Blog: Blogs

Studies in Comparative Law

Books (from https://www.nyulawglobal.org/globalex/Comparative_Law1.html )

  • The main classic European theoretical works on comparative law are: David, R., Jauffret-Spinosi, C., and Gore, M., Les grands systèmes de droit contemporains, 12e éd. Paris, Dalloz, 2016. The book has been translated into numerous languages. An English version of the 6th edition of 1974 was published by Sweet and Maxwell as Major legal systems in the world today, 3rd edition in 1985 (out of print).
  • Zweigert, K. and Kötz, H., Einführung in die Rechtsvergleichung, 3e Aufl. Tübingen, Mohr, 1996. English translation: Introduction to comparative law, translated from the German by Tony Weir. Oxford, Oxford University Press, 1998.
  • Breda, V., ed. Legal transplants in East Asia and Oceania,Cambridge University Press, 2019.
  • De Cruz, P. Comparative law in a changing world, 3rd. Routledge-Cavendish, 2007.
  • Glendon, M., et al, Comparative legal traditions: text, materials, and cases on western law, 4th ed. West Academic, 2015.
  • Glenn, H P. Legal traditions of the world: sustainable diversity in law, 5th ed. Oxford University Press, 2014 (1st edition gained the Canada Prize, International Academy of Comparative Law, 1998).
  • Harding, A. and Örücü, E. (eds.) Comparative law in the 21st Century. Kluwer Law International, 2002.
  • Legrand, P. and Munday, R. (eds.) Comparative legal studies: traditions and transitions. Cambridge University Press, 2003.
  • (Want to read) Menski, W., Comparative law in a global context: the legal systems of Asia and Africa, 2nd ed. Cambridge University Press, 2006.
  • Merryman, J.H. and Pérez-Perdomo, R. The civil law tradition: an introduction to the legal systems of Europe and Latin America, 4th ed. Stanford University Press, 2018.
  • Palmer, V., ed., Mixed jurisdictions worldwide: the third legal family. 2nd ed., Cambridge University Press, 2012.
  • Riles, A. Rethinking the masters of comparative law. Hart Publishing, 2001.
  • Varga, C. European legal cultures.Dartmouth Publishing, 1997.
  • Zimmermann, R. Mixed legal systems in comparative perspective: property and obligations in Scotland and South Africa. Oxford University Press, 2003.
  • Zimmermann, R. and Reimann, M. The Oxford handbook of comparative law, 2nd ed.,Oxford University Press, 2019.
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The Deneuve letter from 2018, translated into English

Rape is a crime. But insistent or awkward flirting is not a crime, nor is chivalry a macho aggression.

In the wake of the Weinstein affair, there has been a legitimate awareness of sexual violence against women, particularly in the professional context, where some men abuse their power. It was necessary. But this liberation of the word is now turning into its opposite: we are told to speak as we should, to keep quiet about what makes us angry, and those who refuse to comply with such injunctions are seen as traitors, as accomplices!

But it is the very essence of puritanism to borrow, in the name of a supposed general good, the arguments of the protection of women and their emancipation to better chain them to a status of eternal victims, poor little things under the influence of phallocrats, as in the good old days of witchcraft.

Denunciations and indictments

In fact, #metoo has led to a campaign of denunciations and public indictments in the press and on social networks of individuals who, without being given the opportunity neither to answer nor to defend themselves, have been put on exactly the same level as sexual abusers. This expeditious justice has already had its victims, men sanctioned in the exercise of their profession, forced to resign, etc., when their only fault was to have touched a knee, tried to steal a kiss, talked about "intimate" things at a professional dinner or to have sent messages with sexual connotations to a woman for whom the attraction was not mutual.

This fever to send "pigs" to the slaughterhouse, far from helping women to empower themselves, actually serves the interests of the enemies of sexual freedom, religious extremists, the worst reactionaries and those who believe, in the name of a substantial conception of the good and the Victorian morality that goes with it, that women are beings "apart", children with an adult face, demanding to be protected.

On the other hand, the men are summoned to beat their chests and find, in the depths of their retrospective conscience, an "inappropriate behavior" that they might have had ten, twenty or thirty years ago, and for which they should repent. The public confession, the incursion of self-appointed prosecutors into the private sphere, creates a climate of totalitarian society.

The purifying wave seems to know no limits. Here, a nude by Egon Schiele is censored on a poster; here, a painting by Balthus is called for removal from a museum on the grounds that it would be an apology for pedophilia; in the confusion of man and work, a request is made to ban the Roman Polanski retrospective at the Cinémathèque and the retrospective devoted to Jean-Claude Brisseau is postponed. An academic judges the film Blow-Up, by Michelangelo Antonioni, "misogynistic" and "unacceptable". In the light of this revisionism, John Ford (The Prisoner of the Desert) and even Nicolas Poussin (The Rape of the Sabine Women) are not doing well.

Already, publishers are asking some of us to make our male characters less "sexist", to talk about sexuality and love with less excessiveness, or to make the "traumas suffered by the female characters" more obvious! On the verge of ridicule, a bill in Sweden wants to impose explicitly notified consent to any candidate for sexual intercourse! One more effort and two adults who want to sleep together will have to check a document on their phone in which the practices they accept and those they refuse will be duly listed.

Indispensable freedom to offend

The philosopher Ruwen Ogien defended a freedom to offend that is essential to artistic creation.

In the same way, we defend a freedom to annoy, essential to sexual freedom. We are today sufficiently informed to admit that the sexual impulse is by nature offensive and wild, but we are also sufficiently clear-sighted not to confuse awkward flirting with sexual aggression.

Above all, we are aware that the human person is not monolithic: a woman can, in the same day, lead a professional team and enjoy being the sexual object of a man, without being a "slut" or a vile accomplice of patriarchy. She can ensure that her salary is equal to that of a man, but not feel forever traumatized by a rubbing in the subway, even if it is considered a crime. She may even see it as an expression of great sexual misery, or even as a non-event.

As women, we do not recognize ourselves in this feminism which, beyond the denunciation of the abuse of power, takes the face of a hatred of men and sexuality. We think that the freedom to say no to a sexual proposal does not go without the freedom to importune.

And we consider that it is necessary to know how to answer to this freedom to importune differently than by locking oneself in the role of the prey.

For those of us who have chosen to have children, we feel it is best to raise our daughters to be informed and aware enough to live their lives fully without being intimidated or made to feel guilty.

The accidents that can happen to a woman's body do not necessarily affect her dignity and should not, no matter how hard they may be, necessarily make her a perpetual victim. For we are not reducible to our bodies. Our inner freedom is inviolable. And this freedom that we cherish is not without risks and responsibilities.

The editors of this text are : Sarah Chiche (writer, clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst), Catherine Millet (art critic, writer), Catherine Robbe-Grillet (actress and writer), Peggy Sastre (author, journalist and translator), Abnousse Shalmani (writer and journalist).

Other members of this forum are: Kathy Alliou (curator), Marie-Laure Bernadac (honorary general curator), Stéphanie Blake (author of children's books), Ingrid Caven (actress and singer), Catherine Deneuve (actress), Gloria Friedmann (visual artist), Cécile Guilbert (writer), Brigitte Jaques-Wajeman (director), Claudine Junien (geneticist), Brigitte Lahaie (actress and radio presenter), Elisabeth Lévy Elisabeth Lévy (editor of Causeur), Joëlle Losfeld (publisher), Sophie de Menthon (president of the ETHIC movement), Marie Sellier (author, president of the Société des gens de lettres).n the same way, we defend a freedom to annoy, essential to sexual freedom. We are today sufficiently informed to admit that the sexual impulse is by nature offensive and wild, but we are also sufficiently clear-sighted not to confuse awkward flirting with sexual aggression.

Above all, we are aware that the human person is not monolithic: a woman can, in the same day, lead a professional team and enjoy being the sexual object of a man, without being a "slut" or a vile accomplice of patriarchy. She can ensure that her salary is equal to that of a man, but not feel forever traumatized by a rubbing in the subway, even if it is considered a crime. She may even see it as an expression of great sexual misery, or even as a non-event.

As women, we do not recognize ourselves in this feminism which, beyond the denunciation of the abuse of power, takes the face of a hatred of men and sexuality. We think that the freedom to say no to a sexual proposal does not go without the freedom to importune.

And we consider that it is necessary to know how to answer to this freedom to importune differently than by locking oneself in the role of the prey.

For those of us who have chosen to have children, we feel it is best to raise our daughters to be informed and aware enough to live their lives fully without being intimidated or made to feel guilty.

The accidents that can happen to a woman's body do not necessarily affect her dignity and should not, no matter how hard they may be, necessarily make her a perpetual victim. For we are not reducible to our bodies. Our inner freedom is inviolable. And this freedom that we cherish is not without risks and responsibilities.

The editors of this text are : Sarah Chiche (writer, clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst), Catherine Millet (art critic, writer), Catherine Robbe-Grillet (actress and writer), Peggy Sastre (author, journalist and translator), Abnousse Shalmani (writer and journalist).

Other members of this forum are: Kathy Alliou (curator), Marie-Laure Bernadac (honorary general curator), Stéphanie Blake (author of children's books), Ingrid Caven (actress and singer), Catherine Deneuve (actress), Gloria Friedmann (visual artist), Cécile Guilbert (writer), Brigitte Jaques-Wajeman (director), Claudine Junien (geneticist), Brigitte Lahaie (actress and radio presenter), Elisabeth Lévy Elisabeth Lévy (editor of Causeur), Joëlle Losfeld (publisher), Sophie de Menthon (president of the ETHIC movement), Marie Sellier (author, president of the Société des gens de lettres).

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Pershing Square's 2020

Bill Ackman's now managing $17b, after making 70% returns this year and 60% the year before, with his Pershing Square hedge fund. These two years, though, follow several years of losses. This shows, perhaps, how different investors with their own investing style perform differently in different market conditions.

In March, investors who are very risk-taking, of who foresaw somehow the certain quick recovery, would have performed the best. Going all in after the first week of the crisis in March would have shown the best results, particularly if you went into things like gold and mineral mining companies, vehicle companies like Ford, etc., which have all gone up hundreds of percent since then. Meanwhile, traditional investors like Warren Buffet performed really poorly in the crisis. Perhaps he didn't expect the Fed to do so much stimulus which many credit as doing almost all the lifting of the economy up until November or December when word of vaccine trial conclusions hit the press. But why didn't he? Doesn't he have access to this kind of information? Couldn't his giant investment company get basic forecast information and do the math?

Ackman didn't make his money on being wise after the pandemic, though. He made $2.6b off a single move. A low-downside-risk $26m hedge in the credit default swap index markets. Basically, he made a bet credit spreads, which were at an all time tightest levels ever, would widen going into what he saw to be a serious economic crisis. This would be caused when people would panic and sell and drive prices lower when pandemic news really hit. Notably, he did a voice call with CNBC where he sounded paniced and talked about how everything could go to zero.

His usual style is publicly pressuring management to make changes, an activist style, it is said. He made good returns off doing something like this with Canada's largest railway company a couple years ago, I think.

He's now one of the most talked-about investors of the year, along with Kathy Woods who's also had a good track record, I think largely because of her bet on Tesla a few years ago. I'd put money with him, going forward, I think only if I though he was going to do more highjinx like the panic-call short sell which made him so much.

Ackman interview on it at the end of 2020: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QLRR5lsCElo

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Anthropology in neighborhoods with Nextdoor app

It's an app that works kind of like Facebook, but for realworld community members to post about and to other members. The mods are often the first person in a given community to join, and they have undemocratic power to ban members. It's turned into a big of an issue since people's biases and fears are amplified and given power through the app. People reporting suspicious people on the streets, threatening other members to report them to their employers, etc., in addition to the benefits of posting if someone has fresh fruit to give away. There are a few other apps that are also becoming highly used that do similar things, and Facebook is looking at doing a Neighborhoods feature. Another example of why I doubt I would ever want to live in the future world, even a decade or two ahead. The third and second world where I live might last a little longer, maybe not. The next step is a deserted island, but with the new internet satellites that are planned to deliver service to the entire world, plus solar power so you don't need a power source, plus the ever-sharper eyes in the sky, even deserted islands won't be a refuge from the shitworld. Maybe the best locations will be the worst, like Haiti, where the culture is so violent and untrustworthy that they can never build anything, where although you might live a shitty life there at least it will be relatively and acceptably free. The app is currently privately valued at $2b, and might IPO soon a a $5b $6b valuation. Users are growing.

Every piece of technology that empowers causes problems because it empowers. People in general are not prepared to use power responsibly because they're too mentally limited and mostly don't have the energy or will to control their more destructive tendencies. That's why we see every tool that gives them power cause social problems more than benefits.

Another reason is that in the first world there is so little real problems to fix in terms of problems caused by people. Crime has been declining for decades. It's declined for the past 10 years also, although perception of crime has risen for 10 years, thanks I guess to social media and journalism. It has been declining despite the creation of new and senseless laws making more unharmful things crimes, and more tools empowering the State to impose its laws. Perhaps a large part is that people in the West have nothing to do, and are denied many of the things they could enjoy or pursue in their own lives, so try to nose into or cause problems or 'solve' other people. Part of that no doubt is simply the lazy, nosy nature of people, as we see it in tribes as much as in suburbs.

I sometimes think of something said by that British spy novel writer, who had himself been a low-level spy in the years after WWII, that more spy tools or more ability to collect information was useless, because it didn't find the important parts that were needed. What was required was a very skilled person to know what he needed to find, or the specific-ish things that were valuable, go in to a specific location and get those things, and then they could use them. When they instead had access to more and more spying and tools, it just created useless, unusable mass, to which their labor now had to turn to to work on and try to sort or make sense of, taking them away from doing something targeted and specific to reach valuable specific goals. This is the same thing we have at the public State level now, with their rationales of protecting people from terrorism and other super-rare crimes, as well as some made-up crimes. They collect all data on everyone all the time, and store it all in giant buildings. They completely do more wrong and harm than they possibly could to benefit. But they could never use this information responsibly because it's not targeted and sensibly and responsibly collected and employed. It's just mass. Again, part of it is there isn't much real crime for them to find. Even their main target, terrorism, they can't prevent often as long as the terrorists are the least bit savvy or even if their not. The same thing at the neighborhood level, where people don't have anything really of value to do in terms of watching their neighbors. Any real harm would be so rare. Instead they just create and make up problems so they can find them.

In the Napoleonic wars in Spain of those discounted some soldiers were killed, many more were wounded, and others were deserters. In the battles, they seized the moment they weren't under supervision of their superiors to go in groups of 10 or 15 or 20, all armed and all hungry, down the hill they were fighting on to the village at the bottom of the hill, and ask who the French supporter was, and find out who was the person in the village with the most money, and the French supporter they produced was the most rich person in town, and that's exactly who they killed and took his things.

Today in those same towns we have something just like this banditry, terrorism, whether it be Basques or IS. Who wouldn't join such a group if they thought it was the best way to take things they wanted and didn't see themselves getting otherwise? And at a larger, more convoluted level, communities can be fonts of the same guerrilismo.

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US is blacklisting more Chinese companies

I don't invest in any Chinese companies, so I don't care much, but it's interesting that no one is really framing this in terms of the fact China and it's companies aren't doing anything new that is considered bad. Closer to the truth is that the US has been bad in allowing China to do these things, dating to Kissinger I guess.

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