European law, comparative law and legal methodological teaching

The increasing importance of European law, also on the national level, represents a great challenge for economic trade and lawyers operating in this field. To obtain information from data banks, magazines or other material is often too expensive and time-consuming. With the aid of funding by the Jean Monnet Programme a unique data bank has been established in the past years which provides free access to the German and European law of economics. The data bank focuses on European law, European private law, consumer protection law, company law, capital markets law, and competition law. It is being continually updated and, with more than 1 mio clicks per year, has become firmly established as a medium of information. Since German law is becoming increasingly Europeanised, lawyers are not only confronted with information problems but also with new challenges in respect of legal interpretation. Standard editions by Larenz, Bydlinski and Fikentscher on methodological teaching, due to their considerable age, provide only insufficient orientation. We are therefore in the process of preparing a holistic edition on methodological teaching which not only contains an introduction to the subject, but offers a deeper insight into methodological teaching by means of practical examples. In so doing, three goals shall be achieved:

  • 1.Fast access to relevant examples of legal argumentation which serve to train legal reasoning and thinking
  • 2.Overview of the historic roots of methodological teaching and creating awareness for contact points with constitutional law
  • 3.Presentation of European and comparative legal methods
Methodology of comparative law, which represents an important aspect at the Centre for European Legal Studies (CELOS), also provides orientation in the interpretation and implementation of European law. By studying the legal systems of Germany’s neighbouring countries possible deficits of implementation by the national legislator may be revealed and excessive legislation avoided. In many cases, as for example in respect of the current financial crisis, it is worthwile to study the Anglo-American legal system as its laws often have a signal effect on European law, in particular in capital market law and law of limited liability companies (for example Sarbanes Oxley Act, etc). Studying foreign legal systems often makes evident that certain actions are required in national law making; for this reason the comparison of legal systems has gained increasing importance over the last years. Prof Möllers therefore intends to make his students familiar with this topic as early as possible. He offers an annual seminar on “Economic analysis of law” in cooperation with Prof Wendel of the University of Pepperdine (California). German and American seminar participants thus gain an insight into the German and the American legal systems, respectively, and will learn how to check legal regulations for their efficiency by applying economic criteria. Besides, the inter-cultural competencies of the German students are strengthened in the seminar as it will be held in English and attended by American guest students, too.