Legal Studies Courses Spring 2015

***Always check the OSOC for the latest most up-to-date info.***

R1B.2:   Legal Rights, Science & Society, Berk, TTh 11am-12:30pm, 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.

100: Foundations of Legal Studies, Simon, TTh 9:30- 11am, 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.

LS 104AC:  Youth, Justice & Culture, Musheno, MW 4-5:30pm, 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 1-2pm, 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.

107: Theories of Justice, Song, TTh 11am-12:30pm, 4 units, Area I (New Plan: Core (H) or Area II or III or IV)

This course explores three fundamental questions about the idea of a just society and the place of the values of liberty and equality in such a society:  (1)Which liberties must a just society protect? Liberty of expression? Sexual liberty? Economic liberty? Political liberty? (2) What sorts of equality should a just society ensure? Equality of opportunity? Of economic outcome? Political equality? Equality for different religious and cultural groups?  (3)Can a society ensure both liberty and equality? Or are these opposing political values?  We will approach these questions by examining answers to them provided by three contemporary theories of justice:  utilitarianism, libertarianism, and egalitarian liberalism. To assess the strengths and weaknesses of these theories, we will discuss their implications for some topics of ongoing political controversy that exemplify our three fundamental questions about liberty and equality: the enforcement of sexual morality, financing schools and elections, regulating labor markets, affirmative action, and abortion. We will conclude by examining issues of global justice and human rights.

132AC: Immigration & Citizenship, Volpp, TTh 8- 9:30am, 4 units, Area III  (New Plan: II or IV)

We often hear that America is a “nation of immigrants.” This representation of the U.S. does not explain why some are presumed to belong and others are not. We will examine both historical and contemporary law of immigration and citizenship to see how law has shaped national identity and the identity of immigrant communities. In addition to scholarly texts, we will learn to read and analyze excerpts of cases and the statute that governs immigration and citizenship, the Immigration and Nationality Act.

139: Comparative Perspectives on Norms & Legal Traditions, Mayali, TTh 9:30-11am, 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.

145:  Law & Economics I,  Talley, TTh 12:30-2pm, 4 units, Area I or III (New Plan: Core (SS) or Area 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.

154: International Human Rights, Alexa Koenig and Eric Stover MWF 2-3:00pm, 4 units,  Area I or II (New Plan: Area IV)

This course considers how the practice of punishing crime can be understood in terms of the larger system of social life and cultural values in which punishment occurs. In exploring the social meanings of punishment, it examines some of the major historical changes in punishment that have been introduced in America and Europe since the 18th century.

160: Punishment, Culture & Society, Perry, MW 4:00- 5:30pm, 4 units, Area II or IV  (New Plan: Core or Area I or II)

This course surveys the development of Western penal practices, institutions, and ideas (what David Garland calls “penality”) from the eighteenth-century period to the present. Our primary focus will be on penal practices and discourses in United States in the early 21st century. In particular we will examine the extraordinary growth of US penal sanctions in the last quarter century and the sources and consequences of what some have called “mass imprisonment”.

161: Law in Chinese Society, Berring/Stern, 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.  

LS 162AC:  Restorative Justice, Frampton, Th 3:30-6:30pm (4 units) Area III or IV (New Plan: Area I or Area IV)

This course will examine the theory and practice of restorative justice, with an emphasis on the ways that criminal justice systems implicate the emotions and the social integration of both victims and offenders.  The course will begin with a critical examination of the current focus of the criminal justice system on retribution and incarceration. It will explore the racially disproportionate effects of this system, a product both of governmental failures to recognize the continuing economic, social and psychological effects of slavery and Jim Crow, and law’s failure to look beyond a narrow, individually-oriented notion of discrimination. The course will also interrogate the ways that existing approaches function – at times, purposefully – to foster vengeance and contempt toward offenders as a social category, complicating the process of re-entry and reintegration.

174: Comparative Constitutional Law: The Case of Isreal, Avishai Benish, 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.
The course will explore the development of constitutional rights in view of the unique social, cultural, and religious features of Israel. 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 U.S. Bill of Rights and other constitutional systems.

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, Tu 3-6pm, 4 units, Area IV (New Plan: Area I)  ***COURSE CANCELLED***

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. ***Cancelled***

190.1:  Basic Legal Values, Dan-Cohen, M 4-6pm, 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:  Making Empire: Law and Colonization in America, Tomlins, W 8-10am,  4 units, Area II (New Plan: II, V)

Making Empire is a reading and discussion seminar. Our goal is to become acquainted with the origins, development, and expansion of European settlement and expansion on the North American manland beginning in the 16th century. We will concentrate on the impulses (commercial, ideological, and racial) that drove European settlement, the migrations (both voluntary and forced) that sustained it, and the political and legal “technologies” that supplied it with definition and explanation. We will pay attention throughout to the definition of territory, to civic inclusion and exclusion, and to the relationship between economic activity and claims of manifest imperial destiny.

190.3 Comparative Perspectives on Law   Shapiro, W 2-5, 4 units, Area II  (New Plan: Area IV or V)

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

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