The Method and Role of Comparative Law


Part II will lay out the methodology of comparative law. My proposal for comparative methodology consists of these steps: Step 1 calls for acquiring the skills of a comparativist. These skills require immersion in the culture under review, linguistic knowledge, and the application of neutral, objective evaluative skills. Step 2 requires the application of these comparative skills to evaluate the external law, which consists of the law as written or stated. Here we must do a close assessment of the similarities and differences of the laws of different countries under review. Step 3 involves applying that same methodology to the internal law, a level of law that lies beneath external law yet has important influences on the formation of law. Finally, in Step 4 the results of comparative investigation are assembled in order to determine what we can learn from the foreign legal system and how that insight might reflect on our own legal system. Part III will then turn to describing and outlining the mission of comparative law. Here the focus will be on employing comparative law methodology to help gain insight into the laws of non- Western countries and solve pressing public policy questions.


Comparative law, International, United States, Globalization, Role of Law



Edward J. Eberle (Roger Williams University School of Law)



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