Saturday, 1 December 2007

What is Comparative Law?

I hope to begin to find answers next Thursday 6 December when Esin Örücü and David Nelken will be launching their new book,

Comparative Law at a Crossroads: A Handbook

at the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, 17 Russell Square, London WC1B 5DR between 1730 to 1930.

There will be two responses to the editors from Prof Gordon Woodman of Birmingham University and Prof John Flood of the University of Westminster. A drinks reception follows afterwards.

Sometimes when reading about comparative law it seems more like the Invasion of the Body Snatchers than a discipline. (That's the sort of statement that would have a Foucauldian scurrying for cover.) Comparative law uses a language that speaks of families, bodies of law, legal transplants and legal irritants. It's as though Baron Frankenstein has announced to the world that he has created a new legal system, cobbled together from various bits lying around. It is a peculiar, recondite field. With luck, we shall have a clearer view.

The book covers the field from theory to specific aspects such as family law, criminal justice and finance. The chapters are written by a great array of authors including
Masha Antokolskaia, John Bell, Roger Cotterell, Sjef van Erp, Nicholas Foster, Patrick Glenn, Andrew Harding, Peter Leyland, Christopher McCrudden, Werner Menski, David Nelken, Anthony Ogus, Esin Örücü, Paul Roberts, Jan Smits and William Twining. It will probably be the definitive text for some time.

More in this symposium can be found here.

1 comment:

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