Comparative law is a field of law that concerns itself with understanding the relationship between different legal systems. The aim of comparing different legal systems in comparative law is usually to analyze the results of such a comparison. As a result, experts are able to gain a better understanding of foreign systems of law.
Significance of Comparative Law
In the age of globalization and the complex intertwinement of international private and public law, it plays a crucial role in the harmonization of laws at the international level. It is also important in the ongoing attempts at unification of different legal systems, thus leading to more cooperation at the international level.
In this era, it has become more commonplace for legislators to seek inspiration from foreign laws when drafting legislation. Besides that, comparing laws has grown in significance in the recent past in the courts as well. More judges now draw inspiration from international law when making rulings than in the past.
The history of Comparative Law
The term comparative law was first used in the 19th century when it became obvious that there needed to be a systematic approach when comparing different legal systems. Before the 19th century, it was considered unthinkable that justice could be taught through reference to other rules, which were considered inferior.
It was during the 19th century that the First International Congress of Comparative Law was held in Paris. Papers were delivered and discussions were held on the aims, nature, and the interest of comparative law. After the First World War, the push towards codification of international law was dropped. Interests expanded to the common law countries of the US and England and further on to the newly independent nations of Asia and Africa.
About Sujit Choudhry
Sujit Choudhry founded the Center for Constitutional Transitions, of which he is also the Faculty Director. It is the first university-based center in the world that concentrates on the creation and dissemination of information necessary for constitutional building. He is internationally recognized as an expert on comparative constitutional law. Related article on law.nyu.edu.
Sujit addresses basic issues related to comparative constitutional law. Mr. Sujit Choudhry has also written extensively on the use of constitutional design for countries transitioning to peaceful democracies from violent conflict. He has published over seventy articles, working papers, reports, and book chapters. He has also worked as a consultant for the World Bank Institute. Read his tweets, follow him on his twitter.com page.
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