Print

Professor George Bermann Heads Up Meeting of World’s Leading Comparative Law Scholars

Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg '59 to be Among Speakers at Weeklong Conference in Washington

 Public Affairs, 212-854-2650

 
New York, July 28, 2010—With increased globalization of world trade and a move to make more laws uniform across jurisdictions, the field of comparative law has taken on added importance and complexity.
 
Some of the more pressing issues, including family law, freedom of the press, and corporate governance, are being discussed this week in Washington at the International Congress of the International Academy of Comparative Law, whose president is Columbia Law School Professor George Bermann.
 
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg ’59 will be the meeting’s featured speaker at a lunch on Friday.
 
This is the first time the congress, held every four years, has been in the U.S., said Bermann, the Walter Gellhorn Professor of Law; Jean Monnet Professor in EU Law.
 
Comparative law is generally defined as the theoretical study of legal systems by comparison with each other. The organization’s purpose is to stimulate and conduct research, writing and intellectual exchange in all fields of law, insofar as those activities have a comparative law dimension, according to Bermann.
 
Bermann, who provided opening remarks when the congress opened Sunday, will also be on a panel Saturday that will look at problems and prospects in comparative law. “It’s an opportunity to take stock of where we’re going and talk about the best ways to move forward in our discipline,” he said.
 
Also presenting is Katharina Pistor, the Michael I. Sovern Professor of Law, who will be on a panel Thursday that will examine how comparative law is used—and misused—in legal theory and policy aimed at stimulating economic growth in developing countries.
 
Columbia Law School, founded in 1858, stands at the forefront of legal education and of the law in a global society. Columbia Law School joins its traditional strengths in international and comparative law, constitutional law, administrative law, business law and human rights law with pioneering work in the areas of intellectual property, digital technology, sexuality and gender, criminal, national security, and environmental law.