Saturday, 27 September 2008

Convergence in Shareholder Law

I just came across a book review by Eva Micheler about my book Convergence in Shareholder Law. On page 852 of (2008) 71 Modern Law Review she writes:

The author has set himself a momentous task by analysing six jurisdictions in the light of the convergence debate and he has completed this task admirably. (…) The book is a must read for every academic in the field.

Tuesday, 23 September 2008

The Driest Part of the UK

I friend of mine told me that the Norwich area is the driest part of the UK. Therefore, I just googled a little bit and found that London, Cambridge, Kent, Essex, Lincolnshire, Huntingtonshire, East Anglia (i.e. Norwich), Northumberland and even Aberdeen are all claimed to be the driest places of the UK. What does this mean? Well, a cynic may argue that researching on the internet is highly unreliable. However, it may also be the case that the question of the driest part is just not precise enough (does it refer to the total amount of rain? the number of rainy days? which time frame is examined? do we also take humidity into account? etc.).

Finally I should add that it is currently actually raining in Norwich (and, of course, the picture above was not taken in Britain…).

Saturday, 20 September 2008

How Professors Spend their Time

A picture from PhD Comics:
Looks nice but I am wondering whether it’s really accurate: Is the proportion of teaching really typically as high as 59%? And do departments not expect more “service”? Finally, the “don’t tell me what to do” may be true for many - but even in the academic world not everyone may really enjoy complete independence.

Wednesday, 10 September 2008

Chess, Path Dependency, and Law Reform

  • Humans and computers play chess differently:
    - When you give a human player a chess problem, she may be wondering about the past, for instance, why the white queen is not protected and why black has not castled. Conversely, computers just care about the future.
    - When humans play, they take the moves into account that they have made before. For instance, if a lot of effort has been spent to get the queen to the centre of the board, a player may be reluctant to reverse this decision (cf. Gilbert 2006: 138-41). Conversely, computers just care about the future.

  • A strict mathematical logic therefore reduces path-dependencies. This may also be similar in other fields:
    - If, for instance, econometric calculations are used in order to establish how law should be changed, this ‘mechanisation’ of law-reform also reduces path-dependencies.
    - Would this be a good development? Today, of course, chess-computers out-perform humans. But that was not always the case. Given the fact that the world is million times more complex than chess, perfect calculation cannot be expected. Thus, some path dependency may be rational.

(Footnote: this is an idea that I wrote perhaps two years ago - somehow influenced by our law, finance and development project. I don't think I am going to make an article out of it but still I may be interesting enough for a blog post)

Linklist (“Jurlinks”)

In a world of search engines do we still need linklists? perhaps not; still, I just updated my own linklist on legal topics (“Linklist” available here – with German headings); just in case Google collapses one day …..

Saturday, 6 September 2008

Types of LL.M. Programmes

I found this table on my laptop. It dates from 2004 and I presumably tried to categorise the focus of LLM Programmes in different countries.

Friday, 5 September 2008

Oxbridge, Munfurt & Norwich

I have not blogged a lot in the last two weeks, mainly, because I had to travel a lot – first from Oxford (where I was visiting) to Munich and Frankfurt (for publication projects), then back to Oxford and a day later to Cambridge (where I am currently visiting), then to Norwich in order to search a flat and back to Cambridge. So, I am looking forward to my actual move to Norwich in a few weeks time where I will take up my new post at the University of East Anglia.