Comparative Law - LW522

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
(version 2)
Autumn and Spring
View Timetable
6 30 (15) DR S Glanert


LW313/323 A Critical Introduction to Law and LW588/614 Public Law 1.


Not available to non-law students.



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.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

The module will be taught in a weekly lecture and fortnightly seminar format.

Method of assessment

100% coursework, consisting of 1 paper of 1000 words, 2 papers of no more than 2000 words and 1 essay consisting of no more than 3000 words.

Indicative reading

P Legrand and R Munday (eds) Comparative Legal Studies: Traditions and Transitions (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2003)
W Menski Comparative Law in a Global Context 2nd ed (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006)
M Reimann and R Zimmermann (eds) The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Law (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008)
K Zweigert and H Kötz An Introduction to Comparative Law, transl. Tony Wier, 3rd ed (Oxford: Oxford University Press,1998)
V C Jackson Constitutional Engagement in a Transnational Era (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010)
PG Monateri (ed) Methods of Comparative Law (Cheltenham: Elgar, 2012)
H P Glenn Legal Traditions of the World 5th ed (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2014)
M Siems, Comparative Law (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014)
G Samuel An Introduction to Comparative Law Theory and Method (Oxford: Hart, 2014)
S Glanert (ed), Comparative Law - Engaging Translation (London: Routledge, 2014)
S Breyer The Court and the World (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2015).

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

Students who successfully complete this module will be able to:
- Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the current theoretical debates within the field of comparative law;
- Demonstrate a systematic ability to engage critically with the various, and at times conflicting, methods informing comparative law;
- Demonstrate a detailed understanding of hermeneutics, deconstruction and translation studies as these movements pertain to the study of comparative law;
- Demonstrate critical sensitivity to the cultural embeddedness of legal comparisons;
- Demonstrate a sound understanding of the conditions under which legal ideas travel between different legal cultures.
- Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the economic, political and/or social implications arising from the application of various theories informing law.

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