Comparative Legal Scholarship

10 Dec 2018 to 21 Dec 2018

In contemporary societies, legal scholars are usually law professors who produce legal knowledge in the form of research or didactic books and articles. Their institutional settings are the universities or other research institutions, law journals and university presses. The law professor-scholar constitutes a small branch of the legal profession and certainly the one that is the less studied, particularly if we compare them with judges and lawyers. Nevertheless, they are very important: they are in charge of the production of the more elaborated legal knowledge and the education of future legal professionals. They are recognized as very important members of the legal profession and can have an impact beyond the professional activity. They may have an important role in planning or drafting legislation and on the writing of amicus curiae. Ultimately, they have a role in the diffusion of legal knowledge writing opinion articles or making public statements in the press, radio, television, or web pages. Frequently, they have important political roles.

This seminar will offer a short history of legal scholars. It examines the institutional settings for legal scholarship, the production of legal scholars and how it is evaluated, controlled and diffused. It will cover a method for studying legal scholars (the collective biography), and the scholars in two disciplines or interdisciplines in law (constitutional law and legal sociology).

This is a seminar based on class discussion of assigned readings. The students should do the reading prior to the class meetings. The readings could be general (marked with an asterisk*) or individual (marked with the letter I). Those doing individual readings should make a short presentation of the reading and be ready for the questions of the group. Some sessions could have only a general reading. Other sessions could count only with individual readings. In the sessions with general and individual readings the student can trade an individual reading for the general. Students should ask for the individual readings they want to present.

General readings are in English. Individual readings could be in English, Spanish, French, Italian and Portuguese