This course will examine the unusual and often perplexing means by which the law makes judgments about guilt and innocence. Our inquiry will be framed by the following questions: What gives a court the authority to pass judgment on a person accused of criminal wrongdoing, and what defines the limits of this authority? What ends does the law seek to pursue in bringing an accused to justice? What “process” is due the accused such that the procedures designed to adjudicate guilt are deemed fair? How do these standards differ as we travel from adversarial systems of justice (such as the Anglo-American) to inquisitional systems (e.g., France or Germany)? Finally, how has the process of rapid globalization changed the relationship between the state and the accused and, with it, the idea of criminal justice itself? In answering these questions, our investigations will be broadly comparative, as we consider adversarial, inquisitional, and transnational institutions of criminal justice. We will also closely attend to the differences between law’s response to “common” criminals and extraordinary criminals, such as heads of state, armed combatants, and terrorists.
Requisite: LJST 101 or 110 or consent of the instructor. Limited to 30 students. Fall semester. Professor Douglas.