JJUA54048U Comparative Law and Legal Traditions

Volume 2015/2016

The main objective of the course is to introduce students to a profound understanding of the structures, dynamics and development of the law of different periods and geographical settings, encompassing the history of major legal tradition of the world. The students will learn to identify, describe, compare and distinguish the different traditions. Today law and lawyers cross national borders. A general knowledge of leading legal tradition is thus an important requirement for a full understanding of the impact of globalization in law. A second objective is an introduction to the concept of comparative law and its origin, methods and main concepts. This will provide the students with an important tool in the assessment of ongoing harmonization and transplants of law in contemporary world.

The course will follow a systematic and chronological line taking as a starting point that time and change are important factors in the understanding of law. The legal traditions that will be treated in the course will be civil law based on Roman law, common law, Islamic law, Jewish law and legal aspects of traditional and contemporary China and India as well as natural law and its importance for the modern Western legal thinking.

The course will be based on H. Patrick Glenn:, Legal Traditions of the World, 5th edition (Oxford University Press, 2014), a reader containing a variety of articles and sources relevant to the different legal systems of the world.

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Preparation
  • 241
  • Seminar
  • 34
  • Total
  • 275
Type of assessment
Written examination, 1 day
Written without supervision (homework assignment), 1 day
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Exam period

December 9-10, 2015 


See KU-net for exam dates