hopenhagen

This semester at Dickinson I took a course about Comparative Law. All semester we studied the differences and similarities between legal systems of different nations. One author we read, Patrick Glenn, suggests that by studying an individual nation’s legal systems and traditions, one can uncover “truth.”

Since I have been at the Cop-15 here in Denmark, I’ve thought a lot about Comparative Law. Today I sat in the main Plenary session (which, for those who don’t know, is comparable to a full session of Congress but larger) and watched the official party delegates debate in front of me. Swaziland’s laws are entirely different from China’s, yet both countries came together to discuss a policy of global significance such as climate change. China and the United States have vastly different legal systems, yet both are present to negotiate. Of course policy positions and interests will differ, but these countries Plenary delegate seats were filled.

Does the mere fact that these countries are present at Cop-15 despite differences point to any fundamental “truth?@ I think so. At the very least these delegates and their staff are making an effort to better mankind’s position. It is TRUE that no matter our nationality, we are internally motivated for progress. How “progress” is defined, however, varies.

As a citizen of Hopenhagen for the next two weeks, and as a student of Comparative Law, I aim to determine what type of “progress” is best.

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