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Awareness of the need to deepen the method and methodology of legal research is only recent. The same is true for comparative law, by nature a more adventurous branch of legal research, which is often something researchers simply do, whenever they look at foreign legal systems to answer one or more of a range of questions about law, whether these questions are doctrinal, economic, sociological, etc. Given the diversity of comparative research projects, the precise contours of the methods employed, or the epistemological issues raised by them, are to a great extent a function of the nature of the research questions asked. As a result, the search for a unique, one-size-fits-all comparative law methodology is unlikely to be fruitful. That however does not make reflection on the method and culture of comparative law meaningless. Mark Van Hoecke has, throughout his career, been interested in many topics, but legal theory, comparative law and methodology of law stand out. Building upon his work, this book brings together a group of leading authors working at the crossroads of these themes: the method and culture of comparative law. With contributions by: Maurice Adams, John Bell, Joxerramon Bengoetxea, Roger Brownsword, Seán Patrick Donlan, Rob van Gestel and Hans Micklitz, Patrick Glenn, Jaap Hage, Dirk Heirbaut, Jaakko Husa, Souichirou Kozuka and Luke Nottage, Martin Löhnig, Susan Millns, Toon Moonen, Francois Ost, Heikki Pihlajamäki, Geoffrey Samuel, Mathias Siems, Jørn Øyrehagen Sunde, Catherine Valcke and Matthew Grellette, Alain Wijffels.
Comparative Law offers a thorough grounding in the subject for students and scholars of comparative law alike, critically debating both traditional and modern approaches to the subject and using examples from a range of legal systems gives the reader a truly global perspective. Covering essential academic debates and comparative law methodology, its contextualised approach draws on examples from politics, economics and development studies to provide an original contribution to topics of comparative law. This new edition: is fully revised and updated throughout to reflect contemporary research, contains more examples from many areas of law and there is also an increased discussion of the relevance of regional, international, transnational and global laws for comparative law. Suitable for students taking courses in comparative law and related fields, this book offers a fresh contextualised and cosmopolitan perspective on the subject.
The complex legal situations arising from the coexistence of international law, state law, and social and religious norms in different parts of the world often include scenarios of conflict between them. These conflicting norms issued from different categories of ‘laws’ result in difficulties in describing, identifying and analysing human rights in plural environments. This volume studies how normative conflicts unfold when trapped in the aspirations of human rights and their local realizations. It reflects on how such tensions can be eased, while observing how and why they occur. The authors examine how obedience or resistance to the official law is generated through the interaction of a multiplicity of conflicting norms, interpretations and practices. Emphasis is placed on the actors involved in raising or decreasing the tension surrounding the conflict and the implications that the conflict carries, whether resolved or not, in conditions of asymmetric power movements. It is argued that legal responsiveness to state law depends on how people with different identities deal with it, narrate it and build expectations from it, bearing in mind that normative pluralism may also operate as an instrument towards the exclusion of certain communities from the public sphere. The chapters look particularly to expose the dialogue between parallel normative spheres in order for law to become more effective, while investigating the types of socio-legal variables that affect the functioning of law, leading to conflicts between rights, values and entire cultural frames.
This volume contains articles on three areas of family law that, at the dawn of the 21st century, have provoked passionate discussion. The topics of concern include: (compulsory) arrangements regarding children, registration schemes for same-sex couples (new jurisdictions), and the effectiveness of the pater est rule. The book's contributions are preceded by two introductory articles. The historical introduction addresses the 'cultural constraints argument' which, according to a few legal scholars, prevents both spontaneous and deliberate harmonization of family law. Is family law indeed embedded in unique national (legal) culture? What lessons can be learned from the past? The methodological introduction proffers some general ideas as to how comparative family law is perceived and what it should entail whereby a comparison is made between more recent developments in Europe and the United States.

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