Columbia Summer School – Comparative Jurisprudence
Jurisprudence, at its core, is the study of legal theory. Fundamentally, however, what is “law?” By studying alternative constitutional systems, what can we learn about the legal foundations of various governments and societies? What influence has legal theory had on the development of very different government structures, and how do different governments grapple with constitutional controversy? This course is designed to explore the basic foundational principles that make up the study of legal theory. It begins by studying the core schools of thought, including natural law, legal positivism, and legal realism. The course then uses these basic concepts to explore and understand the greater development of fundamental, constitutional law and theory within different legal systems in different countries. By comparing various constitution and government structures, using basic legal philosophy as a guide, students will gain a valuable base understanding of the development and execution of legal thought within different societies.