BACL Newsletter 2021-22

In this newsletter, we look back at another extraordinary year. Notwithstanding the ripple effect of the Covid-19 pandemic and a global economic crisis, BACL activities have continued to attract new audiences online. We have carried on many discussions of Comparative law research and methods and have taken pride in gradually expanding the range of themes considered, and in bringing together a vibrant and diverse community of Comparative lawyers. We renew our thanks to those who support BACL activities from near and from afar, and we look forward to resuming activities in person when we can in 2022-2023.

Dr Sirko Harder, Dr Yseult Marique, Professor Claudina Richards, and Dr Sophie Turenne (BACL Committee)


Welcome to Dr Sirko Harder, elected as BACL Treasurer at our December 2021 meeting. Sirko has worked at universities in Australia, England, Germany and Scotland. His areas of research are the law of obligations and private international law. He is interested in comparing the laws of different common law jurisdictions and of civil law and common law jurisdictions.

Welcome also to four new BACL reps, Dr John Stanton, Dr Radosveta Vassileva, Dr Colm McGrath and Marjan Parkinson. Marjan joined from December 2021, so we welcome Leeds Trinity University as a new BACL member. Marjan is the SLS Comparative Law subject convenor. In March, Colm became BACL rep for KCL where he is the module convenor for tort law. When Radosveta joined BACL in June 2022 (for the presentation of her new book, click here), we welcome Middlesex as a new BACL member. John joined in the Summer 2022. He is a Senior Lecturer at City Law School and has been a SLS Public Law subject convenor since 2012.



  • Congratulations to the five great comparatists honoured by the International Academy of Comparative Law in May 2022: Esin Örücü (Glasgow), Ewoud Hondius (Utrecht), Vernon Palmer (Tulane), Jorge Sánchez Cordero (Vice President, International Association of Legal Science) and Elisabeth Zoller (Paris-Panthéon-Assas). For the laudation, please visit this page.
  • The IACL 2022 Congress will be held in Asunción (Paraguay), on 23-28 October 2022.  For more information, visit the IACL webpage dedicated to the Conference by clicking here.


  • Annual Seminar 2021

The 2021 Annual Seminar was dedicated to the regulation of hate speech online. It was held online on 31 August 2021, at the start of the Society of Legal Scholars’ Conference.

Chairs: Dr Oliver Butler (Oxford University) and Dr Sophie Turenne (Cambridge University)

• Dr Ge Chen (Durham University)
• Dr Peter Coe (University of Reading)
• Professor Thomas Hochmann (Paris Nanterre)
• Professor Mathias Hong (Hochschule für öffentliche Verwaltung Kehl)
• Professor Andrew Kenyon and Dr Anjalee de Silva (University of Melbourne)
• Professor Uta Kohl (Southampton University)
• Dr Jacob Rowbottom (Oxford University).

The recordings for each presentation are available here. The papers were further discussed in a closed workshop online (February 2021), under the joint umbrella of BACL and the Cambridge Centre for Public Law, and with the support of the Human Rights Law Centre of Nottingham University. They have now been published online in the Journal of Media Law (June 2022), available by clicking here.

  • PhD workshop

Thanks a lot once again! I will definitely recommend it to my fellow DPhil students.“

PhD Student Workshop 2022

We are grateful to Dr Ida Petretta and Dr Simone Glanert (Kent) for the outstanding organization of our second PhD Workshop online, which led to a focused and constructive discussion. Professor Jaakko Husa (Helsinki) gave us the honour of a keynote speech on “Interdisciplinary Comparative law: A Sisyphean task?”, and the speech is available online here.

Topics covered a diversity of approaches to comparative law, with some conceptual presentations, for instance on Comparative law as a source of law (Dominique de Sanots Ferreira), or about pioneering interdisciplinary methods on comparative constitutional design (Lidia Bonifati). Current political topics were considered, such as European comparative constitutionalism and social rights (Maria Kosoni), democratic backsliding in Mongolia (Geser Ganbataar), and judicial independence and the Rule of Law in Africa with a focus on Sierra Leone (Emmanuel Saffa Abdulai). New technologies were also the subject of discussions on smart cities and local services (Gianluigi Delle Cave) and contract law in the age of big data (Cemre Bedir). Legal development in Chilean tort law due to an external event, the 2010 tsunami, was also analysed (Ignacio Rios). Finally, the interactions between comparative law, conflicts of laws and international law featured in a number of other presentations. These included discussions on ‘Master Zhang Gong the Chinese Mummy as a person or a property’ (Zhen Chen); ‘custody orders in India compared with Japan’ (Syed Mujtabq Athar), and analysis of enforcement claims and cross-border movement, with presentations about the collection of monetary claims (Martina Ticic) and tax cooperation in the EU (Aikaterini Antoniou).

“Many thanks @BritAssoCompLaw for this fantastic workshop and to Professor Glanert for her insightful comments.”

PhD Student Workshop 2022

“All the presentations @BritAssoCompLaw were very insightful”

PhD Student Workshop 2022

We are grateful to Ahmed Hegazi (general manager, Intersentia) for sharing insights and tips into publishing PhD dissertations.

We were also glad that senior colleagues attended the Workshop and provided feedback to the participants, with our thanks in particular to Professor Alun Gibbs (Southampton), Dr Catherine Pedamon (Westminster), Dr Sirko Harder (Sussex) and Professor Claudina Richards (UEA).

  • Online book discussion

Dr Yseult Marique organised a closed workshop on 30 June 2022 and speakers presented and discussed case studies in answer to the following question: “Federalism, proportionality and subsidiarity in Covid-19 times: Are there any advantages compared to unitary states? – Case studies from local government”. They discussed the influence of federalism on local responsiveness to crises (both in their socio-economic dimensions and in their public order dimensions).

Speakers were: Yseult Marique(Essex), Nico Steytler(University of the Western Cape), Elena De Nictolis(Georgetown University), Cathy Berx(Antwerp – Province Governor), Jurien Korzelius (Wetgevingswerken),Philippe Cossalter (University of Saarland), Paul Anderson (Liverpool John Moores) and Jeff King (UCL). We are grateful to Johanne Poirier (McGill) for chairing the session.

  • Blog posts

The blog received more than 40 contributions this year on a wide range of topics. Notable blog posts include a discussion of Paul Daly’s book Administrative Law in the Common Law, with comments offered by John Bell (Cambridge) (here), Peter Cane (Cambridge/ANU)(here), Giacinto Della Cananea (Bocconi) (here) and with a reply by Paul Daly (here). Various other posts received attention from our readers, such as Marie-Claire  Ponthoreau’s piece on academic global trotters; David Nelken’s post ‘Between Comparison and Commensuration’; and some Comparative Criminal law posts, such as Jacqueline Hodgson’s post on ‘The metamorphosis of criminal justice: a comparative account’ and ‘What makes criminal justice systems effective? A comparative perspective’ by Robin Hofmann.


  • Annual Seminar 2022

The 2022 Annual Seminar is dedicated to ‘Comparative Torts – Liability for AI’. It will take place online on 6 September 2022, 10-11:30 am BST (before the opening of the Society of Legal Scholar’s Conference) and we warmly invite you to join us for a lively discussion on this topic!

Artificial intelligence (AI) will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and interact with each other, and tort law has an essential regulatory role to play in the deployment of AI systems. Legal scholars and policymakers across jurisdictions have considered a wide array of solutions to cover possible compensation gaps for damage caused by AI-systems, from the extension of current doctrines (agency relationship, non-delegable duties, liability for damage caused by animals, the adaptation of product liability) to bolder approaches (the creation of an electronic personhood or of new civil liability regimes). Other solutions involve entirely stepping away from tort law (e.g. by implementing a new compensation scheme). What place, then, should distinct legal systems give to these solutions, and what factors should be considered in developing solutions to possible compensation gaps?

Speakers will consider the existing (tortious) liability regimes applicable to damage caused by AI-systems within and outside the European Union; they will discuss current approaches to reforming tort law in light of the challenges presented by the regulation of AI-systems. Insights into the policy objectives and the driving factors behind the different ways of regulating AI-systems will highlight techniques and factors of legal development.

There will be time for an online discussion and a Q&A with the audience.

Chair: Professor TT Arvind (York University)


· Professor Bernhard Koch (University of Innsbruck)

· Professor Ugo Pagallo (University of Turin)

· Professor Simon Chesterman (University of Singapore)

Registration to this Seminar can be done by clicking on this link.

  • 2023 PhD workshop in Warwick

The 2023 PhD Workshop will take place at the University of Warwick, and we are grateful to Professor Jacqueline Hodgson for hosting it. More information will follow in early 2023.

  • 2022 Online Book discussion – French Administrative Law

Following the success of previous online discussions, we plan to organize an online discussion in 2022-2023 around the book by Professor John Bell (Cambridge) and Professor Lichère (Lyon 3) on Contemporary French Administrative Law (CUP 2022) [available in open access here].


  • Our Next Annual Meeting is scheduled on 13th September 2022 (12.00-1pm).
  • BACL also welcomes expressions of interests from reps to organise the PhD Workshop in 2025.
  • As ever, any suggestions to contribute a blog post or a blog series are gratefully received. Please email your suggestions to
  • Please do consider following the blog by clicking here. You will then be able to follow all our events and will receive approximatively one email per week during term time about comparative law developments among a wide range of areas of the law. An excellent way to provide comparative law illustrations for any modules you might be teaching!