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Lecture Series, Winter Semester - Introduction to the Common Law

Titel der Lehrveranstaltung/Lecture title: An Introduction to the Common Law – Part I — Lecture Series (in English)

Dozent/Teacher: Prof. Gerard C. Rowe, BA LLB MTCP Syd LLM Yale

Zeit/Time: block lecture series

Ort/Location: various (see timetable)

Beginn/Start: All sessions begin sharp at the nominated hour (not 15 mins later).

Thursday 03.11.2022 11:00 s.t. - 13:00 AM 203
14:00 s.t. - 18:00 AM 203
Friday 04.11.2022 09:00 s.t. - 12:00 AM 203
13:00 s.t. - 15:00 AM 203
Monday 07.11.2022 09:00 s.t. - 13:00 GD 303
14:00 s.t. - 17:00 GD 303
Wednesday 09.11.2022 14:00 s.t. - 18:00 GD 303
Thursday 10.11.2022 09:00 s.t. - 13:00 GD 303
Exam registration in Moodle

Teilnahmevoraussetzungen/Conditions of participation: The lecture series is in principle open to all students in all faculties and programmes. Provides a Zusatzqualifikation for law students. It is als especially suitable for students in the MES and MEPS programmes.

Good ability in English is desirable in order to be able to understand the lectures and read the recommended literature. The active participation of all students is be expected.

Participants do not need to register in advance but simply come to the first lecture.

There is a written exam (120 minutes) available to all participants, conducted at an agreed time in the final teaching weeks of the semester.

Gegenstand der Lehrveranstaltung/Subject of the lectrures: The ‘common law’ is the label applied to many legal systems around the world which derive originally from, or have been influenced by, the law and legal system of England. This occurred largely as a result of the process of colonisation and its political, legal, and institutional consequences. The name ‘common law’ points not only to deep historical origins (reaching back to the 11th century and before), but also to the type of law and legal institutions found in the legal systems concerned. Most especially, the term ‘common law’ refers to the particular legal methodology and culture which is distinguished generally from other legal traditions and families (such as Romanic/Civil Law, Islamic Law, Talmudic Law, and numerous customary legal traditions). The common law can, without fear of exaggeration, be said to be one of the most significant legal traditions of the world, found importantly in the British Isles, Australia, the United States, Canada, New Zealand and India as well as many other countries.

The lecture series provides an understanding of the basic elements of the common law tradition including aspects of political and governmental structures and institutions, constitutional arrangements, and judicial methodology, drawing attention also to differences which have developed between common law countries themselves. It provides an introduction to selected substantive areas of law, in particular of public law (constitutional and administrative law and regulation). A very brief introduction to aspects of private law (property, torts and contract law) is provided, but these fields are dealt with more intensively in the sequel lecture series (Part II) in the Summer Semester.

A knowledge and understanding of the common law will assist comparative legal studies and contribute to a better understanding of one’s own legal system. Such an introduction will also provide a preparation for international legal activity which may occur in a wide range of legal or business careers. The material covered is also of interest to non-law students in fields such as history, political science, economics, international relations and cultural studies. The British constitutional law covered casts light on, among other things, the current political and legal debates in the Brexit process and related institutional competences.

The lecture series provides an opportunity to develop specialised English language and vocabulary skills.

Literatur: Alan B. Morrison (ed.), Fundamentals of American Law (1996); William P. Fishback, A Manual of Elementary Law — Being a Summary of the Fundamental Principles of American Law (1997); Mary-Anne Glendon, Comparative Legal Traditions in a Nutshell (1999); Lawrence M. Friedman, American Law — An Introduction (1998); Howard Abadinsky, Law and Justice — An Introduction to the American Legal System (1998); Gerard C. Rowe, Reflections on the Common  Law — Relating it to the European Context, in: Beichelt/Choluj/Rowe/Wagener (eds), Europa–Studien — Eine Einführung (1st ed., 2006) 289–310.

A detailed bibliography will be provided at the start of the series.

Materials on Moodle platform for the outline of lectures, detailed bibliography and selected readings.

ECTS: 4 (special ECTS requirements for particular study programmes can be agreed upon).