPEDIA OF LEGAL HISTORY, (Stanley N. Katz ed. 2009).