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date: 04 June 2020

(p. v) Preface to the Second Edition

(p. v) Preface to the Second Edition

We are delighted that The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Law has been well received—so well, in fact, that the publishers have asked us to prepare a new edition. There is also a substantive reason for this initiative: in the twelve years since the first edition, the discipline of comparative law has developed rapidly—by becoming an even more global enterprise, through intense methodological debates, and by encompassing new topics. In response, and following discussions with friends and colleagues, a number of new chapters have been added. They deal with Comparative Law and Legal Education (by Nora Demleitner), New Directions in Comparative Law (by Mathias Siems), Comparative Human Rights Law (by Samantha Besson), and Comparative Law and European Union Law (by Francis Jacobs).

Very sadly, five authors have died since the first edition was published: Harold J. Berman, E. Allan Farnsworth, H. Patrick Glenn, Harry Krause, and Zentaro Kitagawa. Jim Whitman has kindly written a new chapter on Comparative Law and Religion, and Hein Kötz has provided a new discussion on Comparative Contract Law. The original chapter by Zentaro Kitagawa had covered the Development of Comparative Law in East Asia; for the new edition we thought it more expedient to commission two chapters by two new authors: Taisu Zhang deals with China while Luke Nottage covers Japan. Patrick Glenn’s chapter is republished in its original version but updated with a postscript written by the co-editors. Harry Krause had asked us already some time before his death to place the responsibility for the chapter on Comparative Family Law in the hands of a younger colleague, and we are happy that Jens Scherpe has accepted our invitation to succeed Harry for the second edition of the Handbook. All the other authors have revised and updated their respective chapters. Sometimes considerable parts of a chapter had to be rewritten, while in other cases only a small amount of revision was necessary.

The subdivision of our book into three parts has generally been regarded as appropriate and has thus been left unchanged. As to the thinking behind that subdivision we refer to the Preface to the first edition. The chapter on Comparative Law before the Code Napoléon has been moved to Part I (The Development of Comparative Law in the World) which now contains ten rather than eight chapters. Part II (Approaches to Comparative Law) has been increased from eighteen to twenty-one chapters, and Part III (Subject Areas) from sixteen to seventeen.

Once again, we are very grateful for the cooperation of all the authors (now a total of forty-eight) who have contributed to this volume, for their willingness either to revise their chapters or to join the team, and for their readiness to respond to editorial queries and suggestions. We gratefully acknowledge the support of the institutions with which we are affiliated: the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg and the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor. Finally, we owe a debt of gratitude to the editorial team at OUP for their unfailing support and encouragement.

Mathias Reimann

Reinhard Zimmermann

Hamburg and Ann Arbor, January 2018