Transnational Law as an Excuse: How Teaching Law Without the State Makes Legal Education Better
ESADE Business School; Ramon Llull University - Facultat de Dret d'Esade
October 4, 2010
Teaching Transnational Law, 2012
The purpose of this essay is to argue in favor of the idea that we should consider ‘transnational law’ as a legitimate part of legal education, including not only state but also non‐state forms of normativity. The paper is structured as follows. First, I suggest that in the face of the existing conceptual controversy around the concept of ‘transnational law’ we should adopt a pragmatic perspective, focusing on the uses we can make of the concept ‘transnational law’ for legal theory and, in particular, legal education. Then I consider the term ‘transnational law’ as an instance of legal pluralism, and I briefly review some legal phenomena of contemporary relevance that are non exclusively dependent on the state. Subsequently I analyze the traditional view of state-centered positivism, emphasizing the fact that it is unable to cope with legal pluralism. I compare the situation in legal studies with the broader field of social and political theory, showing how the dogma that lawyers hold so dear has been devastatingly criticized in other fields of knowledge. Finally I summarize the reasons why, in my view, the acceptance of ‘transnational law’ will improve legal education. These reasons have to do both with understanding the world and with making the world a better place.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 52
Keywords: transnational legal theory, legal education, legal pluralism, pragmatismAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: October 7, 2011 ; Last revised: September 17, 2012
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