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LAW History of the Common Law in England and America

A Broader View: General

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General

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LAW 363

History of the Common Law in England and America

Law School

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[ Academia ] [ Litigation ] [ Regulatory & Policy ] [ Transactional ] A Broader View: General

Why it is relevant for ...

[ Academia ] [ Litigation ] [ Regulatory & Policy ] [ Transactional ] as a Key Elective : Students should find this a satisfying review of the English common law roots of the American legal system, comparing concepts long embedded in our system with the civil law system and other methods of adjudication.

General course Description:

The right to a trial by jury, the presumption of public access to criminal proceedings, and citizenship by birth rather than blood, all enshrined in the U.S. Constitution, ultimately derive from English common law. American private law - including contracts, torts, and property - is indebted to the same heritage. This course examines the history and theory of the common law with the aim of demonstrating its continuing relevance.

Three principal strands run through the class. The first traces the substantive and procedural evolution of the common law from its early English roots and writs to its role in the American legal system today. Another thread emphasizes conceptions of the common law, including both historical accounts derived from the writings of Sir Edward Coke, Matthew Hale, Jeremy Bentham, and Oliver Wendell Holmes, and more recent theoretical contributions by Guido Calabresi and Ronald Dworkin, among others. Finally, the course examines certain central institutions of the common law, including the judge who follows precedent and the jury, and compare common law modes of adjudication with the alternative methods employed by the Chancellor in equity and judges in the civil law system. Source materials
include historical cases and documents as well as some secondary articles.

Course Style: A Substantive course teaches the law, theory, and policy in a particular area of law

Course Frequency: Varied, check w/ registrar

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