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Course Description

(This course was formerly titled History of Common Law)

This course, which blends legal history and jurisprudence, surveys the development of the common law in England and in the U.S. We examine the judicial role in the separate contexts of decisional law (where there is no single authoritative statement of the controlling rule) and positive law (where there is a single statement). The biographies of two contested concepts, “stare decisis” and “the rule of law,” help organize and animate the course. Evaluation will be based on a series of essays.

Course Type