Rechtskulturen Conversation
Wed 20 Feb 2013 – Fri 22 Feb 2013

Beyond Comparison: An Introduction to German Legal Culture from a Transnational Perspective

Russell A. Miller (Lexington/VA)

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin, 10099 Berlin

Comparative lawyers, when classifying the world's legal systems into several "legal families," insist on assigning Germany to the genus "civil or continental law". Indeed, Germans have embraced the characterization, not just conceding but very often celebrating this traditional characterization of their legal culture. This practice ignores many of the lessons jurisprudence has learned from critical theory, particularly the compelling claims made by legal pluralism. H.P. Glenn has translated those lessons for comparative law, urging the rejection of static and conflictual "legal families" for an approach that accounts for the world's rich array of legal traditions and their discursive and conciliatory encounters within any particular legal culture. This seminar takes up Glenn's challenge, proposing to introduce the German legal system by taking acccount of the dominant position of the civil law tradition, but also of a variety of other traditions making greater or lesser claims on the German legal mind.

The seminar will take place on 21 and 22 February at Humboldt Law School. We will start with an introduction meeting on Wednesday, 20 Feb, 18-20h. The schedule for Thursday and Friday is as follows:
- Thu 10-13h: a treatment of the civil law tradition and the German BGB
- Thu 14-17h: a treatment of German constitutional law
- Fri, 10-13h: a treatment of German administrative law (including German law's increasinly relevant dialogue with Sharia)
- Fri, 14-17h: a treatment of the Europeanization of German law
afterwards: cocktails

The seminar is open for a small group of interested postdocs and PhD students (max. 15 people).
Please register until Monday, 18 February at "" (first come, first served). A firm commitment is required.

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