FOR STUDENTS TO PRACTICE USING THE COMPARATIVE LEGAL METHOD WHEN ANALYZING MULTIPLE COUNTRIES 

Comparative law and courts research paper
Purpose:

For students to practice using the comparative legal method when analyzing multiple countries
For students to better understand the similarities and differences between the legal systems and judicial departments of the world

Instructions:

Choose at least two different countries for your comparative analysis

Do not make this a random selection. Be mindful of why you are choosing them as it relates to some of the recommendations provided in Chapter 2 of the course textbook.

Write a 10 to 12-page research paper (double-spaced, 12-point Times New Roman font, 1” margins) that includes the following sections:

An introduction (no more than 1-page) that includes the following

A research question focusing on the relationship between your countries legal system and whether/how those countries highest court (i.e., US Supreme Court) typically arrives at judgments on a specific area of law (follow the recommendations provided in Chapter 2 of the course textbook).
An explanation of why it is important to explore your research question.
An argumentative thesis statement that briefly summarizes the preliminary answer to your research question.

A section (no more than 2-pages) describing the countries in your comparative analysis

What is their respective system of government (i.e., presidential, parliamentary, aristocracy, autocracy, etc)?
Discuss at least one way these countries are contextually similar and one way they are different (i.e., historical, social, cultural, religious, political, economic, etc.).

A section (2 to 3-pages) explaining how each country’s legal system is connected to one or more legal traditions (rely on Chapters 3 and 4 of course textbook).

Are they understood to belong to the common, civil, Islamic or a mixture of several legal traditions?
In what ways are their legal systems similar and/or different?
Have either of the countries legal system tried to “transplant” something from another country’s legal system (HINT: see Chapter 8 of the course textbook)?

A section (about 2-pages) describing the similarities and/or differences between each country’s judicial department, focusing your analysis on what is considered to be their highest courts.

How are the officers on these high courts trained AND selected for their seats?
Are these high courts considered to be mostly independent or accountable to legislators, the executive, and/or the public?
To what extent do these high courts have judicial review power over legislation and/or executive action? If yes, where does that power come from?

A section (no more than 2-pages) discussing a specific area of law important for each of your countries

In the context of what you know about their respective legal traditions has the development and evolution of this specific area of law come through legislation, case law, or executive decree?
What role did their high courts in particular play in addressing this area of law (if at all)?
Is the area of law you chose considered “settled” for one/both of your countries? Explain why it is or isn’t relative to their particular legal system(s).

A conclusion (about 1-page) summarizing the main arguments you made throughout the paper.

What are the main similarities and/or differences between your countries regarding their legal systems, high courts, etc. you want the reader to remember after reading your paper?
Why is it only through the comparative legal method that you could discover these?

The research paper must include no less than 10 scholarly sources (constitutions, legislation, peer-reviewed books, professional journal articles, or law review articles). Each source must be used at least once as an in-text citation and you must include a works cited list at the end of the paper (make sure the cases are also cited accurately on this page). I will accept MLA, APA, or Chicago citations styles.

Deadlines and Due Dates:
November 27th—Deadline to email me a rough draft of your paper for review (OPTIONAL)
December 11th—Final paper must be uploaded on Canvas as a Microsoft Word document by 11:59 pm
Grading:
Content—clearly and concisely addresses each section outlined in the instructions=18 points
Sources—proper use of scholarly sources=4 points
Writing Mechanics—Proper sentence structure, grammar, spelling, and punctuation=3 points

 

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