Intro to Int'l Comparative Law

SLN #: 21625
Course Prefix: LAW-691
Course Section: A01
Credit Hours: 1
Instructor(s): Chamboredon

Course Description:
Dr Anthony Chamboredon
Senior lecturer at Paris Descartes University
Faculty coordinator for European and International affairs
Director of the Master Degree « Common law and Comparative law
President of the Franco-Chinese Association for Legal studies and Researches
Member of the « Maurice Hauriou Research Center
Member of the « Société de législation comparée Senior Lecturer at Science Po Paris

The class will meet January 3 - 6th from 9:00 am - 12:15pm. A two hour written exam will be administered at 9:00 am on Saturday, January 7th

Legal cultures and globalisation Classically, an introduction to “comparative law” is aimed at describing various legal systems of the world. Such a project may seem rather utopian, and this is the reason why “comparatists” have never received much contemplation from their colleagues. Very often the comparatist stereotype is that of a “library rat”, lost in conceptual considerations which don’t really matter to most people, either because they are unrealistic and not taken seriously, or because his hypotheses are so specific that they are unverifiable or so “general” that they have no practical value. Despite a renewed interest in comparative law studies, the endoxa of lawyers remains sceptical and has little consideration for comparative law as a legal discipline. Actually, comparative methodology is belittled by asserting that “we always compare things, civil law, contractual law, acquisitive prescriptions; all these legal institutions or techniques do exist, but there is no comparative law as such.” Despite comparatitist’ efforts to turn ‘comparative law’ into an autonomous scientific discipline, the current dominant viewpoint is that it is only a methodology applied to law, nothing more; however, this is already not in all bad!

Our introduction might appear more realistic if we do limit our aim to the definition of comparative methodology itself applied to law. Right away, we discover all the interest and specificity of this methodology, and its great relevance in our increasingly “mediatised” world of globalisation. Such an interest is not limited to an acquisition of knowledge regarding other legal cultures, it also concerns their recognition, the recognition of their differences, of their diversity; which itself invites us to be aware of the diversity within our own legal culture, our own legal identity.

Thus, comparative methodology applied to law helps us to reflect upon dialectic links between two phenomena, which may initially seem mutually excluding each other: the diversity of legal cultures and the law globalisation. In a problematic way, should we consider the present process of globalisation simply as a global trend towards uniformity that inevitability should entail an acculturation of local legal identities? - While observing phenomena of circulation and reception of legal models throughout the world, comparatists may offer an heuristic clarification regarding this debate between the preservation of legal identities and globalisation, between legal diversity and legal identity, the local law and the global law.

In order to offer some elements of analysis, our introductory seminars are divided into five progressive steps, each one of which represents a contributory element of the comparative methodology applied to law and participate to the debate on legal cultures and globalization:

I – Meanings of Comparison in law
II – Functions of Comparison in law
III – Methods of comparison in law
IV – Fates of Comparison in law
V – Applications of Comparison in law

Day I - Meanings
Reading Assignments:
- Kahn-Freund, Otto, "Comparative Law as an Academic Subject" (1966) 82 LQR 40
To go further:
- Zweigert, Konrad and Hein Kötz (Tony Weir, trans.) Introduction to Comparative Law. Oxford, UK: Clarendon Press, 3rd ed., 1998.
- Schlesinger, R. Comparative law, Mineola, N.Y. : Foundation Press, 1998

Day II - Functions
Reading Assignments:
- Kahn-Freund, Otto,"On Uses and Misuses of Comparative Law", (1974) 37 MLR 1
- "The Aims of Comparative Law" de H. Patrick Glenn in J. Smits, ed., Elgar Encyclopedia of Comparative Law. Edward Elgar, 2006
To go further:
- Farber, D.A.,"The Hermeneutic Tourist : Statutory Interpretation in Comparative Perspective", (1996) 81 Cornell Law Review 513
- Atiyah, P.S., and R.S. Summers. Form and Substance in Anglo-American Law: a comparative study of legal reasoning, legal theory and legal institutions. (Oxford: Clarendon, 1987)

Day III - Methods
Reading Assignments:
- Reitz, John. "How to Do Comparative Law." (1998) 46 American Journal of Comparative Law (4) 617
- Orucu, E., 2007, "'Methodological Aspects Of Comparative Law'", European Journal of Law Reform, vol. 8, no. 1, pp. 29-42.
To go further:
- Orucu, E., 2009, Comparative Law, The Oxford International Encyclopedia of Legal history, Katz, Stanley N, New York.

Day IV - Fates
Reading Assignment:
- Walther Hug, The History of Comparative Law, Harvard Law Review, Vol. 45, No. 6 (Apr., 1932), pp. 1027-1070
To go further:
-.Fletcher, George. "Comparative Law as a Subversive Discipline." (1998) 46 American Journal of Comparative Law (4) 683.

Day V – Applications
Reading Assignment:
- Lasser, Mitchel. "Judicial (Self-) Portraits: Judicial Discourse in the French Legal System." (1995) 104 Yale Law Journal 1325
- Legrand, P. "European Legal Systems are not Converging" 45 (1996) ICLQ 52
To go further:
- Sacco, R. "Legal Formants: a Dynamic Approach to Comparative Law (part 1)." (1991) 39 American Journal of Comparative Law 1
- Glenn, H. Patrick. Legal Traditions of the World: Sustainable Diversity in Law. New York: Oxford University Press, 2nd ed., 2004.

Additional Information:
Credit Hours: 1
Grading Option: Letter Grade Only
Graduation Writing Requirement: No
Flexible Writing Requirement: No
Skills Requirement: No
Final Exam Given: Yes
Final Exam Type: In-Class
Attendance Policy: Per Statement of Student Policies
Online Course Site: None