This course is designed to give the students general understanding of
the specificities and of the interactions of Legal Systems today. In an
age of globalization, the comparative study of different legal orders
and institutions presents a strong practical motivation: it intends to
give a 21st century lawyer the legal background and reasoning skills to
approach law at a global level. The legal practice of international
business, international arbitration, international organizations or any
domestic litigation involving foreign interests illustrate the need to
consider the different approaches of the law in the world today.
course will focus on the identity and changes of the major Legal
Systems and Traditions in Civil Law and Common Law countries as well as
in other contemporary legal societies. Several points of comparative
discussion will be privileged: sources of law and codification,
organization of courts and judicial processes, legal education and the
legal profession, the role of law in society or the protection of
fundamental rights… The adaptation to social or technological change
will also be discussed.
Furthermore, the analysis of the effects
of globalization and harmonization trends may be related to the
development of “mixed legal systems” (the experiences of India and South
Africa will be underlined). Such considerations finally raise the
issues of legal transplants, intercultural understanding or the
importance of transnational evolutions, in order to better identify
modern legal challenges.
Methodology: Lectures and Seminar
discussions, analysis of selected texts or cases in class. No background
required in Comparative Law or Legal Sociology: that background will be
provided in class through selected handouts.