26 March 2010

I am most grateful to Professor Seán Donlan (a friend of mine for quite near a decade now) for inviting me to participate in this worthwhile project. I was informed that I am permitted to post both briefly and infrequently – a representation upon which I will certainly need to rely in the coming months.

I would like to use my time as guest blogger to explore the ways in which comparative law interacts with other disciplines and practices. While I very much enjoy exploring the purely academic aspects of comparative law – and hope to do so in this forum over the coming months – I maintain that comparative law also has application to the practice of law. And as I have a strong interest in national security, counterinsurgency, and state-building, it can be expected that I will tend to lean toward those subjects (and their comparative aspects) in my future posts. All of that said, I am also interested in other disciplines in which comparative law can come to bear and will eagerly welcome discussion in that regard.

A quote of which I am quite fond is found in that essential text by Zweigert & Kotz, An Introduction to Comparative Law (Oxford University Press, 1977). The authors therein note, “Comparative law is an ‘ecole de vérité’ which extends and enriches the supply of solutions and offers the scholar of critical capacity the opportunity of finding the ‘better solution’ for his time and place.” In that regard, I concur and strongly feel that the field of comparative law allows practitioners, legislators, and policy-makers to explore a wide “supply of solutions” to many of the pressing issues with which we are currently confronted. (This should not be confused with global legalism which is a separate – but somewhat related – idea.)

In any event, I look forward to exploring those issues and that vast supply of solutions in the coming months. I am certain this will be an exciting and enriching endeavor.


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