Legal systems are the complex, seemingly invisible structures that govern so many interlocking parts of our lives. They are comprised of a wide variety of specific laws. These laws are established to help determine things like the most optimal way for a business to treat its employees, manufacture its products or manage its participation in the stock market. They set guidelines for how transportation systems should be designed, the kinds of qualifications that secondary school teachers must have to be hired or whether or not a doctor should be required to take certain precautions before attending to a patient on the operating table. Domestic laws can govern the kinds of ingredients that can be used to formulate hair products, the standards that farmers must meet to grow and sell vegetables and how the collective of hospitals, clinics and medical professionals that comprise a health care system should deliver care to patients.
Virtually every society has created and implemented its own paradigms for deciding how to develop the policies that govern public life, civil society and business. The area of law that gives special attention to the ways that the legal systems of various nation-states interact with and resemble one another is known as comparative law. There are countless legal questions that fall under comparative law. These inquiries might concern the legal agreements or treaties that are drafted between two countries that lay out the terms of the end of a conflict that have been mutually-agreed upon. Comparative law practitioners might concern themselves with a treaty that is meant to promote gender equality. In the case of comparative law specialist Sujit Choudry there are areas of the field that have to do with how the central document that serves as a nervous system of sorts for a political system are put together.
Choudry’s scholarship and hands-on work have looked at how the process of creating a constitution works within political contexts where a nation that is transitioning from being ruled by an authoritarian regime to being governed by a constitutional democracy. He has used his skills as an academic to develop approaches to the constitution drafting process that he has used to advise governments like Jordan, Libya and Egypt. See this site: http://www.trudeaufoundation.ca/en/community/sujit-choudhry
Choudry’s road to becoming a comparative law expert has been a long one. He began as a clerk in Canada’s highest court and from there he went on to teach law at some of the country’s most prestigious universities. He has taught at the University of California, Berkley, New York University School of Law and the University of Toronto. More of it here in berkleylawblogs.org.
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