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Why Transnational Legal Education?

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Why Transnational Legal Education?P i l l a r d , B i o n d i , i g r a , r i t t i c h , s o r n a r a j a h , w e r r oCenter for transnational legal studies37-39 high holborn, 3rd floor receptionlondon wc1V 6aa, united Kingdomwithin the united Kingdom:scott Fosteradministrative directorcenter for transnational legal studiesassistant dean, georgetown lawtel: +44 (0) 20 3077 [email protected] the united Kingdom:adam Kolkerassistant dean and executive directoroffice of transnational Programsgeorgetown lawtel: +1 202 662 [email protected]duction:Why Transnational Legal Education?CornelIa T. l. PIllard3Transnational Legal Studies and the European Experienceandrea BIondI and naomI Igra11Global Legal Education: Reflections from the FacultyKerry rITTICh14Why “No” to Transnational Legal Studiesm. Sornarajah 20Comparative Studies in a Center for Transnational Legal Studies: Why and How?Franz Werro26Contributors30CTlS Program Information323INTRoduCTIoNWhy Transnational Legal Education?CoRNELIa T. L. PILLaRdThis introduction explains briefly some of the thinking behind the Center for Transnational Legal Studies (CTLS) that we established in London in 2008. The planning for CTLS began in the mid 2000s, and the Center that has resulted reflects the insights and aspirations of many people from the dozen or so founding partner schools and beyond. The CTLS is still a work in progress. Many more partners from around the globe have joined since we opened for students in autumn 2008. Benefits that we had not even antici-pated have come to fruition, and hurdles have arisen that require innovations and adjustments. CTLS is unique in establishing a truly transnational program that is a joint enterprise of students and faculty from around the world, not housed within nor culturally dominated by any one nation’s law school. Its distinc-tive features allow the Center to generate deeper transnational legal learning than is typically possible in existing university settings. The diversity that is structured into CTLS keeps all of its participants from succumbing to the temptation to see our respective systems—at the level of legal education, or of national law—as somehow natural, neutral or inevitable. I am confident that the experience and innovations of CTLS will inform transnational legal education for years to come. CTLS works with a vast terrain of legal diversity and difference. At CTLS, that variety was not only reflected in books and articles, but was op-erative in our everyday life, represented by students and faculty from around “The interplay between diverse traditions offers one of the few opportunities for the creation of truly new ideas, ideas that arise outside the scope of one tradition’s particular experience.” RIChARd hyLAnd, BABeL: A She’uR, deConSTRuCTIon And The PoSSIBILITy of JuSTICe, 11 CARdozo L. Rev. 1585 (1990)4Cornelia T. L. Pillardthe world in a context in which nobody could retreat—physically, intellectu-ally, socially—to the comforts of “home.” diversity and difference are not necessarily virtues in and of themselves, nor, by the same token, is transna-tional legal education. They can be sources of confusion and gridlock, of superficiality and stereotyping, of an overwhelming and disorienting mass of information impossible to synthesize. Why, then, should we be committed to a form of legal education that deliberately and emphatically exposes us to these forces? Why transnational legal education? Why CTLS?The comments in this booklet, based on the panel Global Legal edu-cation: Reflections from the faculty of the Center for Transnational Legal Studies held in London at the CTLS Grand opening in the autumn of 2008, offer responses from early CTLS participants to that question. Professor An-drea Biondi and his student, naomi Igra, reflect on analogies between the eu’s and CTLS’s aspirations to draw on varied perspectives and shape joint solutions to problems that transcend boundaries. Professor Kerry Rittich places CTLS in the context of an emerging trend toward internationaliza-tion and inter-disciplinarity of legal education, and gives the example of the law of work as a CTLS subject that engages those trends and challenges our conceptions of the boundaries of our relevant communities. Professor Muth-ucumaraswamy Sornarajah cautions that, to the extent that studying trans-national law refers to an instrumental spreading of legal norms to promote the interests of u.S. or european economic benefit or military dominance, we should not, in fact, promote it; worthy transnational legal studies instead would seek fairer and more environmentally sustainable economic develop-ment. Professor franz Werro sees promise in transnational legal education that teaches close reading, careful translation, and communication by nego-tiation, not imposition, and thereby fosters genuine respect for the diversity of successful legal regimes around the globe. unlike my panel colleagues in this volume, I did not come to trans-national legal education already an internationalist. That is, however, part of what makes me an advocate for transnational legal education. Like most law-yers and law professors, and like most of our CTLS students, I was steeped in my own legal system in a world that now requires more. Global influences had become evident in the domestic-law subjects about which I teach and write. In civil procedure classes at home at George-town, questions about jurisdiction, discovery, and dispute settlement have become increasingly transnational. In my courses on u.S. domestic employ-ment law, international mobility of capital and goods together with compara-tively restricted human mobility has redistributed various types of jobs around the world, with enormous impact on development, labor standards, and the organization of firms. The spectacle of consumers in wealthier nations buying goods produced in working conditions that would be considered substandard5The Center for Transnational Legal Studiesin those consumers’ own countries raises questions about the scope of both firms’ and governments’ regulatory reach and responsibility. Capital mobility raises challenges for the national social insurance laws upon which workers (thus far principally in developed nations) have relied for retirement, health and


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