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Regular version of the site
The Dawn of a Discipline: International Criminal Justice and Its Early Exponents

Bogush G.

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2020.

Book chapter
Semiotic and Legal Analysis of Flags in Russia: Belonging to a Multi-National Federal State Through Color, Form, Space and Time

Erokhina Y., Soboleva A. K.

In bk.: Flags, Color, and the Legal Narrative: Public Memory, Identity, and Critique. Springer, 2021. Ch. 17. P. 333-351.

Working paper
Introducing Patent Linkage in Russia: An Odd Choice at Odd Times

Gavrilova O., Kotova D.

BRICS Competition Law and Policy Series. WP 22. Higher School of Economics, 2021

Introduction to Comparative Law

Academic Year
Instruction in English
ECTS credits
Elective course
2 year, 4 module


Course Syllabus


This introductory course on comparative law is designed especially for undergraduate second-year students who are interested in studying major foreign legal systems and possess a solid knowledge of English but have an educational background limited to the first- and second-year curriculum at the faculty of law. The course, firstly, discusses the nature of ‘traditional’ comparative law, its functions, aims, methods and history, then surveys the main features of the major legal families of the world (civil law, common law, non-Western legal traditions in Asia, mixed jurisdictions), secondly, it maps the world’s legal systems, and, thirdly, it introduces basic research methods of traditional comparative law (functional comparison of major legal systems) confronting them with extended methods of ‘postmodern’ comparative law (contextualised approach to legal systems and institutes). The course is targeted at first-year undergraduate law students who are expected to have successfully completed the undergraduate courses on general legal theory, foreign and Russian legal history, Roman law, Russian constitutional, administrative, civil, and criminal law. Students are expected to learn essential legal English vocabulary, listening to lectures, engaging in disputes, and preparing final written essay. The instructor proposes an interactive mode of giving lectures similar to readings in American law schools. Students are expected to read essential literature before attending lectures, they will be asked questions in order to check their comprehension. From the very beginning of their legal education, students are encouraged to make use of the electronic resources of HSE, as many recommended papers are available at Jstor, Ebrary and other data bases. After completing the course students are expected to be able to: • define basic concepts of comparative law discipline; • explain how comparative law can be used to understand different legal systems of the world; • distinguish and identify key features and institutes of the major legal system (including mixed jurisdictions); • review and summarize recommended academic papers; • coherently state and reason one's own theses in English regarding the issues of the course. This course belongs to the series of general courses of the "40.03.01. Jurisprudence" / Jurisprudence: private law” program, along with general legal theory and foreign legal history. At the same time, it allows students to understand better the courses on particular branches of Russian law, in particular, constitutional, civil, and criminal law.