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Comparative law

From Academic Kids

Comparative law is the study of differences and similarities between the law of different countries and, more generally, of the different legal families, the common law family, the civil law family, the socialist law and the islamic law family.

Several disciplines have developed as separate branches of comparative law, like comparative constitutional law and comparative civil law (in the sense of the law of torts, delicts, contracts and obligations) and comparative criminal law. These can on themselves be conducted as micro- or macrocomparative studies. Comparative civil law studies, for instance, show the law of private relations is organised, interpreted and used in different systems or countries.

Comparative law is an academic study of existing separate systems, each one analysed in its constitutive elements, how these differ in the different systems and how these elements are combined into a system. Thus it is different from international law, both public international law and private international law (also known as conflict of laws), though comparative law helps inform both these areas of normativity as comparative law can help international law institutions, such as those part of the United Nations System in analyzing the laws of different countries regarding their treaty obligations or in private international law when developing an approach to interpretation in a conflicts analysis.

Comparative law is a very important discipline in communication between legal systems. It may provide the basis for the production of bilingual dictionaries that include the information necessary to make legal communication across borders successful.

Relevant literature

  • Sandro Nielsen: The Bilingual LSP Dictionary. Principles and Practice for Legal language. Gunter Narr Verlag 1994.
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