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Law 307 - Courts, Law and Politics in Comparative Perspective
(Half Unit in 2nd term)
Dr Agata Fijalkowski
This wide-ranging course compares and contrasts the intersection of courts, law and politics in the former Soviet Union, the Russian Federation, drawing on developments in post-Communist Europe, and Spain. The course investigates how courts function in each country, how the adjudication of criminal justice and the processing of civil disputes connect the legal system to politics, and how ordinary citizens use the courts. For each of the countries, the structure of the courts and access to them will be considered, as well as the manner in which politics and law are differentiated or amalgamated, whether judicial posts are political prizes or bureaucratic positions, the ways in which courts are perceived as legitimate forums for addressing political conflicts, the degree of legal consciousness among citizens, the kinds of work lawyers do and the manner in which law and courts are used as social control mechanisms.
This half unit is available to second and third years, compulsory for 2nd year ELS students.
Coursework 100% (comprising two pieces of work of 3,000 words each).
William Butler, Soviet Law, 2nd edn. (London: Butterworths, 1988)
H. Patrick Glenn, Legal Traditions of the World, 3rd edn. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007)
Herbert Jacob, Erhard Blankenburg, Herbert M. Kritzer, Doris Marie Provine, and Joseph Sanders. Courts, Law and Politics in Comparative Perspective (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1996)
Kate Malleson and Peter H. Russell, eds., Appointing Judges in an Age of Judicial Power: Critical Perspectives from Around the World (Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2006)
Werner Menski, Comparative Law in a Global Context: the Legal Systems of Asia and Africa, 2nd edn. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006)
Elena Merino-Blanco, Spanish Law and Legal System, 2nd edn. (London: Sweet and Maxwell, 2006)
Detailed reading materials, reading lists, and other materials will be made available during the course.
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