This course will explore the major principles of the Civil Law system, which is the dominant legal system in Europe and many other parts of the world. The Civil Law system contrasts in many fascinating ways with the Common Law, which we study in American law schools, and a comparison of the two systems can tell us much about the nature of law itself and provide a valuable perspective on our own legal system as well.
The course will begin with an examination of the structure, nature, and theory of criminal trials in Civil Law countries, and will move on to an analysis of the history and development of the great European civil codes. The structure of certain European court systems will be studied as well as substantive questions of law under a European civil code. In the course materials, theoretical analyses will be mixed with selected case law. The course will focus on the legal systems of France and Germany, which are, historically, the primary Civil Law jurisdictions, but attention will also be paid to countries elsewhere in Europe, as well as countries in Latin America and Asia which have been influenced by Civil Law ideas. Some constitutional issues from Civil Law countries may also be considered.
Current & Previous Instructors:
|This course is not currently scheduled.|