Publication Details

C. B. Picker, 'Comparative legal cultural analyses of international economic law: a new methodological approach' (2013) 1 (1) The Chinese Journal of Comparative Law 21-48.


The effective development and operation of the law faces many obstacles. Among the more intractable yet hidden barriers to the law are legal cultural disconnects and discontinuities. These occur when opposing legal cultural characteristics from different legal cultures are forced to interact as part of the implementation of the law across two different legal cultures. This conflictual interaction can impede or block the success of that law. While present in domestic legal systems, these conflicts are more likely, and may be deeper, between the many different legal cultures involved in the international legal order. Identification of such legal cultural disconnects and discontinuities is the first step towards developing strategies to ameliorate potential conflicts between opposing legal cultural characteristics. This identification requires the examination of the relevant legal systems with legal culture in mind-a legal cultural analysis. However, this methodology is rarely employed. To the extent that we do see legal cultural analyses, they are applied almost exclusively in the domestic arena. When it is applied across legal systems, it becomes a part of comparative law methodology. This merger of comparative law and legal cultural approaches is unusual, indeed almost unheard of in the international legal arena. This article explores this methodology and argues that it is possible and valuable.



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