As noted by British MEP Glyn Ford, 'genuine partnership in Europe can only develop on the basis of shared common values - in particular, democracy, the rule of law and respect for human and civil rights.' Such partnership presupposes some harmonisation of legal culture as well as legislation. Yet Friedman notes that 'we have, for almost every society, precious few data about legal culture, because we have never bothered to gather them.'

The project will gather such data at national, regional and local level in three EU member states (Britain, Poland and Bulgaria), one EEA member state (Norway) and one country covered by the EU Near Neighbourhood Policy (Ukraine) with a view to establishing the extent to which legal cultures in Europe are converging, and the factors that encourage or discourage such convergence.

In practical terms, this will be done by providing "thick" descriptions of legal culture in these states, based on a wide-ranging analysis of the perceptions, attitudes, experiences and practice of legal "insiders" (legislators; prosecutors; lawyers; court staff; government officials; and the police) and legal "outsiders (the general public).
More specifically, the project will shed new light on (i) legal culture; (ii) the impact of religious traditions, experiences of communism, and the more recent "war on terrorism" on legal culture; (iii) the impact of globalisation and intra-EU migration on legal culture; (iv) the interaction between legal culture and formal domestic law; (v) the interaction between legal culture and EU legislation; and (vi) the interaction between legal "insiders" and "outsiders".

Project data will be used both for academic analysis and policy prescription.

Co-operating partners:

Kristian Andenæs

Marina Kurkchiyan

William L. Miller