The purpose of the ISCL is to encourage the comparative study of law and legal systems and to seek affiliation with individuals and organisations with complimentary aims. We were established in June 2008 and are recognised by the International Academy of Comparative Law.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

The Comparative Turn: Accident, Coincidence, or Fate?

The comparative turn taken by one of America’s most influential constitutional scholars can tell us much about the field of comparative constitutional law. In this paper, delivered as a Provocation at the Symposium in Honor of Professor Frank Michelman, at Harvard Law School, February 10-11, 2012, three hypothesis are given for this turn. The first hypothesis, accident, looks to the post-Cold war expansion of the field of comparative constitutional law and the upsurge of American constitutional influence at that time. The second hypothesis, coincidence, views Michelman’s seminal work on constitutional economic and social rights, as well as on property, equality, law and economics, and democracy, as singularly apposite for building constitutionalism in post-apartheid South Africa. The third hypothesis, fate, examines how the normative questions that Michelman posed transcended any one constitutional system, precipitating a critical reflection on the United States, South Africa, and other constitutional systems.

Young, Katharine, The Comparative Turn: Accident, Coincidence, or Fate? (2012). Harvard Law Review Forum, Vol. 125, 2012; ANU College of Law Research Paper No. 12-20.