Saturday, March 7, 2009

Comparative Legal Skills

Helena Whalen-Bridge (University of Singapore), has published The Reluctant Comparativist: Teaching Common Law Reasoning to Civil Law Students and the Future of Comparative Legal Skills, 58 J. Leg. Educ. 364 (2009). In this article, based on a talk she gave at the Global Legal Skills Conference II, Prof. Whalen-Bridge gives an overview of legal reasoning in common law and civil law systems, and argues that we need to tell our second-language, second-law students (1) that gaps characterize our legal system; and (2) why they do. This is critical because, as she points out, in the civil law system, gaps are considered "rare pathological examples." She proposes a comparative approach not just to the law, but, more importantly, to the distinctive ways in which the two systems reason and articulate rules.

Hat tip to Professor Juli Campagna of The John Marshall Law School in Chicago


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