An aura of "malaise" hangs over the field of Comparative Law'- sometimes alluded to as the "drama" of Comparative Law (private and public). Indeed, the comparative scholar is often asked whether his work has any practical importance. This is the question he fears most. A German legal philosopher once criticized the whole approach as follows: "Nobody asks what comparative law is and how it should be pursued. Thus, it is less to build a new structure from the laws compared, but to leave an accumulation of raw bricks in a heap that will never be used." Still today it is unclear what method to follow, and whether a method is necessary at all. Thus, Comparative Law remains to be plagued by the lack of deeper discussions on the notions of "law" and "comparison". To speak of it in terms of practical values might "verge on the ridiculous." But the questions start already on a more basic level: What does "practice" mean in law as opposed to "theory"? Can practice and theory be separated? After all, concepts of order "live" in the human minds - how then do you distinguish practice and theory? But probably the question has a narrower focus: how important is Comparative Law for legislators, for courts, for attorneys, and for students? I will try to answer the question from a European point of view, from a Europe of which Germany forms a "region. This sequence from Europe to Germany seems to be proper today because of the new elan that the European Union brought onto the old Continent. I give the keywords: Rediscovery of common European traditions, meeting of talents in the European institutions, growing European legislation, freedom of establishment for lawyers, tax counselors, and accountants. These ideas blow across Europe like spring storms, changing the European views of the world. Europe has to redefine its legal culture, has to cope with global forces that may shatter old assumptions. To meet this challenge Comparative Law might offer itself as an instrument to better understand the past and to find the future." But is this hope justified?
Comparative Law as a Comprehensive Approach: A European Tribute to Professor Jack A. Hiller,
Rich. J. Global L. & Bus.
Available at: http://scholarship.richmond.edu/global/vol1/iss1/2