Common vs. Civil Law: Much Ado About Nothing?


Friday, November 17, 2017, 12:00pm to 1:00pm


Harvard Law School, Lewis, Room 102
There are a number of studies that compare civil procedure in common law and civil law countries. Prof. Spamann has noticed, using World-Bank and hand-collected data, and unlike earlier studies that used predecessor data sets, that there are no systematic differences between common and civil law countries in the complexity, formalism, duration, or cost of procedure in courts of first instance. On the occasion of the talk, it will be analyzed, by a subjective measure, that contract enforceability in common law countries is higher than in French, but lower than in German and Scandinavian, civil law countries. Given civil procedure's central role for the common/civil law distinction, these findings challenge the distinction's economic relevance.


Speaker: Holger Spamann, Professor of Law at Harvard Law School

Chair: José Manuel Martinez Sierra, RCC Director, Faculty Sponsor of the Harvard European Law Association, Jean Monnet ad personam Professor in EU Law and Government, Co-chair, EU Law and Government Study Group, Center for European Studies at Harvard University

Sponsors: RCC; Harvard European Law Association