Difference, as well as distance, yields perspective. A comparison of legal systems may search for common underlying principles, or for lessons that one system might learn from another. But it may also be aimed primarily at illuminating one system by light shed from another. This is the aim of Evidence Law Adrift, Mirjan Damagka's elegant study of the common law system of evidence, and he is ideally suited for the task. Born and schooled in Continental Europe, he has lived and taught in the United States for twenty-five years. His relation to the common law system of evidence is, I suspect, much like his relation to the English language: He has come to both relatively late, bringing with him a distinctively European sensibility. Consequently, rather like the person who speaks a foreign language with painfully correct grammar, he may take the rhetoric of Anglo-American evidence law somewhat too seriously. But in most respects he is as much a master of the evidentiary system of the common law as he is of its language, which is saying a great deal. Although Damaka disclaims an ambition to "break much new ground" or offer "great epiphanies," he hopes that his "comparative looking glass" will unveil "unfamiliar horizons." He succeeds very well.
Friedman, Richard D. "Anchors and Flotsam: Is Evidence Law 'Adrift'?" Review of Evidence Law Adrift, by M. R. Damaška. Yale L. J. 107, no. 6 (1998): 1921-67.