Comparative Law Can Bridge the Gap Between Nations

Since societies began to form and conflicts arose, there has always been the need for mutually agreed on rules of law. Over time, unique systems of government came to reflect the cultural norms of a nation’s population. Understanding the laws and underlying social contexts became important when different societies interacted.

Comparative law is a relatively modern term that was first used in the 19th century. Legal periodicals were published in Germany as early as 1829 and in France as early as 1834. These periodicals aimed to further the systematic study of international law. In France, the civil and merchant laws of various nations were recorded in tomes and cross-referenced with French laws. At this time, the comparison of legal systems started to be organized in a systematic approach, and it was used to increase understanding between foreign countries that had complex legal dealings.

International comparative law combines a number of specializations, such as intellectual property, human rights infringements, criminal law and tax and labor law. Applying this broad spectrum of disciplines can help to understand the laws of one country in comparison to another. Comparative law has helped develop international legal ideologies prevalent in such bodies as the United Nations, or in internationally convened courts. In this way, international comparative law is primarily used to look at legal problems and institutions as well as entire legal philosophies. It helps us to gain insights that are not available by studying the laws of a single country.

Sujit Choudhry holds the I. Michael Heyman Professor of Law chair at Berkeley. He is an international authority in the subject of comparative constitutional law. Choudhry has a wide range of research focuses and extensive field experience in constitution law. His work has taken him to Egypt, Jordan, Libya, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, Nepal and South Africa. Professor Choudhry’s research topics have included:

constitutional design that manages the move away from violent conflict to peaceful and democratic politics

-constitutional design in societies that are ethnically divided

-federalism

-decentralization and peaceful secession

-unbiased constitutional courts

-official language policies in multi-lingual societies

-minority rights

-development of basic bills of rights

Professor Choudhry received law degrees from three universities, including Oxford, Toronto and Harvard. He is a Rhodes Scholar who served as a law clerk to the Chief Justice of the Canadian Supreme Court. He has also written extensively on Canadian constitutional law and published over ninety articles, book chapters and reports.

Eric Lefkofsky, American Entrepreneur

Eric Lefkofsky is a highly successful American entrepreneur who is ranked in the prestigious Forbes 400 as one of the top wealthiest Americans today. Eric Lefkofsky began in a respectable career field, studying law at University of Michigan.  His first venture into the internet world, where he would eventually earn phenomenal success, actually started out with a small internet company in 1999 named Starbelly. Eric Lefkofsky sold this first business to Halo Industries and ran the business as their chief operating officer, which provided Lefkofsky with his first experience as CEO of an internet business. Although Halo and Starbelly both went bankrupt, the lessons learned from this business venture taught Lefkofsky some of the basics of business operations including the legal negotiations due to shareholder losses and concerns. All of these issues were satisfactorily resolved by 2004, and from this point onwards, Eric Lefkofsky achieved high growth success in several important internet companies.

First, InnerWorkings, which is a global marketing approach to advertising, with no limits on the type or size of business. They have partnered with Pizza Hut, Nike, Unilever, and many other internationally recognized companies, providing them with the necessary tools for expansion worldwide through innovative, cutting-edge technologies. Lefkofsky is co-founder of Uptake, an action-oriented data technology approach that uses computer analytics to increase exposure on the internet, which is vitally important for businesses in the twenty-first century. Groupon is another successful internet company that Eric Lefkofsky co-founded, which saves consumers money while also bringing new customers into local businesses.

As with all of Lefkofsky’s business ventures, Groupon is based in Chicago, where Lefkofsky has expanded his enterprises and has rightfully earned an excellent reputation. His philanthropic donations to science, education, medical research and the arts are funded through the Lefkofsky Family Foundation, which was founded in 2006. Grants are frequently based in Chicago, where the charitable trust has contributed generously to the arts and culture. However, as an international organization that is dedicated to human rights everywhere, grants have also helped non-profit groups and causes worldwide.

After Eric Lefkofsky stepped down from his role as CEO of Groupon, he joined the health-tech company, Tempus, which is working to find solutions to cure cancer from a modern and personalized perspective. Their research focuses on the genetic component of this perplexing disease, which will have a lasting impact for future generations and lead to higher success rates and even the key to a cure. Eric Lefkofsky’s social media presence demonstrates that his interests are very much an integral part of his technological acumen and innovative approaches to twenty-first century business solutions.