The idea to create an interdisciplinary association that critically addresses questions on comparative and private international law took shape in early 2009. Together with Prof. Martin Schauer and Dr. Leopold Specht, LL.M., S.J.D., legal practitioner, a stocktaking was made of the landscape of current discussions and publications, leading to our decision to create a forum – IACPIL – that will provide a platform for our ideas.
Our first concern was interdisciplinarity. “Law” can only be understood when taking into account all possible factors, which influence law, legal systems and the application of law, in light of the methodological discourse: the political agenda, socio-economic developments, cultural aspects, socio-demographic changes, historical perspectives, etc.

The association takes a critical approach. By this is meant that what is traditionally written and taught ought to be questioned continuously, because society and its basic parameters also change continuously. Admittedly, criticism alone will not do. We must proceed to discuss which basic parameters are necessary to achieve a modern, human and social state. “Law”, as a science and method, provides one step in undertaking such an endeavour. The IACPIL therefore wishes to focus on “law in the widest sense of the word.

The emphasis of the association rests upon comparative law and private international law. “Comparative law” embraces, what is usually considered as “comparative private law” as well as “comparative public law”. Questions of methodology, transformation and transplants of law, unification and harmonisation of law, as well as their impact on society are addressed here. “Private International Law” is not only choice of law in the field of private law, but also “international civil procedural” and their interactions with the community and public international law.
In comparison to other countries – such as Germany, Italy, France, and the USA – the interdisciplinary approach as described above does not come to the fore sufficiently. For this reason, we wish to offer all interested persons, especially young professionals, a forum for discussion.
In light of the increasing importance of comparative law and private international law for daily life the dialogue with practitioners is of great significance. Their concerns will incite the work of IACPIL.

Colloquia on issues of fundamental and current importance will take place at planned intervals. In addition, IACPIL will invite domestic and foreign guest lecturers, to report on specific issues. Twice per year IACPIL will edit a newsletter to inform the members of the association of the main developments within the association.

The scientific board will assist the association with words and deeds. The scientific, interdisciplinary board consists of notable domestic and foreign experts. Its main task is to advance constructive, critical proposals and hence to contribute significantly to the successful development of IACPIL.

IACPIL has various co-operation partners from all over the world. National and international co-operation should have multiplier-effects for all involved.

Similarly to all innovative projects, the following phrase holds true also for IACPIL: Money matters! This is the reason why IACPIL looks forward to affiliate sponsor members, who are willing to support the association financially.

Bea Verschraegen