European Legal Systems in Comparison with the United StatesThe course introduces students to the civil law systems and cultures of Europe, using primarily France and Germany as examples. It focuses not so much on substantive law but on the law machinery, i.e., legal actors (and their training), institutions (especially courts), procedures (especially civil procedure), and the constitutional framework, including the impact of European law. We will discuss the vices and virtues of such salient features as tuition-free legal training on an undergraduate level, a highly regulated bar, a strictly merit-based career judiciary, and civil procedure without juries, discovery, contingency fees or punitive damages - all in constant comparison with common law approaches and especially the US legal system. The course will introduce students to the way European lawyers think and thus enable them better to communicate with colleagues on the other side of the Atlantic. All materials will be in English.
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