Comparative Law and Sujit Choudhry’s Role in Constitutional Law and Development

Comparative law, as the name suggests, is the study of different legal systems used around the world. It entails the analysis and description of diverse legal systems such as civil law, common law, socialist law, canon law, Islamic law, Hindu law, Jewish law, and Chinese law. Comparative law has grown to be of practical importance because there has been an increase in world trade and globalization. Business persons and investors thus find themselves interacting with people from different jurisdictions.


Comparative law is crucial in harmonizing legal systems. A good example is in the European Union, where efforts in comparative law are helping bring together codification. The need for unification of various laws arose from the need to do away with conflict of legislation.  Read this.


History of Comparative Law


According to, the Origins of comparative law can be tracked back to Europe, specifically the 18th century. Montesquieu is regarded as its proponent. This can be traced back to chapter III of his book, “De l’esprit des Lois.” Sir Henry Maine is considered a more modern proponent of anthropological and comparative jurisprudence. Sir Maine was a British jurist and legal historian. In 1861, his work on ancient law, its connection with the early history of society, and its relation to modern ideas set out to define comparative law in its historical context. It was very influential and widely read.



About Sujit Choudhry


Prof. Sujit Choudhry is the I. Michael Heyman Law Professor and is a former Dean of Berkeley Law. Mr. Choudhry is internationally known for his authority on comparative constitutional development as well as comparative constitutional law. His research attempts to address the use of constitutional design as a module to manage the transition from violent conflict to democratic politics particularly in ethnically divided countries. Another issue his research attempts to address is the transition from dictatorial to a democratic rule.


Prof. Sujit Choudhry holds multiple law degrees from Toronto, Oxford, and Harvard. Being a Rhodes Scholar, he served as the law clerk to Canada’s Chief Justice, Mr. Lamer. In 2010, He received the Trudeau Fellowship. Before joining Berkeley Law, Sujit Choudhry was a Law Professor at NYU School of Law.