Monday, 18 May 2015

Time travelling to 2003 (with Windows 1998)

Indeed, I went back to the year 2003 yesterday....To explain: in the summer of 2003 I left my old computer together with some furniture in a storage room in Hamburg. Recently I got all of it to my flat in London (actually, I didn't remember that the old computer was still there; I thought I trashed it in 2003). After some complications I managed to restart it again ...


Initially it was a Windows 1995 computer …


Then upgraded to Windows 1998. And desktop as I left it 12 years ago.


Time shows when I bought it I think (Dec 1996). Emails in draft folder about moving to Florence in 2003.

And finally: then end ;-( removed hard drive and kept Pentium processor as a souvenir ….

Sunday, 17 May 2015

Interdisciplinary Study and Comparative Law (Journal of Comparative Law)

Papers on this topic, based on workshops in London, just published in The Journal of Comparative Law vol 9 (2014). For the full table of context of this issue see here. Some of the papers are also available on SSRN – in alphabetical order:

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

How to combine the ‘Brexit’ referendum with a new Scottish referendum

There will be a referendum on the UK leaving the EU in the next two years or so. There is also the expectations that if the UK votes to leave the EU, the Scots may insist on another referendum leaving the UK and this latter referendum may also impact on whether some in the rest of the UK really want an exit from the EU. Or, to present it graphically:

For a combined referendum therefore the following questions would need to be asked:

In Scotland
  • (a) Should the UK leave or stay in the EU? (i) leave, (ii) stay
  • (b) If the UK as a whole but not Scotland voted to leave the EU would you rather: (i) leave the UK (and as result stay in the EU) or (ii) stay in the UK (and as a result leave the EU).
In England, Wales and Northern Ireland
  • Should the UK leave or stay in the EU? (i) leave in any circumstances, (ii) stay in any circumstances, (iii) stay if leaving the EU leads to the break-up of the UK; otherwise leave.

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Research for European Commission on Law Applicable to Companies

Pleased to announce the following: 
   Carsten Gerner-Beuerle and Edmund Schuster (LSE), Federico Mucciarelli (SOAS) and Mathias Siems (Durham) have recently been awarded a contract to report to the European Commission (DG Justice) for a ‘Study on the Law Applicable to Companies with the Aim of a Possible Harmonisation of Conflict of Laws Rules on the Matter’.
   The study will evaluate the practical problems caused by the lack of harmonisation of the conflict-of-law rules concerning companies and the possibilities for harmonising such rules. It will conduct a comparative analysis on the provisions of private international law in the 28 Member States. The study will be used by the Commission as a basis to decide on possible future harmonisation in this area of law (see also the call for tender).

Saturday, 25 April 2015

The Methods of Comparative Corporate Law

A draft paper (forthcoming for a handbook of Corporate Law). The paper is available here and the abstract reads:  
In the growing literature on comparative corporate law there is often a lack of consideration to the recent advances made in the general field of comparative law. This chapter aims to fill this gap. It outlines a conceptual framework that shows how seven core themes of comparative law can be linked to research on comparative corporate law. Subsequently, it explains these seven topics in more detail, also distinguishing between research approaches that have a legal focus and those that follow a more interdisciplinary perspective. The conclusion suggests that there is a need to overcome not only the separation between comparative and corporate law research but also between legal and interdisciplinary perspectives of comparative corporate law.

Monday, 13 April 2015

New Directions for Law and Development Studies

I’m about to go to a conference at Tulane University in New Orleans on this topic. The conference website is here with a few papers freely available here

Well, actually, the paper of my own presentation based on fieldwork in China (with Ding Chen and Simon Deakin) is not yet there – so I can just offer the abstract – as well as the first two slides (see right hand side; click to enlarge)!

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Which political party would make Britain more like Germany?

I took three ‘vote-match’ sites for the 2015 UK general elections: (1), (2), (3). I answered the questions based on the current situation in Germany. In the majority of cases this was straight-forward: eg, for questions about tax rates, high-speed trains, being a member of the EU; questions not applicable for Germany (eg about Scottish independence) or where I didn’t know the German situation any more I left blank. PS: where the vote-match sites asked me to choose a place of residence, I chose Scotland (in order to capture the SNP).

The results:
UkIsidewith: 92% SNP, 88% Labour, LibDems, Greens, 53% Conservatives, 4% UKIP
WhoshouldIvotefor: +12 SNP and Labour,  +6 Greens, +4 LibDems, -7 Conservatives, -8 UKIP
Votematch: 71% Greens, 68% SNP and Labour, 61% LibDems, 34% Conservatives and UKiP

So, doing a poll of polls, it shows that if you want Britain to become more like Germany vote SNP – or if you’re not in Scotland, vote Labour or Greens.

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Disappearing Paradigms in Shareholder Protection: Leximetric Evidence for 30 Countries, 1990-2013 (with Dionysia Katelouzou)

Another new paper available here (PS: it's related to the paper posted a week ago; however, the new paper is based on a more comprehensive evaluation of the extended shareholder protection dataset – see, eg, the figure above).  
Abstract: Scholars frequently claim that path dependency of the law, the influence of the US model of corporate governance, and the role of legal origin and the stage of legal development are key for a comparative understanding of shareholder protection. This article, however, suggests that these paradigms of comparative company law gradually seem to disappear. The basis for our assessment is an original leximetric dataset that measures the development of shareholder protection for 30 countries over the last 24 years. Using tools of descriptive statistics, time series and cluster analysis, our main findings are that all legal origins have now in average about the same level of shareholder protection, that paternalistic tools have overtaken enabling tools of protection, and that after the global financial crisis this area has become a less frequent object of law reforms.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

The Leximetrics of Shareholder Protection

Just made available on SSRN (here). Abstract:
The leximetric research on shareholder protection can contribute to core questions of comparative company law. For example, such research may be able to show whether or not there is a trend to increase shareholder power across countries. It can also provide us with tools to confirm or challenge whether there are deep differences between civil and common law countries in company law.
The main parts of this paper are based on leximetric datasets collected in a project on Law, Finance and Development at the University of Cambridge. It discusses the research of this project as well as related research not affiliated with this group. In addition, it will present new data that bring up-to-date some of the findings of the original project. 
This paper will be part of an edited book on Shareholder Power (ed by J Hill & R Thomas) – see the project's ECGI website here