Expert Opinions on Foreign Law in Court: Applied Comparative Law in the Munich Institute for East European Law

  • Herbert Küpper Institut für Ostrecht München, Germany
Keywords: basic comparative research, applied comparative research, expert opinions on foreign law, country expert system vs. field of law expert system, Ostrecht, Munich Institute for East European law, Max Planck Institutes on foreign and comparative law


Comparative law has many facets. It often consists of basic research for academic purposes, but it may have a practical side as well. A genuine combination of basic and applied comparative legal research are expert opinions on foreign law for a
domestic court. The expert researcher has to fully comprehend the foreign law on the books as well as in action, and has to be able to translate this foreign law into the legal background of the domestic court and into the procedural setting of the law-suit at hand. Taking the ‘Munich Institute for East European Law’ as an example, this essay describes the continuous basic research as a prerequisite for expertise on foreign law, as well as the practice of writing expert opinions for courts of law and authorities with regard to the law of the formerly socialist countries in Europe.