Enhancing the Cosmopolitan Element in the Law Curriculum: The Lessons of Comparative Law
DA Frenkel (ed), Legal Theory, Practice and Education 39-52, 2011
14 Pages Posted: 24 Jan 2016 Last revised: 1 Feb 2016
Date Written: 2011
This paper will seek to underline the fact that the subject of comparative law provides the basis for a cosmopolitan legal education. One wishes to stress also the paramount importance of the subject of comparative law in the discipline of law. This occurs through a number of different ways e.g. the subject provides the ideological background for world class legal education. Then the subject provides students with intellectual panoply for appreciating the subject of law as a whole. We will also be reminded that one appreciates – through the subject – his/her own legal system and, additionally, the legal systems of others. The 1900 thesis of Lambert and Saleilles is still most relevant in our days (a mere look at the existence, the proliferation and the strengthening of such international organisations as the EU, the WTO, the IMF and the World Bank should suffice for the proof of such point). In other words, the call for a more internationalised approach in law is still to be pursued. Certainly, as Merryman suggested some years ago, comparative law is that subject which seeks to make lawyers more cosmopolitan creatures. In turn the paper will revolve around the law convergence thesis and it will ask why such a thesis presents a powerful call for students to think of the subject of law as an internationalised one. Finally, the paper will conclude that the subject of comparative law acts as the driving force for a more internationalised legal education and that such a type of education is something that has to be sought in the modern academic world.
Keywords: comparative law, cosmopolitanism, legal education, epistemology, law convergence
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