Not open to students with law degrees from civil law countries.
This course is aimed at introducing students whose basic training in Anglo-American law to some basic problems and techniques of comparative law. The course focuses on the legal tradition of the civil law, and its impact on contemporary legal systems, for students schooled in the common law tradition. Class discussions and reading materials focus first on seminal civil law jurisdictions such as France and Germany, followed by variations of the civil law tradition in specific Latin American jurisdictions such as Argentina, Brazil, and Mexico.
Tracing the historical development of the Civil Law, including the influences of Roman law and the codification movement in Continental Europe and Latin America, reading materials and class discussions subsequently examine the organization of the legal professions and the judicial process in civil law jurisdictions. Emphasis is placed on how significant and specific social, economic, and political issues are shaped by the civil law tradition in areas pertaining to both public law (e.g., judicial review of constitutionality, control of executive action, criminal procedure) and private law (contracts, torts, business transactions).
The evaluation will be made through a proctored final examination or, with the instructorâs approval, on the basis of a paper for which minor writing credit is automatically available.