All students take two 3-credit courses. The courses have no prerequisites. To orient students on Scots laws and institutions, the program includes several field trips and guest speakers.
Course for 2017 will include courses on comparative criminal law and comparative health law. Exact course descriptions will be posted in February 2017.
Crime and Punishment: A Comparative Perspective (3 credits)
Professor John Bessler and Dr. Susan Stokeld
Syllabus (Updated June 6, 2017. Subject to change)
This course will present a comparative overview of crimes and punishments in the world’s principal legal systems, and it will also explore the fundamental and procedural rights of defendants in criminal cases. It will focus on the courts of the United States and Europe, including proceedings involving adults and juveniles. However, it will also provide an overview of other legal systems and punishment practices—whether in civil law, common law, or authoritarian countries—around the globe. In addition, the course will explore relevant provisions of international and regional human rights treaties. The course will explore the history of the Enlightenment and the criminal law writings of figures such as Montesquieu, Voltaire, Cesare Beccaria, Dr. Benjamin Rush, Thomas Jefferson and Jeremy Bentham; issues such as interrogations, criminal procedure, torture, sentencing, capital punishment, and solitary confinement; and other contemporary topics pertaining to judicial systems, prisons and penitentiaries, and the rule of law. This course provides students with the opportunity to do research on a comparative criminal law topic of their choice. The course will be evaluated on the basis of a final paper.
Comparative Health Law (3 credits)
Professors Diane Hoffmann and Anne-Michelle Slater
Syllabus (Draft, as of March 30, 2017. Subject to change)
This course will examine several aspects of health care delivery and regulation of health care in a variety of different countries. Topics for exploration will include how other countries: (1) provide, pay for, and regulate various aspects of health care; (2) resolve health care disputes, including medical malpractice claims; and (3) address certain bioethics issues, specifically organ donation for transplantation, reproductive services; and end-of-life care. The course will introduce students to examples from other countries with different legal and health care systems to compare and contrast with each other as well as with the U.S. The course aims to provide students with an introduction to theories and methods of comparative law as well as health law and policy concepts and trends in and across various jurisdictions. In addition to examining laws, legal institutions and regulations governing these issues, students will consider how a country’s history, political system and culture affect policy and legal decisions in these areas. Questions that we will explore include: 1. What accounts for different approaches to health law and policy issues in different countries? 2. How do we evaluate different health care systems/practices? Can we apply a consistent set of norms that are sensitive to unique cultural differences? 3. What are the strengths and weaknesses of health care systems/laws of different countries? Students will be evaluated on the basis of a final take-home exam.