The Foundations of Law and Justice Seminar
J.D. Seminar 659
| 3 credit hours
This course will examine the philosophical, historical, scientific and emotional
foundations of law and justice. Students will consider the value and purpose of law and
discuss some of the leading theories and theorists of law and justice through the ages,
from Aristotle and Aquinas to Dworkin and Habermas. The course will consider the
sources, content, interpretation and binding nature of the law, and how law differs from morality or justice. Students will be encouraged to examine their own theories of the lawand to develop their own views of how lawyers and the law can best advance justice in the societies they serve.
Each session of the class will have two parts. The first half of the class will be devoted to a particular author, discussed in chronological order, to give a sense of the development of legal thought over time. The second half of each class will be devoted to a particular question about law or justice, treated timelessly, with particular attention to its contemporary application. Readings for the first half of the class will be set in advance, but assignments for the second half of the class will be developed in conversation with students, to encourage their reflection and engagement in the issues discussed.
The class will be run as much as possible like a graduate seminar, to initiate students into the habit of thinking for themselves about fundamental questions and to excite their interest in life-long reflection about the value and purpose of law and lawyers in a constitutional democracy.
||Room / Days / From-To
|This course is not currently scheduled.