Those of us who teach "law of the horse" type subjects such as cyberlaw do tend to spend some time wondering about how to characterize the nature of the field and what label should be attached eg cyberlaw, cyberspace law, information law, Internet law etc.
Recently I also started thinking about the comparative labeling issue. In other words, there are some subjects that are called different things in different countries, the most obvious example that springs to my mind being antitrust law. In the United States, it has a historical title based on the regulatory problems of breaking uncompetitive business trusts in the early stages of its development. In Australia, the field has been known as "restrictive trade practices" and in Europe, it garners the term "competition law". Does the title make a difference to the development of the field? Does it tell us something about the policies driving the laws? For example, does the "competition law" title suggest a focus on encouraging competition while the Australian title suggests a focus on preventing restrictive trade practices, to the extent that these are different approaches that may lead to different outcomes? And does the use of "restrictive trade practices" in the Australian title suggest a greater focus on preventing specific restrictive practices such as tying, as opposed to conduct that may be regarded as more generically "unfair" or "anticompetitive" such as charging monopoly prices?
Obviously, words matter in law and precision is important where possible. Does anyone have any views on the ways in which the title affixed to a legal field either reflects or informs the development of the subject matter of that field?