Details

Comparative Law

The first half of this course provides an introduction to Comparative Law with a focus on the Civil Law and Common Law legal traditions which are by far the dominant legal traditions in the world. The course begins with the Civil Law legal tradition which is dominant in Continental Europe, Latin America, Japan, South Korea and in parts of Africa, the Middle East and Asia. We discuss the history of the civil law tradition, the structures of government and court systems found in civil law countries, legal education in those countries, the roles played by legal actors, civil and criminal procedure in those countries, and sources of law as well as interpretive practices in those countries. We then turn to the Common Law legal tradition which is dominant in Great Britain, India, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and of course the United States. Here again, we consider the historical origins of the tradition, the structures of government and courts systems in Great Britain, legal education in Great Britain, the role of legal actors in common law countries, civil and criminal procedure in those countries, sources of law in common law countries, and approaches to statutory interpretation. Finally, the introduction to Comparative Law concludes with a brief discussion of European Community Law, with a comparison of contract law in Civil Law and Common Law countries, a discussion of the hybridization of adversarial and inquisitorial criminal procedure, and a discussion of jurisdictions that have mixtures of civil law and common law elements such as Scotland, Louisiana, Quebec, and Israel. The second half of the course considers selected problems in Comparative Constitutional Law. Among the topics discussed are: comparative abortion caselaw, constitutional entrenchment, the structure and procedure used by constitutional courts, foundational case narratives, separation of powers in comparative perspective, and federalism in comparative perspective. The goal of the second half of the course is to illustrate in the context of constitutional law the important insights gained from studying the civil law and common law traditions. This course is listed as a perspective elective because it uses the comparative method to illuminate the American law and legal institutions our students study in almost all of their other courses. Just as economics, political science, psychology, sociology, and history can shed light on American law and legal institutions so too can a rigorous study of the legal systems and traditions of other leading countries. The course requirements are: 1) a ten page paper and 2) a fixed date two hour final exam


Catalog Number: CONPUB 601
Practice Areas: Comparative Law Practice AreaConstitutional Law & Procedure
Additional Course Information: Open to First Year Students ,  Perspective Elective


Course History

Spring 2012
Title: Comparative Law
Section: 1     Type: Lecture     Credits: 3.0
Capacity: 25     Actual: 0



Spring 2011
Title: Comparative Law
Faculty: Calabresi, Steven G. (courses  |  homepage)
Section: 1     Type: Lecture     Credits: 3.0
Capacity: 65     Actual: 33