Rule of Law and Threats to It

Section 1ZO, Fall 20

Schedule Information

Enrollment: 12/12
Credits: 3

Course Description

These days one hears lots of talk about “the rule of law” – and threats to it – both in the popular press and in the legal academy. But what exactly is the rule of law? Why (if at all) is it valuable? And what legal or political practices does a commitment to it require and forbid? In this seminar we will take up such questions by examining the rule of law in theory and practice. We will first look to some of the philosophical literature on the rule of law. We will then examine several case studies arising in different legal contexts – from the separation of powers, to policing, to international law – where questions about the rule of law (or its absence) have taken center stage. Works studied include those by A. V. Dicey, Friedrich Hayek, Lon Fuller, Joseph Raz, and Jeremy Waldron.

Course Requirements

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

Final Type (if any): None
Description: None
Final Exam Notes:


Written Work Product
Written Work Product: Students will be required to submit one 4-5 page paper (directly to instructors, not via EXPO), and one 10-12 page paper (via EXPO) Deadlines to be announced.

Other Work
Grades will be based on (1) one 4-5 pp. paper, (2) one 10-12 pp. paper (3) a class presentation, and (4) class participation.

Other Course Details
Prerequisites: None Concurrencies: None
Mutually Exclusive With: None
Laptops Allowed: Yes
First Day Attendance Required: Yes
Course Notes:

Graduation Requirements

*Satisfies Writing Requirement: No
**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
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Opens:
Evaluation Portal Via LawWeb Closes: