• A cosmopolitan ethos within a global Law curriculum: comparative law as its promoter

      Platsas, Antonios E.; University of Derby (CGPublisher, 2009)
      In this paper the author will commence his analysis by exposing the apparent absence of a global law curriculum for law students. He will attempt to highlight the fact that lawyers around the world tend to engage themselves with national law material, when our world environment asks for a legal education of a more ecumenical character. Accordingly, the paper acts on the assumption that national law curricula tend to operate on the basis of predisposed agendas. Therefore, we, in the discipline of law, find ourselves in a clearly paradoxical situation, a situation which conflicts not only the epistemological unity of other disciplines but also the very process of globalisation. As the leading law comparatists Zweigert and Kötz have argued some time ago ‘[t]here is no such thing as “German” physics or “British” microbiology or “Canadian” geology’. But we in the discipline of law find ourselves teaching national law curricula which are the by-product of nationalisms and historical accidents. It is believed that there has to be re-alignment of the law curriculum by re-enforcing the international and comparative law elements and by reducing the national law elements thereof. In other words, we must push for a law curriculum which truly reflects a global studies state of affairs, a global law curriculum. We need to re-address the matter by promoting a law curriculum which will promote a more cosmopolitan legal ethos, a better understanding of universal truths such as legal axioms, principles and ideas which are appealing and comprehensible to legal scientists from all over the world. The analysis will conclude that the subject of comparative law acts as the driving force for a more internationalised legal education and that such a type of education is something that has to be sought in the modern academic world.
    • 'The enigmatic but unique nature of the Israeli legal system'

      Platsas, Antonios E.; University of Derby (North-West University, South Africa, 2012-09-25)
      The Israeli legal system is unique in that it straddles the two otherwise opposing worlds of tradition and innovation. This creates an enigma for the comparatist, making the exploration of this system an onerous and challenging task. The author wishes to maintain that the system in question is highly innovative and ascribes this quality to the proactive character of the Israeli Supreme Court, whose activism has had a major impact on the character of the domestic system as a whole. While the author explores the reasons why this has been the case, one of his main concerns in this paper will be to examine the innovative character of the Israeli Supreme Court per se, in comparison with equivalent courts in other parts of the world. In addition the author will seek to establish inter alia the character of the Israeli legal system by focusing on the three different elements that co-exist in the Israeli socio-legal structure (the Jewish element vis-à-vis the Arab element; the Liberal element vis-àvis the Orthodox element within the Jewish community; and the Civilian element visà-vis the Common law element). The author wishes to posit that the amalgamation of different legal and cultural traditions in Israel created a sui generis state of affairs for the legal system as a whole. This results in an overall systemic-methodological amalgamation which does not occur elsewhere in the world. The article concludes that the enigmatic and innovative characteristics of the Israeli legal system derive from the novel way in which the legal mix has occurred in this system (as opposed to the ingredients of the elements in the mix). In this respect, Israel may have contributed much to the reinvigoration of the modern comparative law agenda, and it may continue to do so in the future, as the system is not one of legal stasis (a mixed system) but one of legal kinesis (a mixing system).
    • The functional and the dysfunctional in the comparative method of law: some critical remarks

      Platsas, Antonios E.; University of Derby (Maastricht University - Tilburg University - University of Utrecht, 2008-12)
      This contribution explores the leading principle in the comparative method of law: functionality of comparisons. The principle is defined, conditioned and analysed. In particular, the author wishes to maintain with this article the orthodox approach when it comes to understanding the principle of functionality for the comparative method. The article’s analysis proceeds with an examination of whether functionality is concerned with similarities and/or differences. The author suggests that it is possible that functionality can operate for the identification of differences and the identification of similarities, the stress being on the latter. The article then argues that functionality serves as a common, unifying and mutually intelligible denominator amongst comparative lawyers around the world, even though not necessarily in a dogmatic fashion. Furthermore, the author of this contribution notes the evolution of the principle in question, its strengths as well as its main criticisms, which are also presented herein. The article concludes that functionality remains the epicentre of the comparative method of law and that its drawbacks remind us that the principle is susceptible to further refinement in the future.
    • The idea of legal convergence and international economic law

      Platsas, Antonios E.; International Institute for the Sociology of Law, Oñati, Spain; University of Derby (Inderscience Publishers, 2009)
      The convergence of different legal systems is one of the leading theses in the discipline of law. This paper proposes that international economic law is one of the great sources of inspiration for the coming together of various legal systems around the world. The paper will explore the European Union experience in this respect and it will analyse a number of legal principles which promote the idea of legal convergence in the sphere of international economic law. Furthermore, referral will be made to the organisations promoting the convergence of legal systems such as the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank Group (WB) and the World Trade Organization (WTO).