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The Law Was Never Our Own: The Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship, the German Law Journal, and the Meaning of Comparative Law

BUILDING A NEW TRANSATLANTIC GENERATION - ESSAYS BY BOSCH ALUMNI, p. 144, R. Stefan Szwed, ed., 2004

Washington & Lee Legal Studies Paper No. 2012-3

10 Pages Posted: 2 Feb 2012  

Russell Miller

Washington and Lee University - School of Law

Peer C. Zumbansen

King’s College London, Dickson Poon Transnational Law Institute

Date Written: 2004

Abstract

For twenty years the Robert Bosch Foundation’s Fellowship has been contributing to the comparativist movement in the most poignant of ways: it has invited scores of American lawyers to work alongside their German colleagues, giving both invaluable opportunity to think about and learn from one another. These American lawyers have been given the most privileged, first-hand views on the practice of law, the legislative process, and the function of the judiciary in Germany.

The Robert Bosch Foundation’s Fellowship has implicitly posited a dramatically new comparativist vision. While not abandoning the traditional justification for comparative legal analysis, the Fellowship at the same time serves as an internationalist, non-state-centered comparative juristic enterprise. The Fellows’ experience with the life of German law necessarily contains a challenge to the national character of German law. The Fellows are urged to make a distinct but not insignificant proprietary claim on German law. They ‘have’ German law in a way that invites us to imagine the ‘denationalization’ of the law and concomitantly the erosion of the nation-state’s privileged responsibility for and authority over the law. This perspective is particularly challenging so long as the law’s main frame of reference continues to be circumscribed and identifiable nation-states and so long as the promulgation and maintenance of a domestic legal order is understood as an (if not the) essential expression of statehood.

Keywords: comparative law, international law, transnational law

JEL Classification: K10, K33

Suggested Citation

Miller, Russell and Zumbansen, Peer C., The Law Was Never Our Own: The Robert Bosch Foundation Fellowship, the German Law Journal, and the Meaning of Comparative Law (2004). BUILDING A NEW TRANSATLANTIC GENERATION - ESSAYS BY BOSCH ALUMNI, p. 144, R. Stefan Szwed, ed., 2004; Washington & Lee Legal Studies Paper No. 2012-3. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1996780

Russell Miller (Contact Author)

Washington and Lee University - School of Law ( email )

Lexington, VA 24450
United States

Peer C. Zumbansen

King’s College London, Dickson Poon Transnational Law Institute ( email )

Somerset House East Wing
Strand
London, WC2R 2LS
United Kingdom

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