A Double Plea for International Opening and More Strongly Interlinked Multidisciplinarity

The German Council of Sciences and Humanities calls for an international opening and a legal science that is more strongly linked to its neighbouring disciplines. Both requests merit support – if they are considered as part of a development of the existing legal education, rather than a revolutionary request that overturns the current system in […]

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A Commentary on Commentaries: The Wissenschaftsrat on Legal Commentaries and Beyond

‘In the beginning was the word, the commentary followed swiftly…’ This wisecrack applies to many academic disciplines and it certainly applies to German legal academia. There are great many commentaries. As the Wissenschaftsrat very closely observed the practices of German legal academia, it also inquired into the genre of commentaries. What was there to say?

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Ein doppeltes Plädoyer für internationale Öffnung und stärker vernetzte Interdisziplinarität

Der Wissenschaftsrat ruft in seinem Gutachten zu den “Perspektiven der Rechtswissenschaft in Deutschland” dazu auf, die Rechtswissenschaft sowohl international als auch mit Blick auf die Nachbarwissenschaften zu öffnen. Beide Forderungen verdienen dann Unterstützung, wenn sie als Weiterentwicklung, nicht als revolutionäre Forderung zum Umsturz des bestehenden Systems verstanden werden.

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Poor Prospects for Internationalization: Germans and Americans in Law Faculties Jenseits des Atlantiks

Introduction For all the noise it makes about internationalizing German legal scholarship, the Council’s Report only makes a feeble pass at the deeply parochial culture that dominates the German legal academy. One of the gravest consequences of that parochialism is the exclusion of foreign legal scholars from Germany’s law faculties. This, in turn, undermines other […]

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Wissenschaftsrat in Wonderland

Had the German Wissenschaftsrat hired an advertising agency to extol the virtues and challenges of German legal education at the dawn of the 21st century, the publicist could hardly have done a more positive job than the Wissenschaftsrat itself. Its report signals that all is remarkably well with the state of legal education and research […]

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Expanding the Legal Curriculum: Rethinking the Teaching of Law

What is striking to an outsider about the focus of German legal scholarship is the extent to which it centres on a canonical and dogmatic approach to the interpretation of law. This emerges very clearly from the report prepared by the German Council of Science and Humanities and translated under the auspices of the programme […]

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Courage to be wrong, or education to get it right? A response to Michaela Hailbronner

Michaela Hailbronner makes important arguments in her informed and carefully balanced post. I agree with much of what she says. I just think the main problem of interdisciplinarity in Germany is not lack of courage. It is lack of expertise. Much of her analysis strikes me as sound. I would agree that many US law […]

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On the courage to be wrong

The debate on the Wissenschaftsrat-Report has quickly turned into one about the comparative advantages of German doctrinal vs. US interdisciplinary legal scholarship and education. This is not surprising because much of the Report reads like a recommendation to go further down the American path, while at the same time still taking doctrine seriously – very […]

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