From General Legal History Towards Comparative Legal Traditions

Annals of the Faculty of Law In Belgrade - Belgrade Law Review, Vol. 58, No. 3, pp. 20-39, 2010

14 Pages Posted: 18 Jun 2010 Last revised: 6 Jul 2011

Sima Avramovic

University of Belgrade Faculty of Law

Date Written: June 18, 2010

Abstract

The so called Bologna process has incited a kind of “cultural revolution” in law schools’ curricula all over Europe. Teaching of legal history is reduced into fewer courses, emphasizing professional and applied learning outcomes over the traditional liberal arts-centered model of legal education. The author argues that seemingly “impractical” topics like legal history actually strengthen the applied portion of the curriculum, if it is taught in a more modern way.

It encompasses a partial shift from history (implying the processes have been completed) to tradition (pointing to living traces of previous legal development, Glenn’s “the presence of the past”). The new approach favors understanding of law in the context of legal transplants, diffusion and harmonization of law, of the interaction and internal dynamics of legal systems, etc.

The change in teaching method has shifted from formal lectures to interactive learning through Clinical Legal History or Legal Clinic in History. Students are engaged by playing roles in historical court cases from ancient Athens, Rome or other historical legal systems, developing legal reasoning and imagination, legal terminology, rhetorical skills, argumentation, face contemporary legal problems. Broad understanding of legal traditions may build a prospective barrier against the hurricane of positivist and pragmatic challenges that threaten to turn lawyers into mere technical specialists.

Keywords: Bologna Process, Comparative Law, Legal Transplants, Diffusion of Law, Legal Education, Legal Clinic in History

Suggested Citation

Avramovic, Sima, From General Legal History Towards Comparative Legal Traditions (June 18, 2010). Annals of the Faculty of Law In Belgrade - Belgrade Law Review, Vol. 58, No. 3, pp. 20-39, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1626756

Sima Avramovic (Contact Author)

University of Belgrade Faculty of Law ( email )

Bulevar Kralja Aleksandra 67
11000 Belgrade, 11000
Republic of Serbia

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