Comparative Criminal Law Seminar
This course is a survey of British and American criminal law and related scholarship — from both the turn of the 19th century to the 20th and the turn of the 20th century to the 21st — addressing acts (are they lawful or are they criminal?) portrayed in the hypotheticals taken from the writings of Arthur Conan Doyle or Lyndsay Faye. In other words, each week, students will take a close look at a human act, and will consider (a) how it was treated under U.K. and the U.S. criminal law in Victorian times; (b) how it is treated today; and (c) why some things about criminal law have changed and some have not. Students will develop some useful points of reference for understanding of modern criminal law and lawyering, as well as a sense of trends in the development of legal institutions and law practice in that field. The course requires a final research paper based on an instructor-approved hypothetical taken from Victorian-era or Victorian-style detective fiction.