This year, from June 27 - August 4, we will again reside at St. Edmund Hall, an Oxford college which traces its roots to the 13th century when it was one of the academic halls that formed the basis of the University of Oxford. As the oldest ongoing program in Oxford sponsored by a U.S. law school, it provides students with a unique opportunity to study comparative law, and the history of the common law and its institutions in their original setting. All courses are offered by tenured members of the Oxford and Florida State law faculty. Students may enroll in two or three courses. This program is A.B.A. approved.
Note: A letter of good standing and transcripts for non-FSU students are required; because GPA scales vary from school to school, you may enter 0.00.
Questions concerning the application and program may be directed to Shirley Oglesby, Assistant to the Director.
The course provides an introduction to the Civil Law tradition, the major alternative to the Common Law. We will draw many of our examples from three legal systems widely considered to be seminal models of within that tradition, those of France, Germany, and China. The comparative method as it is applied to legal problems will serve as a rubric for analyzing these legal systems. Through readings and class discussions, students will learn how to classify and compare Civil Law legal systems to Common Law legal systems, and to classify and compare legal systems within the Civil Law tradition. We will pay attention to both the utility and the limitations of such classifications and comparisons. The course focuses upon sources of law, the court system, civil procedure, the legal profession, and dispute resolution and is particularly useful for those who plan to practice law with an European, or international client base. Prepared course materials will be used and a take-home exam will be due on the last day of the exam period.
English Legal History (Oxford)
Discusses the initial courts; the emergence of the dominant royal courts, King's Bench and Common Pleas; the writ system and development of the pleading forms and the methods of proof used in trials. Considers tenures, the principal Real Actions for the recovery of land at Common Law and selected writs. Culminates in a consideration of the doctrine of estates. Briefly surveys future interests, perpetuities and the rise of uses and trusts.
European Union Law (Oxford)
An examination of the basic institutional and constitutional framework of the European Union and the fundamental legal principles that structure the internal market and the Union's external relations. The Union is studied comparatively as a legal system, as a fundamental modern legal development, and as the leading example of regional economic integration.
Theories of Constitutional Interpretation
This course will introduce students to the different major schools of thought concerning constitutional interpretation and constitutional change, including competing strands of originalism (original intent, original expectations, original public understanding), representation-reinforcing theory, common-law constitutionalism, living originalism, Bruce Ackerman's theory of constitutional moments, and various non-interpretivist theories. Students will assess the strengths and weaknesses of each theory, exploring both philosophical and prudential concerns. They will also review Founding Era sources to determine the extent to which the Framers contemplated the use of particular analytical approaches, and consider the extent to which major Supreme Court cases are consistent with the interpretive theories upon which they purport to be based.