Comparative Law - LAWS5220

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Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Combined Autumn and Spring Terms 6 30 (15) Simone Glanert checkmark-circle


In the current context of globalization, postcolonialism and transnationalism, not to mention the Europeanization of laws, every law student in the UK will almost inevitably encounter foreign law in the course of his or her professional life. For one thing, the legislator shows itself more and more open to the influence of foreign legal ideas in the legislative process. Also, appellate judges increasingly refer to foreign law in the course of their opinions. Further, private parties often enter into legal arrangements, such as contracts or wills, presenting an international dimension. In sum, nowadays, foreign law is everywhere and cannot be circumvented.

This module intends to provide law students with the necessary intellectual equipment allowing them to approach any foreign law (not only European laws) in a meaningful way. In particular, the module will heighten students' sensitization to the specificity of foreign legal cultures and encourage them to reflect in depth upon the possibilities and limits of cross-border interaction in the law. Another feature of this module will be a critical introduction to hermeneutics, deconstruction and translation studies with specific reference being made to law as these lines of thought are most relevant for comparatists. Throughout the course, concrete examples will be developed from a range of different national laws.


Contact hours

• Total study hours: 300
• Contact hours: 30
• Private study hours: 270


All single and joint honours undergraduate law programmes

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods

The module will be assessed by 100% coursework as follows:

1. A short paper, 2000 words, 20% of the final mark.
2. A short paper, 2000 words, 20% of the final mark.
3. A short paper, 1000 words, 20% of the final mark.
4. An essay, 3000 words, 40% of the final mark.

Reassessment methods

The module will be reassessed by retrieval instrument (100% coursework). The reassessment will test all of the module learning outcomes.

Indicative reading

• Stephen Breyer, The Court and the World (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2015).
• Günter Frankenberg, Comparative Law as Critique (Cheltenham: E. Elgar, 2016).
• Simone Glanert (ed.), Comparative Law – Engaging Translation (London: Routledge, 2014).
• Patrick Glenn, Legal Traditions of the World, 5th ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014).
• Vicky C. Jackson, Constitutional Engagement in a Transnational Era (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010).
• George Ritzer and Paul Dean, Globalization: A Basic Text, 2nd ed. (Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell, 2015).
• Geoffrey Samuel, An Introduction to Comparative Law Theory and Method (Oxford: Hart, 2014).
• Mathias Siems, Comparative Law (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014).
• Konrad Zweigert and Hein Kötz, An Introduction to Comparative Law, transl. Tony Weir, 3rd ed. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998).

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the current theoretical debates within the field of comparative law;
2. Demonstrate a systematic ability to engage critically with the various, and at times conflicting, methods informing comparative law;
3. Demonstrate a detailed understanding of hermeneutics, deconstruction and translation studies as these movements pertain to the study of
comparative law;
4. Demonstrate critical sensitivity to the cultural embeddedness of legal comparisons;
5. Demonstrate a sound understanding of the conditions under which legal ideas travel between different legal cultures;
6. Systematically identify legal problems arising in various legal cultures which can be better understood and sometimes even resolved
through the recourse to law;
7. Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the economic, political and/or social implications arising from the application of various theories
informing law.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Undertake guided and independent research by taking into account a variety of sources of information;
2. read carefully and efficiently both legal and non-legal texts;
3. Demonstrate argumentation skills;
4. Engage critically with legal and non-legal sources in writings;
5. Present material with proper citations and use of references.


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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