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Faculty Scholarship

Duke Law

Comparative and Foreign Law

Law reform

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Articles 1 - 4 of 4

Full-Text Articles in Law

“One Size Can Fit All” – On The Mass Production Of Legal Transplants, Ralf Michaels Jan 2013

“One Size Can Fit All” – On The Mass Production Of Legal Transplants, Ralf Michaels

Faculty Scholarship

Law reformers like the World Bank sometimes suggest that optimal legal rules and institutions can be recognized and then be recommended for law reform in every country in the world. Comparative lawyers have long been skeptical of such views. They point out that both laws and social problems are context-specific. What works in one context may fail in another. Instead of “one size fits all,” they suggest tailormade solutions.

I challenge this view. Drawing on a comparison with IKEA’s global marketing strategy, I suggest that “one size fits all” can sometimes be not only a successful law reform strategy ...


The Pragmatic Court: Reinterpreting The Supreme People’S Court Of China, Taisu Zhang Jan 2012

The Pragmatic Court: Reinterpreting The Supreme People’S Court Of China, Taisu Zhang

Faculty Scholarship

This Article examines the institutional motivations that underlie several major developments in the Supreme People's Court of China's recent policy-making. Since 2007, the SPC has sent off a collection of policy signals that escapes sweeping ideological labeling: it has publically embraced a populist view of legal reform by encouraging the use of mediation in dispute resolution and popular participation in judicial policy-making, while continuing to advocate legal professionalization as a long-term policy objective. It has also eagerly attempted to enhance its own institutional competence by promoting judicial efficiency, simplifying key areas of civil law, and expanding its control ...


The Functionalism Of Legal Origins, Ralf Michaels Jan 2011

The Functionalism Of Legal Origins, Ralf Michaels

Faculty Scholarship

This article, written on request for the centennial issue of Ius Commune Europaeum, connects the economic literature on legal origins (La Porta et al) and the World Bank's Doing Business reports with discussions in comparative law about the functional method. It finds that a number of parallels and similarities exist, and that much of the criticism that has been voiced against functionalism should apply, mutates mutants, also to these more recent projects. The attraction that these projects have derive not, it is argued, from their methodological sophistication, but instead from "the strange lure of economics" and from the ostentatious ...


Comparative Law By Numbers? Legal Origins Thesis, Doing Business Reports, And The Silence Of Traditional Comparative Law, Ralf Michaels Jan 2009

Comparative Law By Numbers? Legal Origins Thesis, Doing Business Reports, And The Silence Of Traditional Comparative Law, Ralf Michaels

Faculty Scholarship

The legal origins thesis -- the thesis that legal origin impacts economic growth and the common law is better for economic growth than the civil law -- has created hundreds of papers and citation numbers unheard of among comparative lawyers. The Doing Business reports -- cross-country comparisons including rankings on the attractiveness of different legal systems for doing business -- have the highest circulation numbers of all World Bank Publications; even critics admit that they have been successful at inciting legal reform in many countries in the world. Yet, traditional comparative lawyers have all but ignored these developments.

The first purpose of this essay ...