The paper aims at characterising the main issues related to the genesis of agricultural law as a legislative branch and present experiences of several European states (France, Italy, Spain and Germany) in that area. Against that background the origins and development of Polish agricultural law is shown. The author formulates three basic conclusions: Firstly, the genesis of agricultural law is linked to the growing number of agricultural law regulations present in civil law (eg. in France or Spain) and administrative law (eg. in Germany and Poland) since it was only when the combined approach of civil and administrative regulations had been put together that they led to a situation in which agricultural law could evolve as a separate branch independent of civil law on the one hand, and freed from the restraints of administrative law, on the other. Secondly, the genesis of agricultural law is more related to the changes in civil law, i.e. to the so-called transition from common civil law to detailed regulations in the standardising of agricultural matters. The latter were implemented under the influence of the individualism of civil codes of the 19th century. The new regulation expressed a novel attitude to land as well as a special treatment of land, emphasising that it should not only be perceived as owned property, but also as a production good, the service of which is used in and agricultural activity. Thirdly, the genesis of agricultural law is connected with the seeking of a certain balance between what is economic, and what is social. As a result of that, agricultural law regulations have been, to a large extent, protective towards those who cultivated the land.
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