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Comparative law is a research methodology which has been increasingly fashionable in recent decades, as comparisons between common law and civil law have dominated the law studies landscape. There are many methods of comparative law in use, including comparison of legal rules, comparison of cases, and comparison of legal theories. Each of these methods has strong proponents and opponents. Dogmatic comparisons of rules are criticized for not giving the whole picture of law in action, but praised for being the first and the only truly legal step in comparative research. Case-based comparisons are praised for enabling us to compare the true understanding of rules by courts, yet the critics of this method point out that only the higher courts' decisions are subject to comparison, and most cases do not reach this stage. Finally, comparisons of legal theories are praised for enabling us to know the spirit of the laws, yet opponents would argue that many countries sharing the same theory would draw opposite conclusions from it.
This book is a result of the attempted (and successful) introduction of comparative law into the region of Eastern and Central Europe. The subject has induced interest beyond expectations. This volume opens with a chapter on the unification of law, both from the perspective of institutional unification by such supra-state organizations, spontaneous and institutionalized unifications between two or more legal systems, and the methods of choosing the right rules in the unification process. Chapters two and three follow the classical division of private and public law, as proposed by the brilliant Roman lawyer Ulpian. Overall, the chapters in this book offer an interesting and engaging commentary on the current topics discussed by academics in Eastern and Central Europe.