Comparative Law – Ann Arbor

The Third Annual Comparative Law Works in Progress Workshop will be May 14-16, 2008, at the University of Michigan Law School, in Ann Arbor, Michigan. It is sponsored by: American Society of Comparative LawUniversity of Michigan Law SchoolUniversity of Illinois College of Law, and Princeton University, Program for Law and Public Affairs.

The call for papers deadline is Feb. 15, 2008. Details after the jump.

Professor Mathias Reimann (University of Michigan Law School), Professor Jacqueline Ross (University of Illinois College of Law), and Professor Kim Lane Scheppele (Princeton University, Program for Law and Public Affairs) are calling for paper submissions for the Third Annual Comparative Law Works in Progress Workshop, hosted at the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor from May 14-16, 2008.


This year, we are excited to have Kim Lane Scheppele, Laurance S. Rockefeller Professor of Public Affairs in the Woodrow Wilson School and the University Center for Human Values and Director of Princeton’s Program on Law and Public Affairs, join us in co-sponsoring this event, which will from now on be run jointly by the University of Michigan Law School, the University of Illinois College of Law, and Princeton University’s Program on Law and Public Affairs. This workshop will continue to be co-sponsored by the American Society of Comparative Law.

There is no regular opportunity for comparative law scholars in the United States to meet and discuss their work in any depth. The scholarly programs of the meetings of the American Society of Comparative Law are chosen and organized by the respective host schools and aim at the presentation of finished papers on a given topic. While there is some opportunity to present work in progress, there is little opportunity for sustained discussion. The meetings of the Comparative Law Section at the AALS Conference each January are also dedicated to a specific topic and usually exhaust themselves in the presentation of papers with little substantive discussion. There is thus a need for a forum in which comparative law work in progress can be explored among colleagues in a serious and thorough manner that will be truly helpful to the respective authors.

The Annual Comparative Law Works-in-Progress Workshop is intended to fill that need. It will involve up to six  papers during a two-day period. If more than six papers are submitted for discussion, the organizers will jointly  decide which ones to accept, giving preference to younger scholars.

The participants will consist of the respective authors, one commentator on each paper, faculty members of the institution, particularly those with expertise in comparative law and research, and others interested in attending. The overall group will be kept small enough to sit around a large table and to allow serious discussion (20 people maximum). The papers will not be presented at the workshop. They will be distributed two weeks in advance and every participant must have read them before attending  the meeting. The commentator will present a 10 to 15 minute introduction and critique, leaving at least one hour for discussion. There are no plans to publish the papers. Instead, it is up to the authors to seek publication if, and wherever, they wish.

The Third Annual Comparative Law Workshop will take place on May 14-16 at the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Workshop will be funded by the host school and by the American Society of Comparative Law (ASCL). Authors of papers and commentators from ASCL member schools will be reimbursed for their travel expenses and accommodation up to $600.00, in accordance with the ASCL reimbursement policy (as posted on its webpage), though only up to six authors and commentators will be reimbursed by the ASCL. (The University of Michigan School of Law will reimburse the remainder.) The ASCL’s policy provides that reimbursement is available only if the applicant cannot obtain reimbursement from his or her home school.


Interested authors should submit papers electronically to Mathias Reimann, purzel|at|; Jacqueline Ross, jeross1|at|; and Kim Lane Scheppele, kimlane|at| by February 15, 2008. We will inform them of our decision by the end of March, 2008. “Work in progress” means scholarship that has reached a stage at which it is substantial enough to merit serious discussion and critique but that has not yet appeared in print (although it may have been accepted for publication. It includes law review articles, book chapters or outlines, substantial book reviews, and other appropriate genres.

Our objective is not only to provide an opportunity for the discussion of scholarly work but also to create an opportunity for comparative lawyers to get together for two days devoted to nothing but talking shop, both in the sessions and outside. We hope that this will create synergy that fosters more dialogue, cooperation, and an increased sense of coherence in a discipline badly in need of it.

     Mathias Reimann
     Jacqueline Ross
     Kim Lane Scheppele