Friday, November 7, 2008
Husa, Nuotio and Pihlajamaki on Nordic Law
Posted by Mary L. Dudziak
Nordic Law - Between Tradition and Dynamism, edited by Jaakko Husa, University of Joensuu, Kimmo Nuotio, University of Helsinki, and Heikki Pihlajamaki, Academy of Finland, appeared recently from Intersentia (2007). The editors have posted an excerpt on SSRN. Here's the abstract: We find references to Nordic law in legal academic literature quite often. It seems to be the case that many authors quite intuitively connect Nordic law with particular ideals and conceptions of law, without thinking about the issue, as detailed studies to support these intuitions would be in any case difficult to carry out because of language problems. This is where we seek to intervene with our hypotheses, findings and insights, in order to invite a more detailed discussion. As comparatively minded scholars of Nordic law, we have some preconceptions about what Nordic law might be like. We want to explore the mentality underlying it, and explain its relationship with both long-term cultural tradition and the forces that account for its historical continuity, but at the same time we wish to explore how it has been turned into a vehicle of social change, progress and instrumentalism. We are, in some sense, also discussing legal-historical aspects of the emergence of the Nordic welfare state. Our fundamental claim is that the Nordic law has for centuries already been informed by an inclusive and status-oriented view of social justice and social ethics which has been relevant to the general outlining of the legal system, and which has survived many processes of social and cultural transformation. Nordic law could thus be characterised by its commitment to a specific set of values. In the following we will try identify these values in order to give a fuller account of the nature of Nordic law.