Question: Are there aspects of the law, legal culture, or legal education that the United States legal system (or your home country’s legal system) could emulate to improve the current practice? Please explain your views drawing upon specific examples from any two countries that we covered in the course.
The legal systems embraced in different countries often affect the traditions of these nations in diverse ways. The manner in which individual nations have historically adapted to certain legal cultures has facilitated the prevailing practices in these nations. In comparative law, certain legal systems have existed for centuries without a slight change of influence from other legal systems of any modern developments. For instance, Germany, France, Switzerland and Italy have had separate legal systems often termed as ‘civil law’. Although these nations have been classified under the same name, it is also apparent that numerous distinctions exist among these legal systems. The prevailing legal framework of the work has been highly influenced by globalization. In fact, world legal systems are being intertwined whereby many nations are increasingly borrowing certain elements of other legal systems adopted by other nations. It is therefore becoming very important for individual nations to understand the distinctions between their legal systems with those of other nations. This has facilitated the integration of certain elements of other legal systems in order to improve the legal traditions and practices.
A general view of the legal culture, legal aspects and legal education of various national practices such as German, Italy, and France reveals that numerous modifications are required to make these legal systems better than they currently are. Indeed, the process of globalization is creating the need for certain changes to be implemented on certain legal practices in order to make these legal systems and traditions relevant and accommodative of the various unique characteristics of many global nations. Civil and Common legal practices have become the elements of important discussion and attempt to impose relevant changes have widely been experienced. Presently, it is not very easy for scholars to solely analyze a legal system of a nation based on just one legal tradition. There has been massive cross-pollination of diverse legal systems especially due to globalization to the extent that many contemporary legal traditions are a combination many legal traditions and practices.
Indeed, comparative law has had a renaissance as the field is no longer awash with extensive scholars trying to understand the distinctions among various legal systems and practices. Instead, the field is basically considered for political exploitations. There has been extensive transformation of legal systems owing to the various globalization effects such as constitutionalism, increasing levels of judicial re view as well the reduced supremacy of the parliament. Therefore, it has become increasingly difficult to apply aspects of public-private distinctions. It is therefore becoming a common trend for legal systems to adapt to judicial discretion particularly in areas related to public law. The era of post WWII has seen massive alterations in German and French legal traditions towards an activist perspective. Therefore courts in these nations have embraced certain practices aimed at transforming important areas of the law such as labor matters and consumer protection. For instance, the Federal Labor Court of Germany was integral in the development of comprehensive code to govern labor in the post WWII period.
The changes needed in certain legal systems especially in Italy, France and Germany relate to aspects of civil and common law practices and traditions needed for the handling of important provisions. In spite of the apparent converging of different judicial systems in the modern world, it is still evident that judicial systems and practices still remain highly terse in many nations. For instance, the French legal decisions have adopted a terse approach. Legal education systems are important practices that have not had extensive convergence in many legal systems. Indeed, legal education systems play a critical role in upholding the origins as well as legal philosophy of an individual nation. It is no wonder that certain notions related to the supremacy of parliament have come up as a result of the view of the judiciary. It is however evident that various legal education traditions have adapted a four year course in undergraduate studies as well as a legal internship to provide relevant training to lawyers. Although the basic legal education trend is as such, some legal traditions such as French have developed elaborate schools to offer legal education. These schools are often referred to as magistrate schools and are solely meant to equipping candidates with adequate judicial knowledge to facilitate a legal career with a strong foundation.
It is often generally accepted that anybody can pursue a career in as long as they have met the minimum requirements to study in a university. However, the U.S Law School Admissions Test (LSAT) is now practiced anywhere in many legal practices on legal education. The only important requirement in many legal education system practices is the need for students to actively demonstrate their abilities to handle the highly competitive legal programs. It is therefore not uncommon that many candidates often fail at different levels of the program owing to the competitive nature of the program. Another common practice among the various legal education systems is the   requirement for students to make an initial decision as to whether they are interested in becoming private lawyers, judges, and notary or government lawyers. It is therefore   uncommon for legal professionals to rotate among the different legal practices as is the case in America. Nevertheless, the American practice can be helpful to some extent as it provides a general understanding of the whole legal system by legal professionals. It is therefore advisable for other legal systems to adopt a trend such as the one adopted in America in order to enjoy maximum flexibility of legal practitioners. Germany has a legal education system such that students are required to first complete their law course and then undertake a First State Exam for passage. However, there are no diplomas are issued and are then allowed to undertake ‘bar’ exam often administered by the court of Appeals. Similarly, the French traditional practice of legal education involves first acquisition of a law degree. This is subsequently followed by acquisition of an equivalent of bar exam often undertaken after a year-long training dedicated to practice and theory. The legal traditions on legal practices among various nations are therefore almost similar except for very slight distinctions. Relevant changes may be adopted in cases where there is pressing need to do so.