The American Society of Comparative Law—with the support and co-sponsorship of the UCLA School of Law International and Comparative Law Program and the Transnational Program on Criminal Justice—will hold its 2020 Annual Meeting entitled Comparative Legal History online between Thursday, October 15, and Friday, October 16, 2020. This meeting, which was to be held in-person at Boston University, will now take place online on Zoom due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Comparative historical analysis is part of a long-standing tradition, prominent in political science, economics, and anthropology. Indeed, among the most influential social scientists of all time one finds a large number of scholars who have used the comparative-historical method. Legal scholars have also relied extensively on comparative historical analysis, producing a body of research that is impressive in depth and scope. However, there has been little dialogue between comparative law experts and historians. More generally, a systematic discussion of the methods and goals of comparative legal history is virtually absent. This omission is unfortunate because comparative historical analysis provides tools that are critical to the understanding of legal institutions and legal change. The comparison of legal ideas and institutions across time and space promises three distinctive benefits. First, comparative legal history has explanatory value, illuminating causal connections. Further, comparative legal history helps de-naturalize existing legal institutions. Finally, comparative legal history fosters legal innovation, delivering instructive and sometimes applicable lessons about the analytics of law or its implementation.
The American Society of Comparative Law's 2020 annual program seeks to delve more deeply into the relationship between comparative history and comparative law. The program includes two plenary sessions. The first plenary panel is entitled "What is the Relationship between Comparative Law and Legal History?" The second plenary panel will be on "Comparative Legal Histories".
In addition, the meeting will include concurrent panels on a variety of comparative law topics.
The meeting will also have a hot topic panel on "Comparative Law, COVID-19 and Racial Justice".
About the American Society of Comparative Law
The American Society of Comparative Law, Inc. (ASCL) is the leading organization in the United States promoting the comparative study of law. Founded in 1951, it is a thriving organization of more than 100 institutional sponsor members, both in the United States and abroad, and a growing number of individual members. The Society publishes The American Journal of Comparative Law, the outstanding American publication of scholarship on comparative law, holds annual meetings at which comparative law scholars present research and critically examine important legal issues from a comparative perspective, and provides support to other scholarly conferences both in the United States and internationally that deal with comparative law.