Prospects of Legal Scholarship: a symposium

this is Structural changes in the law present challenges to current legal research and the study of law in Germany – amongst them Europeanization, internationalization and transnationalization of the legal system. Thus, Germany ought to rethink the way in which it teaches law, how and under which conditions legal scholarship takes place in Germany, and […]

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“Law as the Study of Norms” – Foundational Subjects and Interdisciplinarity in Germany and the United States

The German Council of Science and Humanities’ report on “Prospects of Legal Scholarship in Germany. Current Situation, Analyses, Recommendations” has sparked a lively debate amongst legal scholars in Germany on how to adapt legal education and legal scholarship to the challenges of increasing internationalization of the law. The first contribution to our symposium on Prospects of […]

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Will Germany always really best the US (and the world) in doctrinal legal scholarship?

Germany’s Science Council (Wissenschaftsrat) has issued a report on the state of legal scholarship in the country. At first glance it is fairly interesting as an overview of the strengths and weaknesses of the discipline. The report has attracted, however, a rather unusual response at Verfassungsblog from a professor at Duke, Ralf Michaels, who seems to hold to theories of cultural determinism in legal education. According to Michaels, "German doctrinal scholarship will always be superior to that of other countries,.."

Always? I am not sure what to make of this.Germany’s Science Council (Wissenschaftsrat) has issued a report on the state of legal scholarship in the country. At first glance it is fairly interesting as an overview of the strengths and weaknesses of the discipline. The report has attracted, however, a rather unusual response at Verfassungsblog from a professor at Duke, Ralf Michaels, who seems to hold to theories of cultural determinism in legal education. According to Michaels, "German doctrinal scholarship will always be superior to that of other countries,.."

Always? I am not sure what to make of this.

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A Comment on the Use of Foreign Professors in the German Council of Science and Humanities Report

The main issue I wish to focus on in this Comment relates to the German Council of Science and Humanities’ recommendation that German law schools should aim to encourage more involvement of foreign professors in teaching at German law schools, as part of a sustained attempt to stimulate more engagement with comparative, international and transnational legal developments. […]

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Culture, Institutions, and Comparison of Legal Education and Scholarship—A Response to Rob Howse

In a post on verfassungsblog.de I compare two reports on legal education and scholarship: one concerning Germany from the German Council on Science and Humanities (Wissenschaftsrat), the other concering the United States from a task force of the American Bar Association. I find the Wissenschaftsrat’s decision to maintain an emphasis on doctrinal reasoning, while promoting […]

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Beyond curricular design: why internationalisation matters in legal education

A few years ago, a New York Times editorial declared: “American legal education is in crisis”! It sounds dramatic and exceptional, but actually quite often, and almost everywhere, there is a feeling that legal education is not going well. When I was a law student at the University of São Paulo, in the early 1990s, […]

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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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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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