Comparative Law in a Nutshell
It is often said that the rule of law is above everything else. Essentially, the constitution and legal system governs every aspect of a nation’s way of life. However, no constitution is perfect, and different nations have different constitutions. Nevertheless, some constitutions excel where others fail.
Comparative law is the comparison of different aspects of different constitutions. It also involves the study of different legal systems that are firmly rooted in the world: civil law, common law, socialist law, Chinese law, Islamic law, Jewish law, Hindu law, and Canon law. Comparative law as a whole is also divided into several branches including comparative civil, constitutional, administrative, commercial, and criminal law.
The Purpose of Comparative Law
Comparative law has far-reaching goals considering its scope. However, all branches of the study share three main objectives.
To start with, comparative law seeks to attain a deeper understanding of each legal system and the entire global legal network as a whole. In an increasingly globalized world, this helps in understanding international relations socially, legally, and professionally. Comparative law is already useful in international legal institutions in this aspect. For instance, the UN utilizes comparative law to analyze the legal systems of different nations regarding their obligation to treaties. See this for added info.
Comparative law also seeks to perfect the individual legal systems. Since different legal systems have their strengths and weaknesses, comparative law seeks to identify the weaknesses and provide remedies for them from other legal systems. This is often the case for emerging democracies which draft their constitutions based on the world’s leading legal systems.
Finally, according to bepress.com, comparative law also works toward the unification of the world’s legal systems. This seems increasingly likely considering the global governing bodies such as the UN which are already in place. Currently initiatives started toward this end include the UNIDROIT initiative.
About Professor Sujit Choudhry
Professor Sujit Choudhry is one of the leading figures in comparative law. He conducts a wide-ranging research on comparative constitutional law. His research scopes constitutions of Jordan, South Africa, Libya, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Tunisia, and Ukraine, among others. He has written and edited many books and reports regarding his research including Constitution Design for Divided Societies: Integration or Accommodation?
Professor Sujit Choudhry is also the founding director of Center for Constitutional Transitions. The institution is designed to facilitate the knowledge of constitution building by leading researches that provide evidence-based policy options for practitioners. The institution is currently leading three global research projects under the leadership of Professor Choudhry. Click and read related articles here http://www.ifit-transitions.org/about/people/sujit-choudhry