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Law 248 - Advanced Comparative Law

(Half Unit in 1st Term)


Dr Agata Fijalkowski

This course aspires to provoke the student into critically thinking about how different legal cultures have experienced, or are experiencing, "rights revolutions", namely the expansion of individual (civil) rights to cover a much broader range of concerns. The course examines how the rights revolutions in particular countries got underway, including case studies that consider the development of prisoners' rights in the United Kingdom, the death penalty in the United States, the role of the Charter for Fundamental Rights and Freedoms in Canada, and the protection of constitutional rights in Central and Eastern Europe. The factors sustaining a rights revolution are investigated, particularly in the light of large cross-national differences in constitutional and political practice, legal culture and rights litigation. The course considers why each nation varies in the timing and extent of its rights revolutions and also questions the efficacy of borrowing solutions developed in one legal system to resolve the problems of another.

This course is available to second and third year students


50% Coursework, 50% Exam

is by coursework of 1,500 words (30%), an assessed presentation (20%) and on an end of the year examination (50%).

Recommended Reading

Charles R. Epp, The Rights Revolution: Lawyers, Activists and Supreme Courts in Comparative Perspective (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1998)

Please note that detailed reading materials and lists will be made available during the course.

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