Hans Baade's career spans a period marked by the progressive recognition of European law in American academic circles. At the time that Hans Baade decided to make the United States his academic home, historical circumstances had only recently brought to American shores a whole generation of legal scholars, mostly continental European in background and training. Aided by the compelling nature of the stories about law that they had to tell, these scholars connected strategically with an American legal academy that was then only slowly and tentatively emerging from what could be described, not unfairly, as a period of relative intellectual isolation.
The law that these scholars brought to the attention of the American legal academy was of course very largely European. But it was a European law in a quite different sense than that which the term 'European law" conjures these days. It was European in one or both of two ways. First, it reflected the law, more specifically the positive law, of one or more particular western or central European countries. Certain jurisdictions-preeminently, but not exclusively, France and Germany-were the most privileged in this respect. At the same time, however, this law was European in the sense of exemplifying a generalized legal tradition that dominated the European continent and that came to provide the classic comparative frame of reference for the common law, namely the continental civil law tradition., This tradition had its boundaries, of course. It tended to exclude not only the law of common law jurisdictions within Europe (such as England or Ireland) but also, to a lesser extent, both the law of certain non-common law traditions (such as the Scandinavian) which, while incontestably European, were not incontestably civilian and, at the same time but for different reasons, the socialist law tradition that had arisen post-war on the otherwise continental civilian soil of central and eastern Europe.
European Law | Law
George A. Bermann,
European Law: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,
Tex. Int'l L. J.
Available at: https://scholarship.law.columbia.edu/faculty_scholarship/3498