Monday, 30 November 2009

What interested me in November

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Bologna and Highest Courts

I am in Bologna where I attended a workshop on the internationalisation of highest courts, organised by the Hague Institute for the Internationalisation of Law (HiiL). The papers have used an interesting mix between comparative, empirical and normative approaches. At the end of the workshop it was also announced that a bigger conference is planned for next year and more information on our research on higher courts is to made available on a new website; if you’re in this topic, please see the old and the new website (at the moment, the old one provides more information).

Thursday, 12 November 2009

The Web of Creditor and Shareholder Protection: A Comparative Legal Network Analysis

Abstract: How different are common law and civil law legal systems? This question has occupied legal scholars for a long time. In the last 15 years the common law/civil law divide has also become a major theme in research of economics, finance and business. In many studies it is alleged that English legal origin countries provide “better law” than French and German legal origin countries, and, as a result, more developed financial markets. This paper uses a new methodology in order to examine whether there are really differences between English, French and German legal origin countries, or whether the alternative explanations are preferable.
The bases of this paper are datasets on creditor and shareholder protection in 25 countries. Part II describes how these datasets can be transformed into matrices showing differences between countries. Part III creates scatterplots on how different countries are from particular “benchmark countries”, such as the UK, France and Germany. It also introduces a new distinction between two types of legal origin effects. Part IV turns to social network analysis. It starts with different ways in which the relationships between all countries can be presented and compared by networks [for example see the picture above]. Then, it analyzes the “ego-networks” of the three origin countries UK, France and Germany. The final part examines whether “cliques” or “factions” of countries can be identified.

Interested? The paper is not yet available online but if you want to read and comment on the pre-working paper version, please email me.

Friday, 6 November 2009

What Am I?

A quick google search how often these terms are used plus my intuitive understanding of these terms:
  • “legal scholar”: 216,000 hits (historical-doctrinal research)
  • “legal researcher”: 53,900 hits (traditional-doctrinal research)
  • “legal academic”: 47,200 hits (close to other academic fields)
  • “academic lawyer”: 10,500 hits (practical use at fore)
  • “legal scientist”: 4,100 hits (someone searching for pure logic in law)
I’m slightly surprised that “legal scholar” is so much more popular than everything else – I would presumably prefer “legal academic”.

Sunday, 1 November 2009

What interested me in October