After this course:
- the student has extensive knowledge of comparative theory and methodology.
- the student has acquired knowledge of the law of foreign jurisdictions.
- the student is able to use comparative theory and methodology to develop a critical approach towards his own legal system.
- the student is able to set up and assess a comparative legal study.
- the student is able to give an oral presentation on a research question in the area of comparative law.
- the student is able to further elaborate the research question in a clearly written paper.
For legal researchers, the comparative law method is an important research tool. This course deals with a number of aspects of this methodology, both theoretical and practical. In order to generate reliable research results based on comparative law, many questions rise. Which jurisdiction will I include in my research? Which sources must I consult? Within the jurisdiction researched what is the relationship between legal literature and case law, between federal law and the laws of the EU Member States? How do judiciary systems differ? Is there any relevant EU law or is the EU competent in the relevant field? How do I translate certain (legal) terms? These and many other questions will be dealt with during the course.|
In the methodological part of the course the focus is one issues directly related to the mehod of comparative law. Is there one method of comparative law or multiple methods? Does the method(s) depend upon the field of law being researched? What belongs to the core of comparative methodology?
In addition, students will present the chosen research question of the students. The research question must be related to comparative law and will be presented. Both students and the lecturer will give feedback on the presentation and its contents. A third part will deal with a variety of comparative law issues; knowledge of particular jurisdictions, for example, Chinese law, fields of law, for example, comparative criminal law or specific research fields. Guest lecturers will be invited to provide specialized knowledge.
The course will have a seminar character: active participation is required. Obligatory literature and assignments will be stated on Blackboard. Students will choose to research a specific research question and write a (preferably publishable) paper that must be submitted by the end of the course. Students have a wide degree of choice for this paper. The paper may be on an issue of methodology, for example, containing an analysis of the justifications made in recent PhD’s or concern the use of questionnaires in comparative legal studies or contain a comparative analysis of a particular problem or aspect of the law of at least two jurisdictions. Assessment will be on the assignment (20%), the presentation (20%) and the paper (60%).
Place of the course within the curriculum:
- Compulsory course in the master Legal Research