After reading Seán’s post (5 November) on William Twining’s recent book, I keep thinking about the former’s last few lines noting a few authors (de Sousa Santos, Glenn, Menski, Örücü, and Twining) that are, in his opinion, must-read authors for comparative lawyers.
Obviously others may have different lists. Just as obviously, if the comparative community conducted a survey, some authors or books would appear in many or most individual lists. Seán’s list might well have included, in my opinion, Raoul C van Caenegem and Rodolfo Sacco.
Another book that I’d include is the Portuguese legal philosopher Paulo Ferreira da Cunha’s Natureza & Arte do Direito (the nature and the art of law), published in Coimbra in 1999 by Almedina publishing house. I found the work profound and enlightening. While certainly not a mainstream book among comparatists—it’s not even a comparative law book in the strict sense—it is still very exciting food for thought for anyone speculating about the law as a social phenomenon. Cunha explores the artistic or aesthetic dimension of law. In so doing, he takes a position different, indeed the very opposite, from the usual Western modern stance, where the law is seen as a mostly technical or even ‘scientific’ human product. In contrasting art with technique, theory with aesthetic perception, reason with instinct, he sheds light on a substantial element of the law that is too often forgotten by western lawyers.
Which legal books would you take with you on a remote island – in addition of course to more mundane sports, music, and/or other more or less frivolous reading material?
Which author or authors woul you invite for dinner?
Past or present, canonical or niche figures, it’ll be interesting to discover which authors and books are part of the current (or common) core of comparative knowledge.
The floor is open …