H. Patrick Glenn (1940-2014)

Full Professor
Peter M. Laing Chair


With deepest sorrow, we must announce that Professor Glenn passed away suddenly on October 1, 2014.  We received many memories and condolences in our guestbook.

H. Patrick Glenn


Professor Patrick Glenn taught and had research interests in the areas of comparative law, private international law, civil procedure and the legal professions. His book Legal Traditions of the World (Oxford University Press, 2000) received the Grand Prize of the International Academy of Comparative Law. The fifth edition was published in August 2014.

He was a former Director of the Institute of Comparative Law and in that capacity worked on projects on the reform of the Russian Civil Code and judicial education in China. He was a member of the Royal Society of Canada and the International Academy of Comparative Law and had been a Bora Laskin National Fellow in Human Rights Law, a Killam Research Fellow, and a Visiting Fellow of All Souls College, Oxford.

In 2006, H. Patrick Glenn received the Prix Léon-Gérin, a prestigious award attributed by the Government of Québec, in recognition of his contribution in comparative law over his career.

In 2010-2011, he held the Henry G. Schermers Fellowship of the Hague Institute for the Internationalisation of Law. In 2012, he was elected president of the American Society of Comparative Law.

In November 2014, the Canadian Bar Association (Quebec Division) posthumously awarded him the Paul-André Crépeau Medal for his contributions to the advancement of international private and commercial law.


Professor, Faculty of Law, McGill University, 1978-2014

Associate professor, Faculty of Law, McGill University, 1973-1978

Assistant professor, Faculty of Law, McGill University, 1971-1973

Visiting professor, Université de Sherbrooke, 1972, 1975, 1985, 1987; Université de Montréal, 1973, 1974, 1990, 1991; Université de Fribourg (Switzerland) 1985; Université d'Aix (France) 1988; University of Silesia (Poland) 1989; Université française du Pacifique, 1992

Director of Studies, Hague Academy of International Law, 1977

Bora Laskin National Fellow in Human Rights, 1988-1989

Quebec Bar, 1979

British Columbia Bar, 1967


LL.D., honoris causa (Fribourg) 2002

Docteur en droit (Strasbourg) 1972

D.E.S. (Strasbourg) 1968

LL.M. (Harvard) 1966

LL.B. (Queen's) 1965

B.A. (U.B.C.) 1962

Areas of Interest

Comparative law, private international law, civil procedure, privacy, immigration.


Journal articles

'A Western Legal Tradition?' (2010) 49 Sup. Ct. L. Rev. 601.
'A Concept of Legal Tradition' (2008) 34 Queen's Law Journal 427.
'Continuity and Discontinuity of Aboriginal Entitlement' (2007) 7 Oxford University Commonwealth L. J. 23-33.
'Legal Traditions' (2007) 2 The Journal of Comparative Law 69.
'Legal Traditions and the Separation Thesis' (2006) 35 Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Rechtsfilosofie & Rechtstheorie 222-240.
“On the Use of Biological Metaphors in Law: The Case of Legal Transplants” (2006) The Journal of Comparative Law 358-364.
“Transnational Common Laws” (2006) 29 Fordham Int’l. Law Journal, pp. 457-471.
“Doin’ the Transystemic: Legal Systems and Legal Traditions” (2005) 50 McGill Law Journal, p. 863.
“La Disposition préliminaire du Code civil du Québec, le droit commun et les principes généraux du droit” (2005) 46 Cahiers de Droit, pp. 339-352.
“The Common Laws of Europe and Louisiana” (2005) 79:4 Tulane Law Review, pp. 1041-1063.
“The ALI/UNIDROIT Principles of Transnational Civil Procedure as Global Standards for Adjudication?” (2004) 9 Uniform Law Review, pp. 829-845.
“Harmony of Laws in the Americas” (2003) 34 U. Miami Inter- American Law Review, p. 223.
With Dominic Desbiens, “L’appartenance au Québec: citoyenneté, domicile et résidence dans la masse législative québécoise” (2003) 48 Revue de droit de McGill, p. 117.
“La tradition juridique nationale”, Revue int. droit comparé. 2003; pp. 263-278.
“Mixing it up” (2003) 78:1 Tulane Law Review, pp. 79-87.
“Prospects for Transnational Civil Procedure in the Americas” (2003) 8 (N.S.) Uniform Law Review, pp. 485-491.
“Qu’est-ce que la common law en français?” (2003) 5 Rev. de la common law en français, pp. 97- 108.
“Are Legal Traditions Incommensurable?” (2001) 49 American Journal of Comparative Law, p. 133.
“Comparative Law and Legal Practice: On Removing the Borders” (2001) 75 Tulane Law Review, pp. 977-1002.
“Conflicting Laws in a Common Market? The NAFTA Experiment” (2001) 76 Chicago-Kent Law Review, pp. 1789-1819.
“La Cour suprême du Canada et la tradition du droit civil” (2001) Canadian Bar Review, pp. 151-170.
“Globalization and Dispute Resolution” (2000) 19 Civil Justice Quarterly, pp. 136-153.
“The Grounding of Codification” (1999) 31 University of California at Devis Law Review, pp. 765-782.
“Vers un droit comparé intégré” (1999) Revue internationale de droit comparé, pp. 841-852.
“The Capture, Reconstruction and Marginalization of 'Custom'” (1997) 45 American Journal of Comparative Law, pp. 613-620.
“Codification of Private International Law in Quebec” (1996) 60 RabelsZ, pp. 231-268.
“The Common Law in Canada” (1995) 74 Canadian Law Review, pp. 261-292.
“Harmonization of Law, Foreign Law and Private International Law” (1993) 1 European Review of Private Law, pp. 47-66.
“Droit comparé et droit québécois” (1990) 24 Revue juridique Thémis, pp. 341-351.
“Law, Revolution and Rights” (1990) Archives for Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy, Revolution and Human Rights, pp. 9-13.
“Professional Structures and Professional Ethics” (1990) 35 McGill Law Journal, pp. 424-438.
“À propos de la maxime « Nul ne plaide par procureur »” (1988) Revue trimestrielle de droit civil, pp. 59-77.
“Persuasive Authority” (1987) 32 McGill Law Journal, pp. 261-299.
“The Dilemma of Class Action Reform” (1986) 6 Oxford Journal of Legal Studies, pp. 262-274.
“Class Actions in Ontario and Quebec” (1984) 62 Canadian Bar Review, pp. 247-277.
“La responsabilité des juges” (1983) 28 Revue de droit de McGill, pp. 228-284.
“Where Heavens Meet: The Compelling of Religious Divorces” (1980) 28 American Journal of Comparative Law, p. 1-38.
“Le droit au respect de la vie privée” (1979) 39 Revue du Barreau, pp. 879-916.
“The Local Law of Alsace-Lorraine: A Half-Century of Survival” (1974) 23 International and Comparative Law Quarterly, pp. 769-790.

Books and monographs

Legal Traditions of the World: Sustainable Diversity in Law, 5th ed. Oxford, Oxford University Press. 214, 456 Pages.
Link: Oxford University Press
On Common Laws. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 2005, 186 pages.
Link: Oxford University Press
Droit québécois et droit français : communauté, autonomie, concordance. Montréal: Editions Yvon Blais. 1993.
La capacité de la personne en droit internationale privé français et anglais. Paris: Dalloz - Bibliothèque de droit international privé. 1975.

Articles/chapters in books and monographs

'Cosmopolitan Legal Orders' in A. Halpin & V. Roeben (eds), Theorizing the Global Legal Order (Oxford: Hart, 2009) 25-38.
'L'arbitrage religieux au Canada: Un statut personnel qui n'ose pas dire son nom?' in M. Aoun (dir.), Les statuts personnels en droit comparé (Leuven: Peeters, 2009) 265-278.
'The Prospective Effect of Res Judicata' in Essays in Honour of Konstantinos Kerameus (Athens: Sakkoulas/Bruyland, 2009) 435-444.
'Globalization and National Legal Traditions' in J. Schwarze (ed.), Globalisierung und Entstaatlichung des Rechts, vol. 1 (Tubingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2008) 57-69.
'Com-paring' in E. Orucu & D. Nelken (eds), Comparative Law: A Handbook (Oxford: Hart, 2007) 91-108.
'Multivalent Logic and the Rome Convention' in K. Boele-Woelki & W. Grosheide (eds), The Future of European Contract Law: Essays in honour of Ewoud Hondius (Alpen aan den Rijn: Kluwer, 2007) 283-290.
'The National Legal Tradition' in K. Boele-Woelki & S. Van Erp (eds), General Reports of the XVIIth Congres of the International Academy of Comparative Law (Brussels: Bruylant, 2007) 1.
'Comparative Legal Families and Comparative Legal Traditions' in R. Zimmermann & M. Reimann (eds), Oxford Handbook of Comparative Law, Oxford, 2006, pp. 421-440
“Professional Traditions: The Reciprocating Ethics of Jurist and Judge” in J. Erauw, V. Tomljenovic and P. Volken, Liber Memorialis Petar Sarcevic: Universalism, Tradition and the Individual (Munich: Sellier European Law Publishers, 2006) pp. 641-648.
“The Aims of Comparative Law” in J. Smits (ed.), Elgar Encyclopedia of Comparative Law, Cheltenham, Edward Elgar, 2006, pp. 57-65.
Link: Edward Elgar Publishing
“Droit mondial, droit mondialisé ou droit du monde?” in B. Fauvarque-Cosson, E. Picard & A. Voinneson (dir.), De Tous Horizons: Mélanges Xavier Blanc-Jouvan. Paris: Société de législation comparée. 2005, pp. 259-269.
Link: Librairie LGDJ.fr
“Penser le plurijuridisme” in Association internationale de méthodologie juridique, Le plurijuridisme . Aix: Presses universitaires d’Aix-Marseille. 2005, pp. 25-35.
“Teaching comparative law and teaching law comparatively” in L. Ogiegly, W. Popiolka & M. Szpunara, Mélanges Maksymiliana Pazdana. Krakow: Kantor Aakamycze. 2005, pp. 951-960.
“Comparative Legal Reasoning and the Courts: A View from the Americas” in G. Canivet, M. Andenas & D. Fairgrieve, Comparative Law Before the Courts. London: British Institute of International and Comparative Law. 2004, pp. 217-228.
Link : British Institute of International and Comparative Law
“Conclusions générales: La codification à la française, une petite histoire d’une grande tradition” in R. Beauthier & I. Rorive (eds), Le Code Napoléon, un ancêtre vénéré? Mélanges offerts à Jacques Vanderlinden. Bruxelles: Bruylant. 2004, pp. 529-551.
Link: Maison Bruylant
“Legal Cultures and Legal Traditions” in Mark Van Hoeck (ed.), Epistemology and Methodology of Comparative Law. Oxford: Hart, 2004, pp. 7-20.
Link: Hart Publishing
“Legal Education and Legal Hegemony” in Swiss Institute of Comparative Law, Imperialism and Chauvinism in the Law. Geneva: Schulthess. 2004, pp. 11-21.
“North America as a Medieval Legal Construction” (2002) 2 Global Jurist 1 (electronic publication); and in M. Bussani & U. Mattei, The Common Core of European Private Law. The Hague: Kluwer International. 2003, pp. 49-60.
“A Transnational Concept of Law”, in Peter Cane & Mark Tushnet (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of Legal Studies. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 2003 , pp. 839-862.
“L’echo double du champart. Y a-t-il des traces en droit civil québécois?” in Benoit Moore (ed.), Mélanges Jean Pineau. Montreal: Themis. 2003, 713-724.
“The National Heritage”, in R. Munday & P. Legrand (ed.), Comparative Legal Studies: Traditions and Transitions. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2003.
“The Relations between Parties, Judges and Lawyers,” in M. Elizondo Gasperin (ed.), Relaciones entre las Partes, los Jueces, y los Abogados. Mexico: Institut Nacional de Estudios Superiores en Derecho. 2003, pp. 269-277.
“Commensurability and translatability”, in J. Nafziger & S. Symeonides ed.), Law and Justice in a Multistate World: Essay in Honor of Arthur T. von Mehren. Ardsley, NY: Transnational Publishers. 2002, pp. 675-681.
“The Historical Origins of the Trust”, in A. Rabello (ed.), Aequitas and Equity: Equity in Civil Law and Mixed Jurisdictions, (Jerusalem: Sacher Institute, 1997), pp. 749-776.
“Quebec: Mixité and Monism”, in Orucu, E., Attwooll, E., Coyle, S. (eds.), Studies in Legal Systems: Mixed and Mixing. The Hague: Kluwer. 1996, pp. 1-16.
“Du droit international privé”, in La réforme du Code civil. Sainte-Foy, Québec: Presses de l’Université Laval. 1993, pp. 679-800.
“La civilisation de la common law”, in Caparros, E. and Bisson, A. eds. Mélanges Germain Brière. Montréal: Wilson & Lafleur. 1993, pp. 595-616.
“Le Trust et le ius commune”, in Legrand, (ed) Common Law d’un siècle à l’autre. Montréal, Editions Yvon Blais. 1993 , pp. 87-114.
“Private International Law and the New International Legal Professions”, in Mélanges von Overbeck. Fribourg. 1990, pp. 31-45.
“Le droit comparé et la Cour suprême du Canada”, in Mélanges Pigeon. Ottawa. 1989, pp. 197- 214.
“The right to Privacy in Quebec Law”, in Gibson (Dr.) (ed.), Aspects of Privacy Law: essays in honour of John M. Sharp. Toronto: Butterworths. 1980, pp. 40-71, Pp. 443.

Conference proceedings

'The National Legal Tradition' in K. Boele-Woelki & S. van Erp (eds), General Reports of the XVIIth Congress of the International Academy of Comparative Law, Utrecht/Brussels:Bruylant/Eleven, 2007, pp. 1-16
“Harmonization of Private Law Rules Between Civil and Common Law Jurisdictions” (1992) General Reports of the XIIIth International Congress of Comparative law, pp. 79-85.