Vol. 3.1, August 1999


This issue of the Electronic Journal of Comparative Law contains two articles, both of which are reflective of the current state of, and the dilemmas faced by, comparative law as we approach the end of the century. In the first article, our Editor-in-Chief, Professor J.H.M. van Erp, articulates with precision and explores through incision some of the 'postmodern' dilemmas and choices faced by our discipline in the framework of developing or debating a new European private law. His message is ultimately one of balance, pragmatism and optimism, some or all of which appear to be in increasingly short supply in the current intellectual climate.

The second article is a collective contribution by scholars from both sides of the Atlantic. It deals with one of those topics which, until a few years ago, was new not only to comparative law in particular, but to law in general, precisely because it was new to society at large. It is a comparison of the evolving law of adoptions by couples of the same sex in the Netherlands and the United States. While reactions to this article may be as varied as are the EJCL's readers, the article is a perfect example of how competent, documented comparative research can buttress and sharpen one's appeal for change in domestic law and policy.

By the time this issue is posted, the Board of Editors will be enriched with the addition of a new colleague from the Russian Federation, Gainan Avilov. He brings to us the dynamic perspective of an evolving legal system which is one of the new hot-beds, some might say paradises, of comparative law. His many accomplishments, including his involvement in the drafting of the new Russian Civil Code, can be gleaned from a perusal of his resume at: http://www.ejcl.org/cv/cv-avilov.html

With this addition, the Board's geographical reach extends deep into the eastern hemisphere. By sheer coincidence, a westward movement has also occurred at the same time. Only one day before this writing, the undersigned moved his personal and professional domicile from the state of Louisiana almost three thousand miles west to the state of Oregon, where he assumed the position of the Law Dean at Willamette University, the oldest university in the western United States. Thus, at least in geographic terms, the Board is becoming less Eurocentric; but there remains the whole southern hemisphere which, as we all know, has so much to contribute to our discipline.

Symeon C. Symeonides

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