This course provides an introduction to comparative constitutional law with a focus on systems of rights protection. Part I provides an introduction to the basic concepts and building-blocks of every system of constitutional justice: constitutions, rights, and judicial review. Part II surveys how such systems vary structurally, with what effects on the ways in which judges interact with other governmental officials, including legislators. Part III examines the development of proportionality, as an emerging global standard of rights adjudication. All required texts are available on-line or will be provided.
Students will be evaluated on the basis of (1) a literature review or research paper – 70%; (2) three approximately 750 word “response papers” – 30%; and (3) attendance – students will be deducted 10% for any classes missed without prior notification or approval.
Note: the seminar will emphasize close reading and roundtable discussion of texts; it is not a lecture course. Students are to come to class prepared to engage in a discussion of the required readings and response papers. Readings are subject to change, but only by a similar replacement text.