Skills: Introduction to Comparative Law
Full course description
With a history of jurisdiction-oriented studies, Law Faculties have always faced a problem in trying to expand legal knowledge and bring students in contact with multiple other legal families or legal cultures. The European Law School tries to fix this problem by creating an interdisciplinary comparative approach to the study of law. This is where skills courses come into play. Their main focus is to give you the tools to adapt to an ever-changing landscape of jobs that might require a legal component. For this purpose, you have been exposed to the classical skillset required from a legal practitioner in Skills: Legal Research and Reasoning. The current course builds on this structure, and adds three equally important elements: a fundamental understanding of the origin and development of comparative law; a systematic approach to research design and methodology; and soft skills also known in pedagogical literature as 21st century skills. The first two are tackled in block period 1.4 through fascinating debates on a range of theoretical and practical questions that bring out how law affects our everyday lives and how that can be translated back into legal comparative scholarship. The latter is tackled in block 1.5, where you will become familiar to a wide range of alternative dispute resolution approaches which will enable you to embrace a more sophisticated approach to negotiations and conflict resolution than the classical perspective of litigation emphasized by moot court simulations.
PBL 2.0 and interactive lectures
The evaluation for the course entails four deliverables: a quiz and a comparative research paper (block period 1.4, 60% of final grade), and a negotiation strategy and a guided choice report on dispute resolution (block period 1.5, 40% of final grade). The final grading is done on a scale from 1-10.
- To give you an overview of comparative law and make you aware of how it can be used to tackle the complexity of law in the 21st century.
- To build on the classical legal skills you have already been exposed to, and give you a strong conceptual and practical foundation in research design and methodology.
- To complement classical legal skills with so-called 21st century skills (creativity, flexibility and adaptability, global citizenship, collaboration, communication, and social and intercultural skills).
Mandatory: M. Siems, Comparative Law (Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, 2nd ed. 2018).
Optional: M. Snel, J. de Moraes, Doing a systematic literature review in legal scholarship, (Boom: The Hague, 2018).