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Study of International Law Becomes de rigueur 1 - 2 - 3 - 4- 5- 6 - 7 - 8

Mooney, professor of law and internationally recognized expert in commercial law, says all aspects of commercial law have been subject to international and cross-border influence during the last thirty years, and at an increasing pace. So it is important, he says, to keep current with changes occurring in the field.

"International sales contracts ... have long been a staple of commercial law," Mooney says. "But since the Vienna Sales Convention has become effective and widely adopted, the substance of cross-border sales law has become international."

At the same time, he says, the trend is toward adopting uniform laws worldwide in the areas of negotiable instruments and leasing and securities transfers. Projects are under way at The Hague Conference and at the International Institute for the Unification of Private Law to study ways to internationalize securities transfers.

Burbank, David Berger Professor for the Administration of Justice, and a respected authority on international civil litigation, says learning about procedure in other countries is valuable not only for what it teaches American students about those legal systems but for what it tells them about their own.

“A sophisticated appreciation of procedure, and in particular of its power, is possible only if a student is able to put the rules of procedure in larger context,” says Burbank. “A comparative international perspective is extremely useful for that purpose, because it helps students see that litigation and hence the rules governing litigation play different roles in different societies, and thus that changing those rules may have consequences far beyond the courtroom.”

Burbank continues, “Litigation plays a unique or virtually unique role in the United States, serving functions that in other societies are the province of social insurance or administrative law. That insight alone suggests that consequentially changing the rules governing litigation (including litigation finance) without providing counterbalancing reforms in such areas as social insurance or administrative law would constitute very radical social reform.”

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