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 Viewing Comparative Law from Another Angle: The Common Core Project

Comparative Law Methodology – A Work-In-Progress?

As I am slowly but steadily getting reacquainted with comparative law and it’s methodology, I start to realize what an area of great divergence it is. (Something I was not aware of while being more deeply immersed in it before I took my break from law.) In fact, there are quite a few seemingly contrary methodological approaches: functionalism, contextualism, common core, legal origins … you name it! I can see that to an outsider/beginner this lack of a uniform methodology can be very discouraging. So no wonder that comparative law as an academic discipline is usually just an affair among an eclectic group of insiders. Unfortunately, I dare say, as it could have great implications for legislature, harmonization of laws and, not to forget, understanding one’s own legal system. So CompareLex is my humble attempt to conceptualize comparative law and its methodology in order to make it accessible to a broader audience.

In the next few days, I will first give a rather coarse presentation of three basic methods of comparison before presenting some tools for the comparative task. After this introductory phase, I will try to get more to the core of modern comparative law and its challenges.