Law & Legal Process in Latin AmericaClass Term:
Fall Term 2022-2023Catalog Number:
2 (2 Contact, 0 Field)Graduation Requirements:
International / ComparativePriority:
General Enrollment CourseFull Year Course:
Each student’s grade in the course will be determined by a final, written, closed-book exam.
This is a two-credit introduction to the legal tradition, juridical institutions, and legal processes of the countries of Latin America. The first several weeks of the course will be devoted to the Roman origin of the Civil Law tradition (of which, of course, the countries of Latin America are part), the development of that tradition in Medieval Europe (with special attention to Spain), the growth of legal and governmental institutions in Spain’s American colonies, and the influence of the U.S. and the French Revolutions and of German Legal Science on the newly-independent countries of Latin America and on the present-day legal systems of those countries. As the course proceeds, the students will be introduced to procedural devices created in Brazil, Mexico, and Argentina to adjust portions of those countries’ Civil Law systems to the selective introduction of Anglo-American constitutional concepts. Finally, some time will be allocated for study and discussion of relevant special interests of students enrolled in the course. The materials for the course will be (1) a collection of materials gathered by the professor, and (2) The Civil Law Tradition: An Introduction to the Legal Systems of Europe and Latin America (4th edition), by John Henry Merryman and Rogelio Pérez-Perdomo.