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Article

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The Comparative Study of Law for Policy Purposes: Value Clarification as an Instrument of Democratic World Order, 1 American Journal of Comparative Law 24 (1952)

Abstract

In a world shrinking at an ever-accelerating rate because of a relentlessly expanding, uniformity-imposing technology, both opportunity and need for the comparative study of law are unprecedented. In this contemporary world, people are increasingly demanding common values that transcend the boundaries of nation-states; they are increasingly interdependent in fact, irrespective of nation-state boundaries, for controlling the conditions which affect the securing of their values; and they are becoming ever more realistic in their consciousness of such interdependences, and hence widening their identifications to include in their demands more and more of their fellow men. These changing perspectives of peoples the world over stimulate in turn ever intensifying demands for wider and wider political co-operation, for the more and more effective use of conjoined community power, for securing newly clarified and established goals. A general purpose world organization, a host of ancillary and subsidiary organizations and agencies, a great range of regional pacts and understandings and of functional unifications, and multiplied thousands of multilateral and bilateral agreements all bear witness, and the beginning only is here. The values for which this co-operation is demanded embrace the whole of our present-day democratic preferences for a peaceful world. Such values include not only security, in the sense of full opportunity, free from violence and threats of violence, to pursue all values by peaceful, non-coercive procedures, but also all the other value-variables upon which such security depends:

the wide sharing of power, both formal and effective, including participation in the processes of government and of parties and pressure groups, and equality before the law;

freedom of inquiry and opinion and for communication of the enlightenment by which rational decisions can be made;

the access to resources and technology necessary to the production of goods and services for maintenance of rising standards of living and comfort;

the fundamental respect for human dignity which both precludes discrimination based on race, sex, color, religion, political opinion, or other ground irrelevant to capacity, and provides a positive recognition of common merit as a human being and special merit as an individual;

health and well-being and inviolability of the person, with freedom from cruel and inhuman punishments and positive opportunity for the development of talents and enrichment of personality;

opportunity for the acquisition of the skills necessary to express talent and to achieve individual and community values to the fullest;

opportunity for affection, fraternity, and congenial personal relationships in groups freely chosen;

and finally, freedom to justify common standards of responsibility and rectitude, to explain life, the universe, and values, and to worship God or gods as may seem best.

Date of Authorship for this Version

1952

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