London, Paris and Edinburgh: Legal Systems in Comparative Perspective
Patti McGill Peterson Center for International and Intercultural Studies
Instructor: Dr. Darby Morrisroe
Dates: May 22 - June 13
Costs: $4,780 + airfare
Listing: GOVT 273
Units: 1 SLU Unit/ 3.6 Credits
Course Description: This course will comparatively examine the legal institutions and judicial processes of the United States, England, France and Scotland. In doing so, the course explores the two dominant legal systems found in the world today: the civil law system and the common law system. The former system is in use throughout most of Europe and former European colonies. The latter system is found England and English colonies, including the United States. Based in London, this course will begin by comparatively analyzing the common law systems of England and the United States. Next, we will explore the civil law system found in France during a five day visit to Paris. The course will conclude with a three day examination of the unusual Scottish "mixed" legal system, which employs elements of both common and civil law systems. Included among the topics comparatively examined will be the structure and organization of legal systems, the underlying principles of the systems, the modes of legal education and training, the role and selection of judges, the structuring of the legal profession, the criminal and civil trial processes, the role of laypersons and the relationship of the courts to other political institutions. We will be examining the subject through seminar discussions, direct observations of courts in session, meetings with practitioners (lawyers, judges, clerks, etc.), discussions with experts and visits to other key legal and political institutions.