Judging: a common or civil law legal system?

Hosted by LSE Law and the European Institute

Sheikh Zayed Theatre, New Academic Building


Vassilios Skouris

Vassilios Skouris


Professor Neil Duxbury

Professor Neil Duxbury

Based on his experience as Judge in the Court of the European Union, Vassilios Skouris will explore the differences between how judgements are made in the common law and civil law legal systems.

The common law legal system allows judges to give personal opinion on a case. Alternatively, in civil law legal systems, such as those in continental Europe, judgments normally take the form of a “collective contribution”, meaning, a group of judges involved in the specific case make one  judgement, based on their individual efforts. Interestingly, in the world of international courts, dissenting opinions (being an opinion written by a judge expressing disagreement with the majority opinion of the judges) are permitted to be made by judges in the European Court of Human Rights; but not in the Court of the European Union. With this in mind, Vassilios Skouris seeks to address to what extent is the individual contribution of a judge visible in their judgments in the civil law legal system?

Vassilios Skouris is Chair of FIFA’s Ethics Committee and former President of the European Court of Justice.

Neil Duxbury is Professor of English Law at LSE. 

The LSE European Institute (@LSEEI) is a centre for research and graduate teaching on the processes of integration and fragmentation within Europe. In the most recent national Research Excellence Framework (REF 2014) the Institute was ranked first for research in its sector.

LSE Law (@LSELaw) is one of the world's top law schools with an international reputation for the quality of its teaching and legal research.

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