Meet the Author – Michele Graziadei on Legal Transplants

August 31, 2018

What are ‘legal transplants’? How do they work in practice, and when are they ‘successful’? Does the notion of ‘legal transplant’ even capture what is at stake, or should we rather use other terms, such as ‘translation’, ‘transfer’ or, more traditionally, ‘reception’? These are just some of the questions that members of the Institute discussed with Professor Michele Graziadei when he visited the Institute on 29 August.

Michele Graziadei is a Full Professor of Comparative Private Law at the Università di Torino and, among other things, President of the Italian Society for Research in Comparative Law and a Titular Member of the International Academy of Comparative Law. His wide-ranging interests include legal theory, legal anthropology, law and language, legal cultures and the making of transnational law. More specifically, he is an authority on the issue of legal transplants, on which he published a seminal chapter in the Oxford Handbook of Comparative Law (Oxford University Press) in 2006.

In preparation for the ‘Meet the author’ session, his draft chapter on ‘Comparative Law, Transplants, and Receptions’, which will be published early next year, had been made available to all participants. After a short introduction in which Professor Graziadei outlined the dynamic development of the research in this field over the past decade, a wide-ranging discussion of the draft continued for the best part of two hours. It focussed on the terminology, empirical examples and the typology of legal transplants, as well as the various factors underlying such transfers and their epistemological value for the relationship between law and society. While it would have been too much to ask that consensus emerged on any of the issues, participants clearly felt that they are now in a much better position to understand the various strands of the debate.

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