Dutch Reports to the XVIIth International Congress of Comparative Law
Ten years ago, the EJCL was established as one of the very first independent, open access, and peer reviewed electronic law journals in Europe. Nevertheless, in this special issue we will not yet look back nor even look ahead. Early next year, the editorial board intends to devote a special commemorative issue to reflections and prospects of this kind.
Over the years, we published a great number of comparative law articles. We also published collections of national reports written for the XVIth and XVIIth International Congress of Comparative Law, held in Brisbane and Utrecht respectively. I refer to the Dutch reports to the XVIth congress in ECJL issue 4 of 2002 (http://www.ejcl.org/64/issue64.html), and the UK reports to the XVIIth congress in EJCL issue 3 of 2006 (http://www.ejcl.org/103/issue103.html).
In this year’s first issue, we publish the Dutch national reports to the XVIIth congress. A printed collection of these reports is available from Intersentia (Antwerp/Oxford, http://www.intersentia.com): Netherlands Reports to the Seventeenth International Congress of Comparative Law (J.H.M. van Erp and L.P.W. van Vliet (eds.), 2006, ISBN-10: 90-5095-579-7/ISBN-13: 978-90-5095-579-9).
Every four years, the Académie Internationale de Droit Comparé organises a World Congress of Comparative Law. The board of the Netherlands Comparative Law Association was highly honoured by the Academy’s decision to hold the XVIIth World Congress of Comparative Law in the Netherlands. The congress was held in Utrecht in the summer of 2006.
In the past, the world congresses created an excellent forum for information exchange and discussion between legal experts worldwide. Information exchange is the starting point for any comparative legal analysis. The world congresses have also been rare occasions where comparative legal scholars from different disciplines could meet. Traditionally, the role of comparative law has been extensive in the Netherlands. This can be seen when looking at, for instance, the parliamentary and scholarly debates concerning the new Civil Code. Furthermore, there is growing awareness that economic integration, be it regional or global, has an undeniable and unavoidable impact on Dutch law. The international reputation of the Dutch legal order as being open towards solutions developed by other jurisdictions played an important role for the Academy when it had to decide in Brisbane, Australia, four years ago, where the next congress would be held.
Comparative legal analysis is undeniably of growing importance in the Netherlands. This applies to the legislative process and judicial deliberations as well as to the curricula of law faculties. It is more and more realised that law as a learning process has much to gain from foreign experience.
Given this growing importance of comparative law, more and more Dutch national organisations of legal experts now discuss topics not only on a strictly national, but also on a comparative basis. This has led to a changing role of the Netherlands Comparative Law Association. The association is focussing more and more on interdisciplinary comparative research, bringing together scholars from various fields and backgrounds.
I would like to thank the authors who wrote the Dutch national reports. The reports will give foreign readers a solid and in-depth insight into developments in Dutch law. Frequently, the reports themselves already contain comparative analyses aimed at clarifying Dutch law.
Finally, I would like to thank my co-editor, Dr. Lars van Vliet, Associate Secretary and Treasurer of the Netherlands Comparative Law Association, and lecturer in private law at Maastricht University. I am grateful to him for his continuing efforts to find national reporters and for his editing work. Many thanks also to Marjo Mullers from Maastricht University for her assistance in editing and for making all the texts camera-ready, and to Dick Broeren, Assistant Editor of the EJCL, for preparing the online publication of the reports. The Netherlands Comparative Law Association is also indebted to Intersentia for publishing the book containing the Dutch national reports, and for gracefully allowing the free online publication of the reports in the EJCL.
Sjef van Erp,