Crossing borders

By Sabino Cassese

Is it true that every science has (and must have) its own technique, and that, in order to study law, it is necessary to apply the “legal method” and only this? Just as the historian studies many different disciplines, from archival research to meteorology, the anthropologist studies history and sociology, the political scientist studies law, the jurist also studies economics, political science, sociology. Law is not a world separated from ideology, from society, from politics. On the contrary, it has a dual relationship with these fields: it is the product of ideologies, values, society, politics and, at the same time, it regulates or influences them. The jurist, therefore, must be able to understand values, social movements, political life. The imperative today is to abandon exclusive legal nationalism. This does not mean to disregard national law, but recognizing its necessary interdependence with other national laws, regional legal systems and universal principles. The second imperative is to build bridges between law, the “human sciences” and the “social sciences”, because law is a social science. This does not mean abandoning the legal method, but rather integrating it with other disciplines. The third imperative is the construction of a more complete language and grammar. Today, the vehicular language is English, spoken by one and a half billion inhabitants of the earth. The grammar is developed by the various branches of legal science almost everywhere in the world.