Katharina Schmidt, ‘On American “Dilettantism” and German “Pedantry”: A Comparative Look at Law Journal Culture and the Future of Legal Knowledge Production’

Almost by necessity, the cultural and institutional features of legal knowledge production differ from one system to the next. Like law itself, they are a product of history, borne out of pragmatism rather than advance planning, and deeply connected to the division of competences within the legal profession. Having said that, it would be hubristic and petty to mock the American legal community’s willingness to let first- and second-year law students – jurisprudential amateurs by any standard – take the lion’s share of editorial decisions. Similarly, it would be bumptious and myopic to ridicule the oh-so-typical German proclivity towards excluding everything novel and interesting via a regime of strictly enforced peer review. Instead, one would do well to acknowledge that path-dependence is real and that the story is always just a little bit more complicated than our comfortably unreflective faith in the superiority of the way things are done back home will have us believe … (more)

[Völkerrechtsblog, 17 November]

First posted 2014-11-19 07:28:57

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