Introduction: The Possibilities of Comparative Law Methods for Research on the Rule of Law in a Global Context
3 Pages Posted: 2 Nov 2009
Date Written: November 2, 2009
Since its rise at the beginning of the twentieth century, comparative legal research has gained an influential place in legal research concerning national legal systems. Comparative legal methodology is used to acquire insight into foreign legal systems, to find solutions for problems of a specific legal system, or to promote the unification of law between national legal systems. Its methods consist of a comparison of different legal systems or legal traditions (external comparison), or of fields of law within national legal systems (internal comparison). With the proliferation of regulatory regimes at the international level (e.g. in the context of the United Nations or the WTO), comparative legal research has expanded its focus to include international law. Consensus, however, has not been reached on the most suitable way of applying comparative law methods to the global context. Can the concepts and methods developed to conduct comparative legal research of national legal systems be transposed to study the international legal system? In this issue of Erasmus Law Review, a number of scholars with different legal backgrounds reflect on these questions.
Keywords: comparative law methodology, global context, international rule of law
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