Introduction to comparative judicial politics, focusing on the relationship between law and politics in cross-national perspective, as well as on the functioning of supranational and international legal entities in the international system. May not be taken for credit if student has taken LSJ/JSIS B 366. Offered: jointly with POL S 367.
Does the type of legal system in a country affect the way human rights are protected? This course, a basic introduction to comparative judicial systems, is targeted at undergraduate students who are interested in learning about the interaction between law, courts and politics in countries throughout the world. We will analyze how professional, political and religious legal systems affect the ways law is used by the state to control its citizens, and, most importantly, how the law is used by the people to claim their rights. We will compare and contrast common and civil law systems to outline advantages of each; examine the role of law in authoritarian regimes, and compare some religious legal systems, mostly focusing on Islamic law. We will also study the increasingly powerful supranational courts, the European Court of Justice and the European Court of Human Rights, as well as a newly evolving international court, the International Criminal Court.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Class assignments and grading
Assignments: Exams and Research Paper
Grading: Midterm Exam: 25 %; Research Paper: 30 %; Final Exam: 30 %; Participation: 15 %.