Comparative Constitutional Law Seminar

Section 1, Spring 17

Schedule Information

Enrollment: 16/16
Credits: 3

Course Description

Recent years have seen a renaissance of interest in the comparative possibilities of constitutional law. Just as framers of liberal constitutions 200 years ago were influenced by events in France and America, so constitution-makers in post-communist Central and Eastern Europe, South Africa, and elsewhere have considered the experience of more established constitutional democracies in framing their fundamental laws. The seminar will explore the issues entailed in the drafting and uses of a constitution. To what extent do constitutions reflect universal values (such as human rights), and to what extent are they grounded in the culture and values of a particular people? How much borrowing goes on in the writing of a constitution? In particular, in what respects do the U.S. Constitution and American constitutionalism serve as models for newer democracies? What are the historical, cultural, political, and economic contexts necessary to the success of liberal constitutional democracy? 

Illustrative of the areas to be explored in this seminar are:

 (1) Revolutions and constitutions -- France and America in the founding era, the revolutions of 1848, Mexico in 1917, Ataturk's Turkey, post-communist Central and Eastern Europe, and the revolutions in Egypt and other Arab countries

 (2) The influence of the American constitutional experience on other countries and cultures -- the French Declaration of Rights of Man and the Citizen, Germany's Paulskirche Constitution (1849), America's colony in the Philippines, Woodrow Wilson and new nations after World War I, Thomas Masaryk and Czechoslovakia, Japan and Germany after World War II, and the former communist countries after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

 (3) The emergence of global constitutionalism in the years since World War II.

Course Requirements

Exam Info:
Midterm Type (if any): None
Description: None

Final Type (if any): Due Date Only
Description: Students will be required to submit a substantial research paper via EXPO no later than noon on Monday, May 8th. 
Final Exam Notes:

Students will be required to submit a substantial research paper via EXPO no later than noon on Monday, May 8th. 

Written Work Product
Written Work Product:

Other Work

Other Course Details
Prerequisites: Constitutional Law useful, but not required Concurrencies: None
Mutually Exclusive With: Comparative Constitutional Law Lecture; Constitutionalism: History and Jurisprudence
Laptops Allowed: Yes
First Day Attendance Required: No
Course Notes:

Graduation Requirements

*Satisfies Writing Requirement: Yes
**Credits For Prof. Skills Requirement: No
Satisfies Professional Ethics: No

*Yes means professor requires everyone in the course to submit a substantial research paper (which is the requirement standard in Academic Policies), so no paperwork required to be submitted to SRO. No means student must timely submit paperwork to SRO if intending to use a paper in this course to satisfy the Writing Requirement.

**Yes indicates course credits count towards UVA Law’s Prof. Skills graduation requirement, not necessarily a skills requirements for any particular state bar.

General Information

Schedule No.
Law No.
Modified Type
Cross Listed: No
Cross-Listed Course Mnemonic:
Public Syllabus Link: None
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