Global, local and glocal schools: the role of comparative law and the impact of globalisation
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Australian legal education has evolved from teaching within State-based legal systems to qualify students for legal practice within that system to a national system in which students can qualify for practice across the country. This calls for a law degree that satisfies regulatory requirements settled nationally by judges and other members of the legal profession. The Australian qualification is also recognised and accepted in many overseas jurisdictions. It is important now to internationalise the educational experience of law students to prepare them for new modes of professional legal practice at home and abroad. This covers both content of their work and the skills that are needed for it. In the many debates on this subject, three modes of internationalisation of the curriculum are suggested: segregation; integration; and immersion. The first is to have separate courses or qualifications to recognise this dimension. The second is to make internationalisation an intrinsic part of all teaching. The third is to send the student to another legal system to study and live inside it. The most common problem is that of resources, both human and educational. Few university lawyers are expert in more than one system or have the skills to move from one to another. An internationalised perspective can be adopted in basic domestic subjects such as contract or family law. Secondly, those hybrid areas of international commercial law such as international sales, arbitration and intellectual property, where there is an amalgam of many systems of law, can be used to isolate the core. It is dangerous simply to adopt a comparative law analysis that sees legal systems as separate entities and disregards interconnectedness. What is fatal is glocalisation-the projection of law-at-home merely to capture a foreign market.
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