The major part of the course will cover classic jurisprudential questions about the nature of law - what law is-and related questions regarding judicial decision-making: Under what conditions is a rule a law within a legal system? Are there moral principles that are part of the law even though a legislature has not enacted them? How do judges actually interpret statues and constitutional clauses? How should they interpret them and are there definitive right answers to disputes about what the law is? Is it possible to refrain from "legislating from the bent." or does judicial decision-making necessarily involve making new law based on moral and political judgments? In the second part of the course, we will begin thinking about the proper function or aim of some core areas of substantive law. For example, questions might include: Does the criminal law aim to exact retributive justice, to achieve deterrence, or both? Is it legitimate for the legislature to use law to enforce morality of the community's moral belief? Does tort law aim to achieve corrective justice? Does corrective justices require reparations to groups for long past injuries? Reading will include Hart, Fuller, Dworkin, Raz, Ely, Holmes, Scalia, Feinberg, and others.

Credit Hour: 1-3


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