The American Journal of Comparative Law

About the Journal

The American Journal of Comparative Law was founded in 1952. As the official journal of the American Society of Comparative Law, it publishes four issues a year and is devoted to comparative and transnational legal studies – including, among other subjects, comparative law, comparative and transnational legal history and theory, private international law and conflict of laws, and the study of legal systems, cultures, and traditions other than those of the US.

In its long and rich history, The AJCL has published articles authored by scholars representing all continents, regions, and legal cultures of the world. A peer-reviewed, leading journal in the field, it has been hosted in the past by institutions such as the UC Berkeley School of Law, Columbia Law School and the University of Michigan Law School; currently, the Georgetown University Law Center and the McGill University Faculty of Law jointly serve as its host.

From our latest issue

Volume 69, Issue 3, September 2021


  • Proportionality in the Age of Populism

    Pages 449–477,

    The European-based proportionality doctrine seems to be in vogue in American constitutional scholarship. Recently, the Harvard Law Review has devoted its Foreword by Jamal Greene, to this doctrine. In a provocative and bold article, titled “Rights as Trumps?,” Greene argued that proportionality analysis should be openly adopted in the United States as a more sophisticated and up-to-date doctrine than the rights-as-trumps categorical approach. Current constitutional adjudication, he contended, requires a nuanced and factually based analysis of the sort afforded by proportionality. We argue, contrary to this argument, that proportionality may not be the best doctrinal candidate in the United States, taking into consideration the populist shift in the United States. We wish to make a more general point about the use of proportionality in the new global age of populism. The rise of populism, and the increasing signs of democratic backsliding across the globe, require the employment of a more categorical approach that better serves the purpose of red lining and enhances the democratic process.

  • The Purposive Transformation of Corporate Law

    Pages 478–538,

    What is the purpose of a corporation? This fundamental question is as old as corporate law itself, and traditionally it is asked with reference to the ultimate beneficiaries of a corporation’s activities. Modern management theory and the current technology-driven transformation of the economy, however, have breathed new life into the question about corporate purpose. Here, purpose is understood as an animated mission-purpose articulation of the reason for a corporation’s existence; an aspirational idea about its existence that has the capacity to bond internal and external stakeholders to the company, inspiring innovation, productivity, and customer loyalty. This understanding of corporate purpose offers a pathway to a more inclusive and interconnected form of modern capitalism.

  • Buddhist Rules About Rules: Procedure and Process in the (Theravāda) Buddhist Legal System

    Pages 539–573,

    This Article examines rules of procedure and process that structure the Buddhist legal system in the Theravāda tradition, the dominant tradition of Buddhism in South and Southeast Asia. Drawing on important Buddhist texts written in Pāli as well as evidence from monastic legal practices in contemporary Sri Lanka, it argues that one can find within the Theravāda tradition a robust body of what H.L.A. Hart would call “secondary rules,” which determine how monks ought to apply prohibitions, manage disputes, and administer sanctions.

  • Judging as Crime: A Transatlantic Perspective on Criminalizing Excesses of Judicial Discretion

    Pages 574–614,

    Drawing on over a century and a half of Germany’s experience with a statute that criminalizes (mis)judging, this Article seeks to substantiate that criminal penalties for judges were largely ineffectual, and that courts proved ill-suited to police themselves even with a judiciary-specific criminal statute in place.

  • The Contested Concept of Secularism and Bangladesh

    Pages 399–448,

    Issue Section: There are different ways in which scholars comprehend secularism. According to some scholars, secularism is the phenomenon in which religion is fully separated from the state and plays no part in the public domain. This Article aims to discuss the various interpretations of secularism, create a classification of secularism models, and examine how secularism is considered in Bangladesh.


Helge Dedek

Associate Professor of Law and Director, Institute of Comparative Law
McGill University Faculty of Law

Franz Werro

Professor of Law
Georgetown University Law Center and University of Fribourg Faculty of Law

Book Review Editors

Richard Albert, University of Texas at Austin School of Law
Joshua Karton, Queen’s University Faculty of Law

Former Editors-in Chief

Hessel E. Yntema † (1952-1966)
B.J. George † (1966-1968)
Alfred F. Conard (1968-1970)
John G. Fleming † (1971-1987)
Richard M. Buxbaum (1987-2003)
George A. Bermann (2003-2006)
James Gordley (2003-2008)
Mathias W. Reimann (2003-2013)
James Feinerman (2014-2015)

Executive Editorial Board

Luisa Antoniolli, University of Trento Faculty of Law
Gary F. Bell, National University of Singapore Faculty of Law
Francesca Bignami, George Washington University Law School
Mauro Bussani, University of Trieste Law Department
Donald C. Clarke, George Washington University Law School
Dominique Custos, University of Caen Law School
Tom Ginsburg, University of Chicago Law School
Simone Glanert, University of Kent Law School
Hoi Kong, University of British Columbia Peter A. Allard School of Law
Máximo Langer, University of California Los Angeles School of Law
Ralf Michaels, Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law
Álvaro Santos, Georgetown University Law Center
Walter Stoffel, University of Fribourg Faculty of Law
Symeon C. Symeonides, Willamette University College of Law

Managing Editor

Paula Potter (Oxford University Press)

Articles Editor

Amber Lynch (McGill University Faculty of Law)

AJCL Links


Submit a Manuscript & AJCL Submission Info for Authors (Scholastica)
AJCL Journal Info @ Oxford University Press (OUP)
Subscription Rates & Policies: Please visit the OUP AJCL page to subscribe.