Comparative Legal History: It is Time to Speak of an Autonomous Discipline?

 

By Agustín Parise

Comparative legal history can be deemed an autonomous discipline, even when legal history and comparative law are its two interrelated building blocks. Already in the nineteenth century, Édouard Lambert acted both as a legal historian and as a comparatist in France; while, in Spain, Rafael Altamira advocated for the teaching of foreign history and comparative legislation. In Italy, since the second half of the twentieth century, Rodolfo Sacco has averred that “the comparative perspective is historical par excellence.” These bi-dimensional studies no longer belong exclusively to the domain of comparative law or legal history. Researchers who follow the comparative legal historical path can claim independence from the two building blocks.

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Innovating Justice Challenge 2017

What is Justice Innovation?

In the way that justice is synonymous with fairness, justice can refer to a broad range of issues. Within this broad range of issues, the HiiL Justice Accelerator is focused on a particular aspect of justice: the legal element.

The HiiL Justice Accelerator is focused on finding and supporting innovations that create rights awareness, provide resolution of disputes and legal problems or improve efficiency and transparency in the existing legal system.

In general, justice innovations fall into three categories:

  1. Legal information, awareness and education: legal education & rights awareness, data and transparency;
  2. Access to justice, legal services and dispute resolution: legal services – ‘Lawyers 2.0’, dispute systems and procedures, human rights and protective measures;
  3. Inclusive justice policies: rule-making and governance, compliance and enforcement, advocacy and corruption fighting.

For more on what a justice innovation is, click here to see some examples.

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A Book on Legal Books at the Dawn of the Digital Age (and its Price)

 

By J. (Pim) Oosterhuis

Half a year ago, The Formation and Transmission of Western Legal Culture – 150 Books that Made the Law in the Age of Printing came out with Springer (http://www.springer.com/la/book/9783319455648), the fruit of an ambitious project on legal books in the age of printing. The appeal of the work is that it not only contains entries on 150 groundbreaking legal books, but also introductory essays placing developments in context. Three periods are distinguished, namely Law Books During the Transition from Late-Medieval to Early-Modern Legal Scholarship (chapter 2), Legal Books in the Early Modern Western World (chapter 3) and Law Books in the Modern Western World: Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries (chapter 4).

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The UK and European Private Law, what’s next?

In the past I have reported on this forum about a simulation that William Bull and I run with Maastricht European Law School Students called the Maastricht Project. In this project, which runs in our course on European Private Law (focusing on contract, property and a bit of tort), we divide students amongst Member State delegations, the European Commission, a presidency and a fictive institute of European Institutional Economics (with the specific aim to bring economic arguments forward). We then run a 7-week negotiation simulation with our students in which we simulate a Council of the EU working group. Students play the role of delegate members and debate a fictive proposal on EU private law, made by the European Commission delegation students. For this, students borrow from the CESL, DCFR and Digital Assets proposals of the European Commission.

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‘Flawed Strategies to Reducing Labor Exploitations’, 17 May 2017, PhD defense by Mark Kawakami

The main question that this thesis addressed was what private actors – from the companies to the consumers and even the laborers themselves – can do differently than what they are currently doing to further reduce instances of labor exploitation taking place in the global supply chain. To answer this question, this thesis first offered a descriptive overview of popular legal instruments and strategies that private actors are currently employing by relying on labor/employment law, tort law, company law, and contract law. This descriptive overview also addressed various semi- or non-legal instruments and initiatives with the intended aim of reducing labor exploitations as well such as corporate social responsibility initiatives and ethical consumerism campaigns.

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Is there such a thing as ‘European Private Law’?

 

By Professor Jaap C. Hage

Is there such a thing as ‘European private law’? In my opinion there is not, just as there is no Dutch, French, English, or Chinese private law. Let me explain. Legal rules, including rules of private law, have many characteristics. They have a content, a scope, many of them were created by some agent, and many of them are applied and enforced by law-enforcing agents, with a prominent role for the judiciary. None of these characteristics can be used to classify some legal rules as rules of European private law.

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