Thursday, 27 November 2008

Citation Patterns of the German Federal Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal of England and Wales

Now, available on ssrn (here).
Abstract: This paper presents citation statistics on decisions of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales (CA) and the German Federal Supreme Court (Bundesgerichtshof, BGH) for the last 55 years. This data is used in order to identify whether the citation patterns of the CA and the BGH reflect the conventional comparative perceptions about the English and German legal system. For instance, it is addressed how often the CA and the BGH cite the highest national and European courts and higher foreign courts from different legal families. The paper also examines the cross-citations between the highest courts of the United Kingdom (House of Lords, Court of Appeal of England and Wales, Court of Appeal in Northern Ireland, Court of Session and the High Court of Justiciary).

Sunday, 23 November 2008

Citation patterns of the Court of Appeal of England and Wales

A preview on a paper which will soon be available on SSRN:

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Archive.org and Academics at Norwich Law School

A colleague just referred me to http://www.archive.org/. It's a nice tool to trace how websites or institutions have developed. Out of curiosity I looked at the past websites of my current employer, in particular the number of full-time teaching staff in the last ten years (unfortunately, I couldn't find the data for 2002):

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Discussions at conferences: A typology

Like most academics I attend dozens of conferences, workshops or seminars per year. Occasionally, it happens that I am less interested in the actual topic of the talk but mainly observe how the speaker and the participants interact (or fail to do so). In particular, it appears to me that one can classify the participants who take part in discussions into various categories (and sub-categories). Here is a first attempt:

  1. “Conference diva”: (a) someone who does not really have anything to say or to ask but feels induced to speak just to make clear that he or she is important and therefore has the right to speak (often in a very lengthy fashion); (b) someone who manages to link any topic to his or her only remotely related but of course “path-breaking” research.
  2. “Conference troll”: (a) someone who just claims that the speaker got it all wrong – without providing any valid counter-arguments; (b) someone who alleges that the speaker completely disregarded reality (“just ask the man on the street…”); (c) someone who claims that the speaker hasn’t really touched the “real problems of the world” (global warming, terrorism, poverty etc).
  3. “Conference darling”: (a) someone who tries to defend the speaker - but does not know how – and therefore just says “thanks I really enjoyed your talk”; (b) someone who just repeats the arguments of the speaker and indicates that he or she totally agrees with them.
  4. Finally, in very rare occasions there may also be someone who really provides constructive comments or ask interesting questions……