Internationalisation of Legal Research and Education

Statement about the conference “Areas and Disciplines” by Sundhya Pahuja

What does the “internationalisation” of legal research, teaching and practice mean? My own experience suggests that there are different versions of what the idea of internationalisation does and should mean in relation to law, whether understood as an analytical category, institutional practice or research orientation. These variants translate to differences in both strategy and appropriate evaluative measure. In any given institution, whether through neglect, design or entrepreneurialism, these visions are usually put into practice at the same time, sometimes in fierce competition, sometimes in peaceable parallel. But even without direct conflict, this can get complicated, as each variant of internationalisation demands the formation of a particular kind of “global lawyer”, each is associated with its own ethic of conduct, and each values particular kinds of research practice and training over others. In my introductory comments, I will try to disentangle and describe some of the main variants of the conceptualisation of the internationalisation of legal research and education circulating in the contexts I know well. I will also try to pattern the kinds of scholarly practices associated with each one. The objective is to consider what is at stake in each version of the internationalisation of law, legal education and legal scholarship, for the institution, the scholar and the student, but also for the broader public, both at home and away.

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