Comparative law is the study of the different legal systems across the world. It involves the study of the differences and similarities in common law, socialist law, civil law, Canon law, and religious laws of different cultures. This study of law includes the analysis of foreign legal systems and the importance of this analysis has grown significantly in the present age with the growth of economic globalization, democratization, and internationalism.
This study of law began in the 18th century, with Montesquieu given the title of being its founding father. Comparative law was taken even further by Sir Henry Maine, whose works on legal institutions in primitive societies and discussions on legal traditions were widely read. Rudolf Schlesinger brought the study to the United States, where he taught Comparative Law at Cornell Law School.
Comparative law is used to gather deeper knowledge of effected legal systems, to help perfect legal systems, and can contribute to unification of legal systems. This study has branched off into many disciplines like constitutional law, comparative civil law, comparative administrative law, comparative criminal law, and comparative commercial law. All of these disciplines work together to help show how constitutive elements differ and how they combine to create a system.
Sujit Choudhry is a leading expert on comparative constitutional law and has years of experience as an advisor to constitution building processes in places like Libya, Jordan, South Africa, Nepal, Egypt, Sri Lanka, Ukraine, and Tunisia.
His research has addressed many issues including constitutional design in divided societies, design as a tool to manage transitions to peaceful politics, decentralization and secession, language policy, and basic methodological questions.
Choudhry is an accomplished author, with extensive writings on Canadian constitutional law. He has over ninety published articles, reports, and working papers. He has been published by renowned places such as Cambridge and Oxford. He is currently a member of the Executive Committee of ICONS, the International Society of Public Law. He also sits on the Board at organizations like the International Journal of Constitutional Law, the Cambridge Studies in Constitutional Law, and the Constitutional Court Review.
He is also the Founding Director of the Center for Constitutional Transitions. This helps to mobilize knowledge and supports constitution building by creating and leading networks of experts to lend evidence-based policy options to practitioners. The Center for Constitutional Transitions partners with international organizations. He is also a consultant at the World Bank Institute at the United Nations Development Program and is a member of the United Nations Mediation Roster.