Published In

International Journal of Legal Information

Document Type

Book Review

Publication Date



Legal Harmonization, Comparative Law, Private International Law, Financial Institutions


"Theory and Practice of Harmonisation" is an edited symposium publication which tackles the ambitious topic of legal harmonisation. Some common themes can be identified. First, several papers deal with the background to or reasons for harmonisation and consider whether harmonisation goals are being met.Second, several papers examine language-textual issues or problems with defining concepts. A third centralizing theme is the role of legal institutions, in particular courts, in facilitating harmonisation. Finally, a fourth theme is evident in those papers that look at the instruments, mechanisms or legal techniques that are used to implement harmonisation. As a whole, the text seems somewhat ‘old-fashioned’ in talking about harmonisation – law’s more global operation – without including recent reflections on governance, legal pluralism or similar articulations about multiple jurisdictional claims to legitimacy. Other than superficial mention in a handful of chapters, the text misses out on Comparative Law’s contributions and debates, for example: whether particular legal legacies are better choices than others; whether certain areas of law harmonise more easily; whether and how laws move transnationally; and whether and how local legal culture serves as an obstacle to reception of foreign law.