Tom Ginsburg : Courses and Seminars
Comparative Legal Institutions
This course is designed to examine a range of legal institutions from a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective. It is not a traditional course in comparative law, in that it focuses not so much on particular rules of substantive law but on the structure of different legal systems and the consequences of those structural differences for law and society, especially for economic development. Readings will be drawn from legal and social science literature, including works from anthropology, economics, political science and sociology. The course will explicitly cover non-Western legal traditions to an extent not found in conventional comparative law courses. The course will conclude with reflections on what a comparative perspective tells us about American legal institutions. Course grades will be given on the basis of a take-home written exam, with a small component for class participation. There is a paper option.
East Asian Law and Society
This course will cover the East Asian legal tradition, primarily but not exclusively focusing on China and Japan. East Asia is well-known for its remarkable economic development in recent decades, but has also been the home of a long tradition of thinking about law in a way that differs from the assumptions of Western liberal democracy. The course begins by exploring this tradition, and then traces the history of legal institutions in the region, focusing on the encounter with Western legal systems beginning in the 19th century. We will then analyze the major institutions of criminal, civil and administrative law in postwar East Asia and their recent transformations. The focus of this course is not on particular areas of doctrine, but on the ideas and institutions that make East Asia distinctive. Grading will be on the basis of a take-home exam or research paper, at the students’ discretion.
Greenberg Seminar: Korea
Korea is a remarkable country. Politically, it remains divided along cold war lines, with one half still technically at war with the United States. The South is a relatively new democracy, but its politics are still dominated by the influence of powerful families (of both former dictators and powerful business groups). Economically, it is one of the most incredible success stories in history. In 1950, Korea was poorer than Egypt but today it has a per capita income about 8 times that of Egypt, and is one of the most dynamic economies in the world. Culturally, it is a paradox. Rigidly hierarchical and conservative, it has nevertheless produced some of the best books and films of the past several decades. In this Greenberg seminar, we will explore the richness of Korea through several avenues. We will discuss several fiction and non-fiction books, as well as a recent Korean film. Students will be required, to the extent class schedules permit, to attend part of a one-day workshop on the Korean Constitution of 1948 on Friday October 25. Korean food and drink will accompany each of the evening sessions.
Tom Ginsburg, M. Todd Henderson
Public International Law
This course is an introduction to public international law, which is the body of law that nation states have jointly created for the purpose of governing their relations. The course focuses on the sources of international law, international institutions such as the United Nations, international adjudication, and various substantive fields of international law, such as the use of force, human rights, the treatment of aliens, and international environmental law. Grades will be based on class participation and an examination. A paper option is allowed for students who wish to write an SRP.