chapter  4
34 Pages

Dangers and obstacles in the use of foreign law

Even those who favour the exchange of ideas and believe that, in a shrinking world, this practice may even be destined to become inevitable do not underestimate the difficulties (and the dangers) that accompany such intellectual exercises. Moreover, these problems can be magnified if one starts with the position that societies are very different1 (which is true and even more so in days gone by before the advent of increased travel and communication) and then tries to give to these divergences a normative content. This is especially likely to happen if one ignores or underestimates, as we think adherents of this school tend to do, the growing assimilation in tastes, customs, and laws, which is greatly accelerated by modern ways of communication, enhanced travel, and the internet (which brings together practically every corner of the world where individuals have access to a telephone cable).2 This trend towards assimilation is so important that it has affected even areas of the law (such as family law) which – not that long ago – comparatists3 (and sociologists) of great distinction declared to be immune to such globalisation and assimilation forces.