Legal Studies Courses Spring 2014

R1B.2:   Legal Rights, Science & Society, Berk, TTh 9:30am-11:00pm, 4 units, Area N/A

 **This course is lower division and will not count towards the major.**

This course will explore the relationship between law, science and society, with a focus on fundamental constitutional rights.  Core legal principles like privacy, consent, bodily integrity, and identity will be closely examined in the context of three contemporary case studies: reproductive technology and surrogacy, exoneration of criminals through DNA testing, and the use of human cells in medical research.  We will read historic narrative, memoir, and scholarly essay in order to thoughtfully consider areas of tension between technological developments and legal rights.  Public policy debates concerning appropriate regulation of these practices, including expert testimony presented to courts, will supplement personal accounts. They will also serve as models to assist the class in developing critical reading, analysis, and writing skills.  A central focus of the course will be investigating the research process.

39D: Current Political & Moral Conflicts & the Constitution  Frosh/Soph Seminar, Pomerantz,  M 10am-12:00pm, 2 units, Area N/A

**This course is lower division and will not count towards the major.**

We will read Supreme Court cases, as well as political and legal commentary from across the political spectrum, and consider not only the opinions of the Justices, but also why they hold those opinions. We will seek to discover the way in which courts use authority and craft law.

100: Foundations of Legal Studies, Perry, MWF 1- 2pm, 4 units, Area I or II or III (New Plan: Core)

This is a liberal arts course designed to introduce students to the foundational frameworks and cross-disciplinary perspectives from humanities and social sciences that distinguish legal studies as a scholarly field. It provides a comparative and historical intro to forms, ideas, institutions, and systems of law and sociological ordering. It highlights basic theoretical problems and scholarly methods for understanding questions of law and justice.

102: Policing and Society, Musheno, TTh 11am- 12:30pm, 4 units, Area IV (New Plan: Area I)

This course examines the American social institution of policing with particular emphasis on urban law enforcement. It explores the social, economic and cultural forces that pull policing in the direction of state legal authority and power as well as those that are a counter-weight to the concentration of policing powers in the state. Special attention is given to how policing shapes and is shaped by the urban landscape, legal to cultural.

LS 104AC – Youth, Justice & Culture, Morrill, TTh 12:30-2:00pm, 4 units, Area I or IV (New Plan: Area I or II)

The seminar challenges adult-centered representations of urban youth of different ethnicities, their problems, and the supposed solutions to those problems. It departs from the conceptualizations and methods used to study youth in mainstream criminology and developmental psychology. The seminar builds an alternative, youth-centered perspective, exploring what it means to put youth perspectives at the center of socio-legal inquiry. As a socio-legal endeavor, the seminar studies law as it is lived, shaped, and encountered by urban youth in their everyday lives. It illuminates the conceptual frames, methodological tools, and substantive findings that come to the front when the focus is on how youth make sense of their own lives, assert their own views of justice and law, and act on one another. Particular attention is given to youth conflict, peer relations, identity building within and across ethnic groups, claims on space and territory, the salience of law and rights, and adaptations to adult authorities and practices in the contexts of urban neighborhoods and public schools.

105: Foundations of Criminal Law, Dan-Cohen, MW 2-3pm, 3 units, Area I or III (New Plan: Area I or II)

Perhaps more than any other legal area, criminal law raises fundamental theoretical issues that have occupied philosophers over the years. This is not surprising in light of the obvious proximity between the enterprise of using state coercion to punish the guilty on the one hand and central concerns of moral and political philosophy on the other. In the course we’ll discuss a selection of articles that bring to bear such a philosophical perspective on important aspects of criminal law. The topics include the justification of punishment, the foundations of blame and responsibility, the substantive values protected by criminal law, the significance of actual harm, the liability of groups and other collectivities, and the virtues and limits of the rule of law.

138: The Supreme Court & Public Policy, Feeley, TTh 8-9:30am, 4 units, Area III or IV (New Plan: Core or IV or V)

An analysis of the policy consequences of Supreme Court decisions. Particular attention will be paid to to the Court’s interaction with other branches of government and the mass public.

139: Comparative Perspectives on Norms & Legal Traditions, Mayali, TTh 11am-12:30pm, 4 units, Area II (New Plan: Area V)

This course is an introduction to the comparative study of different legal cultures and traditions including common law, civil law, socialist law and religious law. A section of the class will be dedicated to the comparison of the colonial and post-colonial legal process in Latin America and in Africa.

140:  Property & Liberty, Brown, TTH 3:30-5pm, 4 units, Area I or III  (New Plan: Area II or III)

The course will explore the relation between property law and limits of liberty in different cultures and at different times.  The course will cover theories of property law, slavery, the clash between aboriginal and European ideas of property, gender roles and property rights, common property systems, zoning, regulatory takings, and property on the internet. Readings will include legal theorists, court cases, and historical case studies.

145:  Law & Economics I,  Cooter, TTh 8-9:30am, 4 units, Area I or III

This course uses the concepts and tools of economics to analyze problems in law, focusing on contracts, property, torts, and legal process. Students will be expected to apply the analysis to broad array of legal issues.

161: Law in Chinese Society, Berring, TTh 2-3:30pm, 4 units, Area II  (New Plan: Area II)

This course examines the legal system of China, from its cultural basis to the implications for modernization and China’s participation in the international community.  Philosophy, drama, and art will be used to understand the culture and major historical periods which influenced China’s legal traditions and key concepts.  The 20th century will be reviewed in some detail, including the Republic both on the mainland and on Taiwan, and the People’s Republic in both the Maoist and current eras, leading to examination of current legal practices in both Taiwan and mainland China.  

168:  Sex, Reproduction & the Law, Hollinger, MW 4-5:30pm, 4 units, Area III  (New Plan: Area II)

Why and how does the State regulate sex, sexuality, and reproductive behavior? What are the personal and societal consequences of our technological capacity to separate sex from reproduction? A number of legal and social issues will be analyzed, including sterilization, access to contraception and abortion, adolescent sexuality and statutory rape, the legal status of fetuses and frozen embryos, and the parentage of children conceived through assisted reproduction.

174: Comparative Constitutional Law: The Case of Isreal, Lehavi, TTh 3:30-5pm, 4 units, Area II  (New Plan: Area IV or V)

How do different societies solve common problems? What role do cultural, economic, and political attributes of nations play in the design of their legal systems, and what are the powers and limits of law in affecting societal changes such as promoting economic equality, mitigating racial and religious tensions, and ensuring basic freedoms for individuals and minority groups? What is the unique calling of constitutional law within legal systems and what lessons can we draw by comparing constitutional systems in studying the relations between law and society?

Israel serves as a fascinating case study for exploring these issues. As a relatively young country, it offers intriguing insights about the process of constructing democratic institutions, the interplay between politics and law, and the broader role of constitutional law in state-building. Israel’s constitutional history is unique in that it operated without any written constitution from 1948 until 1992, then going through an unorthodox “constitutional revolution” in which the Supreme Court awarded a constitutional status to newly-enacted “basic laws” while also establishing its own power of judicial review by invalidation of “unconstitutional” legislation. Accordingly, the Court has been playing a particularly dominant role in constructing fundamental constitutional concepts given the lack of a full-scale written constitution to date.  The course will study this unique turn of events as compared with the establishment and current state of constitutional regimes in the United States and other prominent democracies.

The course will explore the development of constitutional rights in view of the unique social, cultural, and religious features of Israel. Unlike the formal separation of state and religion in the US, Israel is defined in its basic laws as “Jewish and Democratic.” This duality raises complex questions about constitutional values and norms not only with respect to individual and group rights of non-Jewish minorities, but also in regard to the relations among different groups within the Jewish majority, including the ultra-orthodox “cultural minority.” The course will then discuss how other constitutional rights such as the right of political association, freedom of expression, right to equality, and the protection of property are developed, interpreted, and applied in view of Israel’s social, economic, and cultural setting, while constantly evaluating the similarities and differences vis-à-vis the US Bill of Rights and other constitutional systems.

179:  Comparative Constitutional Law, M. Shapiro, MWF 11am-12pm, 4 units, Area II  (New Plan: Area V)

An examination of constitutional decision making in a number of countries based on selected high court opinion.

183:  The Psychology of Diversity & Discrimination in American Law, Plaut, M 3-6:00pm, 4 units, Area I  (New Plan: Area II or IV)

How does the psychology of culture, race, and ethnicity shape the legal pursuit of diversity and equal treatment? How are Americans thinking about and doing diversity in their everyday lives? What are the predominant perspectives on diversity and how are they being deployed or challenged in legal battles over race-conscious policies? What are the implications for efforts to remedy historic intergroup conflict and discrimination? These will be the central questions of this course. We will examine concepts of race and culture, various understandings of and approaches to diversity found in the law, and the role of sociocultural structures in shaping the operation of anti-discrimination law and social policy. Special attention will be given to the use of diversity-related psychological research in law. Some topics include: cultural psychology and cultural defense; psychology of desegregation; psychology of colorblindness and equal protection; psychology of “critical mass” and affirmative action; stereotyping, intent, and discrimination; cultural differences in attraction and implications for discrimination; psychology of sexism in the workplace; psychology of social class and poverty; psychology of disability and disability discrimination.

185AC: Prison (Big Ideas Course), Simon/Robinson/Hilden/Stoner, TTh 11am-12:30pm, 4 units, Area IV (New Plan: Area I)

NOTE: ***This is a cross-listed course with Legal Studies (185AC) , Architecture (Arch 180AC) and Ethnic Studies (EthStud 181AC). Any of the three sections can be added and still count towards the major, but it is best to sign up for our section LS 185AC.***

Taking a broad inter-disciplinary approach, this course embraces the longue durée of
critical prison studies, questioning the shadows of normality that cloak mass
incarceration both across the globe and, more particularly, in the contemporary United
States. While speaking very directly to the prison system, this course intends to
reorganize the logics of an institution we commonly accept as the reasonable destination
for those identified as “criminal”. This interdisciplinary project recognizes that we
cannot possibly teach about the presence and persistence of punishment and prisons in
contemporary American life without inviting conversation across time periods, genres,
and geographies. This course thus explores a series of visceral, unsettling juxtapositions:
‘freedom’ and ‘slavery’; ‘citizenship’ and ‘subjugation’; ‘marginalization’ and ‘inclusion’,
in each case explicating the ways that story making, political demagoguery, and racial,
class, and sexual inequalities have wrought an untenable social condition.

189: Feminist Jurisprudence, Abrams, TTh 9:30-11am, 4 units, Area I (New Plan: Area IV)

This course will explore the ways in which feminist theory has shaped conceptions of the law, as both an influence contributing to sex and gender inequality, and a vehicle for its amelioration. The course will examine a range of feminist legal theories, including equality, difference, dominance, intersectional, poststructural, postcolonial theories. It will ask how these theories have shaped legal interventions in areas including workplace/educational access, sexualized coercion, work/family conflict, cultural defenses, and globalized sweatshop labor. It will also consider how epistemological challenges that emerged from feminist theory in other disciplines shaped challenges to objectivist epistemology in law.

190.1: Basic Legal Values, Dan-Cohen, W 10am-12pm, 3 units, Area I  (New Plan: Area II)

Although everyone agrees that law promotes some values, what these values are is often unclear and controversial. This is increasingly the case the more we come to recognize cultural diversity and moral pluralism faced by the law. In this seminar we will examine a number of values that have been advanced within the liberal tradition, such as well-being, autonomy, and dignity, and consider their potential role in shaping or explaining a wide range of legal disputes. The seminar will divide into two parts. In the first, we’ll get acquainted with these values in the context of the two main strands in liberal moral theory – utilitarianism and Kantianism – and consider some general issues concerning the meaning of these values and their interrelationships. The second part will consist of student presentations on specific substantive topics in which the general issues discussed in the first part arise. Enrollment is restricted.

190.2:  Judicial Politics in Non-Democracies, Stern, MW 4-5:30pm, 4 units, Area I or II (New Plan: II or V)

This course investigates the reasons why authoritarian leaders devolve power to courts and the control strategies they deploy to keep judges, lawyers and plaintiffs in check.  The course will mix more theoretical readings on approaches to law and the logic of courts with empirical studies of how law works in settings as diverse as Nazi Germany, the Czech Socialist Republic, Hosni Mubarak’s Egypt and contemporary China. Throughout the semester, we will ask ourselves how world historical time (e.g. the rise of rights talk, the global trend increased judicial power) and regime type (e.g. military dictatorship, competitive authoritarianism, one-party states) influence both the letter and the practice of law. In addition to scholarly books and articles, course materials will include original court documents as well as memoirs and films that illustrate how ordinary people experience the legal system.

190.3: Originalism and Constitutionalism, Yoo, M 2-4pm, 3 units Area II (New Plan: V)

This course explores the Constitution through an examination of the history of its framing. We will discuss the ideological origins of the American Revolution, the Critical Period under the Articles of Confederation, the drafting and ratification of the Constitution, and important debates in the Washington administration. Readings will include a mix of primary sources, such as the Federalist Papers and debate records, and secondary historical works.

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