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History of the Common Law

History of the Common Law - Professor Tomas Gomez-Arostegui

  • Course Number: LAW-330
  • Course Type: Highly Specialized
  • Credits: 2
  • Enrollment Limit: 30
  • Description:  This 2-credit course (see below on credits) is an introduction to the historical origins of Anglo-American law, in which students study selected historical sources and extracts from legal-historical scholarship. Topics include: (1) the jury system-medieval origins and European alternatives, separation of grand and petty juries, changes in the functions and composition of the jury from medieval to modern times, the law of evidence and other forms of jury control; appellate review of jury verdicts; the growing disuse of juries and of trials in modern times; (2) civil justice-the forms of action and the pleading system; the regular and itinerant courts; the judiciary; law reporting and other forms of legal literature; Chancery, the trust, equitable procedure and remedies; historical perspectives on the scope of the right to civil jury trial under the Seventh Amendment; the deterioration of Chancery procedure and the fusion of law and equity; the codification movement; the drafting of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure; (3) criminal justice-medieval criminal procedure; presentment and indictment; the recasting of criminal procedure in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries; the officialization of prosecution and policing; the rise and fall of Star Chamber; defense counsel and the rise of the adversary system in the eighteenth century; the privilege against self-incrimination; the law of evidence; criminal sanctions and sentencing; (4) legal education-the inns of court; apprenticeship; the emergence of university legal education in the United States; and (5) the legal profession-attorneys and barristers and the regulation of admission to the profession.
  • Prerequisite: none
  • Evaluation Method: Final exam only
  • Capstone: no
  • WIE: no