Education Panel 2: Comparative Law in Subject- and Country-Specific Contexts


The session addressed the proliferation of comparative subject-specific courses (such as comparative constitutional law), as well as the proliferation of foreign law courses (e.g., China law), which are not strictly comparative, but which may achieve some of the objectives of a comparative law course. In many schools, these courses form the bulk, or even the entire, comparative law curriculum. What are the promises and perils of this expansion and fragmentation of the comparative law curriculum? Can subject and nation-specific courses effectively expose students to foundational concepts in comparative law so as to serve as a substitute for a core course? If an important utility of comparative law is to better understand specific areas of law, should comparative law become a pervasive feature of the law school curriculum by introducing comparative law materials into traditional courses (such as constitutional, criminal and corporate law), rather than as separate comparative law electives?