Book Review: Ingvill Helland and Sören Koch, Eds., Nordic and Germanic Legal Methods

Nordicum-Mediterraneum 2016, Forthcoming

8 Pages Posted: 24 Feb 2016

Date Written: February 23, 2016


This book on Nordic and Germanic legal methods includes contributions from a number of German, Swiss, and Nordic legal scholars and is a welcome contribution both to the national and the international debate on legal reasoning. Clearly, we have reason to compare not only solutions to substantive legal problems, as comparative legal scholars usually do, but also the methods for the interpretation and application of the law used in different legal orders. Reading through these essays, then, the reader is likely to acquire some interesting information about the similarities and differences between the so-called legal methods used in the relevant legal orders and about the reasons why there are certain similarities and differences between those methods. What the reader will not get, however, is (i) a systematic discussion of whether there is anything specific enough to deserve the name of ‘legal method’ and, if so, what, exactly, this might be, or (ii) any general conclusions about the similarities and differences between the legal methods used in the various legal orders or about the reasons for the relevant similarities and differences. Moreover, the reader will not get (iii) a systematic discussion of the relation between the two aims of the collection, that is, (a) to describe and compare the legal methods in the different legal orders and (b) to explain any similarities and differences regarding the methods that may turn up in the comparison. For these reasons, although I do welcome the book, I am not entirely satisfied with it.

Keywords: Legal reasoning, the legal method, legal culture, comparative law

Suggested Citation

Spaak, Torben, Book Review: Ingvill Helland and Sören Koch, Eds., Nordic and Germanic Legal Methods (February 23, 2016). Nordicum-Mediterraneum 2016, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN:

Torben Spaak (Contact Author)

Stockholm University ( email )

S-106 91 Stockholm
46 8 16 45 89 (Phone)
46 8 612 41 09 (Fax)

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