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January 21 2014
The Institute of Comparative Law (ICL) is pleased to invite you to the first meeting of its Comparative Law Reading Group, taking place on Thursday, January 30th, from 4-5pm (Location TBA).
The reading group has as its aim a general introduction to the field of Comparative Law and its key questions. What exactly is ‘Comparative Law’? Why do we compare? What is it that we are comparing? And how do we do it?
Participants will have an opportunity to reflect upon these questions and acquaint themselves with Comparative Law as both a method and perspective through the exploration of thematic texts provided in advance of each meeting. These texts will then serve as the focus of our discussions at those meetings, where participants will be invited to share their understandings, difficulties, questions, and insights.
Ultimately, this reading group is intended as a space for students to engage with others who share an interest in Comparative Law and explore this increasingly relevant field in an informal but purposeful environment of peer learning.
Though aimed at graduate students of the ICL, the reading group is open to all graduate (and undergraduate) students interested in Comparative Law.
This term, the group is planning to convene once every other week for a total of six sessions.
If you wish to join the group, or have any questions, please send an email to jeffrey (dot) kennedy (at) mail (dot) mcgill (dot) ca
April 2 2013
Law and Culture
We invite you to our third installment of the comparative law reading group to be held April 2, in the seminar room of 3690 Peel Street, from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm. In this session, we will explore some perspectives on the role of culture in comparative law methodology. These are the two readings for this session:
March 11 2013
We are happy to invite you to the second installment of the comparative law reading group to be held this Monday, March 11th, in the seminar room of 3690 Peel Street, from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm. In this session we will be examining the well-established "traditional" approach to comparative law, namely the "functionalist" approach, where law is examined, and then compared, on the basis of its function in society. For some, the functional approach is the only approach worth considering in Comparative Law. For others, it represents everything that is wrong about Comparative Law.
We will examine this approach by reading two theoretical pieces and then by dissecting together a reading of a "functionalist" study to evaluate it in terms of the method used drawing on what we learned from the theory. The readings for this session are:
- Konrad Zweigert and Hein Kötz, Introduction to Comparative Law (excerpt) - This is one of the seminal functionalist texts that is constantly referred to by comparativists, whether praising or criticizing the functionalist approach.
- Ralf Michaels, "The Functional Method of Comparative Law" - a dense but fascinating survey of the entire approach, one that places it within a comparative context of 'Functionalism' as an analytical approach utilized not only by legal scholars, but also sociologists, political scientists, etc., although with different results.
- Lara Khoury "Causation and Health in Medical, Environmental and Product Liability" (32 pages) - Article by a McGill professor comparing evidence standards of proof in Quebec and France. This is a long article and for the purposes of the discussion, only the introduction, the analysis and the conclusion are key (11 pages). The middle body of the article, although interesting, is less critical, so if you need to save time and skip the middle, it is fine.
We are also including for this session guiding questions; you are not required to follow them but some members thought they would be helpful for them. Please note as well that you’re not required to have attended the first session to attend this session.
Hope to see many of you there!
February 18 2013
The Institute of Comparative Law is pleased to invite you to the first Comparative Law Reading Group session. This first meeting will take place on Monday, February 18, from 4:00 pm to 5:00 pm in room NCDH 609. It is open to every interested student (graduate and undergraduate).
Our reading group aims at an introduction into the field of Comparative Law in general, and into its most important current debates. Why and how do we compare? And what is it that makes ‘Comparative Law’ a ‘discipline’ in its own right?
We shall explore these pressing issues, with a particular focus on methodological questions, through the reflection on pivotal scholarly texts. These texts will be made available through this website to students who wish to join the group.
It is the goal of our joint endeavour to help students to develop a better understanding of the challenges of engaging in comparative research, and to gain the skills necessary to address these challenges. In this first session we also hope to hear from you how the reading group can best address your particular interests in comparative research.
While the reading group is particularly geared to graduate students of the ICL, it is open to all graduate (and undergraduate) students interested in Comparative Law.
In the Winter term, the group will convene once a month.
The first meeting will take place:
WHEN: Monday, February 18th, at 4:00–5:00pm
WHERE: Rm. 609, New Chancellor Day Hall, 3644 Peel Street
If you wish to join the group, please send an e-mail to ke-jia [dot] chong [at] mail [dot] mcgill [dot] ca.
We are looking forward to seeing you there!
The ICL Team