The Beginnings of the Common Core Method in Comparative Law

As I mentioned in my previous post, the Common Core Project is based on a method that was developed and first implemented in the 1960s by Rudolf Schlesinger. In 1957, Schlesinger published an article Research on the General Principles of Law Recognized by Civilized Nations in which he first presented his idea of finding out the common core of the legal systems of the world. He argued that the term general principles of law recognized by civilized nations (general principles) was relevant in many aspects of law ranging from international statutes (e.g. the statute of the International Court of Justice refers to the general principles) to court decisions (e.g. when it comes to the public policy doctrine). It was therefore important to find commonalities among the legal systems – a common core. Continue reading

Viewing Comparative Law from Another Angle: The Common Core Project

While quantitative comparative law mainly focuses on differences (i.e. the common law – civil law divide), another way to look at things is to pay attention to the similarities among legal systems. Hence, the Common Core of European Private Law (Common Core Project) maps legal systems based on hidden analogies. The Common Core Project is an ongoing research project initiated in the 1990s by Ugo Mattei and Mauro Bussani. It is largely influenced by the Cornell Project previously conducted by Rudolf Schlesinger in the 1960s from which it draws its methodology. However, the scope of the Common Core project is much smaller different than that of its role model. Continue reading