New Directions in Comparative Law
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New Directions in Comparative Law

Edited by Antonina Bakardjieva Engelbrekt and Joakim Nergelius

This in-depth book explores the changing role of comparative law in an era of Europeanisation and globalisation. It explains how national law coexists and interacts with supranational and international law and how legal rules are produced by a variety of institutions alongside and beyond the nation-state. The book combines both theoretical and practically oriented contributions in the areas of law and development, comparative constitutional law, as well as comparative private and economic law.
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Chapter 9: The Viability of Constitutional/Non-Constitutional Comparison

Johan Lindholm


137 and harmful. It appears, as will be explained more fully below, that the answers to these questions have a close and complex relationship to constitutional theory. This brings us to the question posed initially. Is constitutional/non-constitutional comparison possible? I do not offer an answer to this question. Instead, I will present the reasons why this question is so difficult to answer and invite further discussion concerning if and how such comparison can be carried out. I do not believe my experience to be an isolated one. As will be discussed further below, comparisons involving European Union law are likely to involve similar methodological problems and one can suspect that similar problems can arise in other areas as well. II. METHODOLOGICAL RELEVANCE OF AN ISSUE BEING CLASSIFIED AS CONSTITUTIONAL A question of central importance in this regard is whether issues of constitutional law are so different from other legal issues that the study of them warrants special methodological treatment. The same question more succinctly phrased: what is the methodological relevance of the object of comparison being a constitutional issue? This question is often addressed from the opposite direction in comparative law. In order for constitutional comparison to be justified it must be possible to legitimately draw conclusions from the constitutional law of one legal order for the benefit of another. In constitutional comparative law, as in other comparative disciplines, a degree of scepticism concerning the comparability of the comparatum and the comparandum is healthy. Why should one legal system adopt...

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