Pierre Legrand

Visiting Professor of Law


A graduate of the Sorbonne and Oxford, where he studied as a Rhodes Scholar, Professor Pierre Legrand teaches at the Sorbonne whose postgraduate programme on comparative legal studies he long directed. In addition, Professor Legrand offers courses in comparative law every autumn at the Université de Fribourg (Switzerland) and at the Institut de droit des affaires internationales in Cairo. For more than twenty years, he has been lecturing every summer on the University of Cambridge’s program in English Legal Methods. Over a number of years, Professor Legrand repeatedly gave the postgraduate seminar in comparative law at the University of Melbourne while teaching comparative law for undergraduates at the University of Timisoara (Romania) on many occasions. He has held formal visiting professorships at the University of Uppsala (Sweden), the University of Toronto, the China University of Political Science and Law in Beijing, the University of Copenhagen, the Georgetown University Law Center, the National University of Singapore, HBKU College of Law and Public Policy in Doha (Qatar), and the Pontifical University in Curitiba (Brazil). He also taught for more than fifteen years at the University of San Diego Law School. Professor Legrand’s work has attracted substantial attention in Europe, North America, and Asia. It has been translated from the French or the English in seven languages including Chinese (Mandarin), Portuguese, Russian, and Spanish. In 2017, the American Journal of Comparative Law devoted a special issue to his critical scholarship. Professor Legrand released Negative Comparative Law: A Strong Programme for Weak Thought with Cambridge University Press in June 2022, a 465-page text addressing salient theoretical issues that arise from research into foreign law and comparative interventions in a glocalized world. Comparative Law and the Task of Negative Critique (315 pp.) is due with Routledge in early 2023. Two further monographs on negative comparative law are scheduled to appear with Routledge.

Areas of Expertise

  • Comparative Law
  • European Legal Cultures
  • Law & Globalization
  • European Legal Theory

Selected Publications

  • Jameses at Play: A Tractation on the Comparison of Laws, 65 American Journal of Comparative Law (Special Issue) 1 (2017).
  • Foreign Law: Understanding Understanding, 6 Journal of Comparative Law 67-177 (2011).
  • Siting Foreign Law: How Derrida Can Help, 21 Duke Journal of Comparative and International Law 595-629 (2011).
  • On the Singularity of Law, 47 Harvard International Law Journal 517-530 (2006).
  • Issues in the Translatability of Law, in Nation, Language, and The Ethics of Translation 30-50, edited by Sandra Bermann and Michael Wood (Princeton University Press 2005).
  • The Same and the Different, in Comparative Legal Studies: Traditions and Transitions 240-311, edited by Pierre Legrand and Roderick Munday (Cambridge University Press 2003).

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  • PhD, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne
  • PhD, Lancaster University
  • MLitt, University of Oxford
  • DEA, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne
  • LLB, McGill University, Canada
  • BCL, McGill University, Canada

Prior Appointments

  • Professor of Law, 2000, Ecole de droit de la Sorbonne, Université Panthéon-Sorbonne

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