Legal Studies Courses Fall 2023

R1B.001: Topic TBD, Yael Plitmann, 4 units, Area N/A 
Description TBD

NOTE: R1B courses must be taken for a letter grade.
**This course is lower division and will not count towards the major.**

39D: Current Political & Moral Conflicts & the Constitution  Frosh/Soph Seminar, Pomerantz, 2 units, Area N/A

**This course is lower division and will not count towards the major.**

We will read Supreme Court cases, as well as political and legal commentary from across the political spectrum, and consider not only the opinions of the Justices, but also why they hold those opinions. We will seek to discover the way in which courts use authority and craft law. Here(link is external)(link is external) is an article about the course (video included).

100:  Foundations of Legal Studies, Simon, 4 units, Core (H, SS)

This is a liberal arts course designed to introduce students to the foundational frameworks and cross-disciplinary perspectives from humanities and social sciences that distinguish legal studies as a scholarly field. It provides a comparative and historical intro to forms, ideas, institutions, and systems of law and sociological ordering. It highlights basic theoretical problems and scholarly methods for understanding questions of law and justice.

102: Policing and Society, Perry, 4 units, Area I

This course examines the American social institution of policing with particular emphasis on urban law enforcement. It explores the social, economic and cultural forces that pull policing in the direction of state legal authority and power as well as those that are a counter-weight to the concentration of policing powers in the state. Special attention is given to how policing shapes and is shaped by the urban landscape, legal to cultural.

****CANCELED**** 103:  Theories of Law & Society, Prof. Mark Leinauer, 4 units, Core (H, SS) or Area II  ****CANCELED****

Surveys leading attempts to construct social theories of law and to use legal materials for systematic social theorizing, during the period from the mid-eighteenth century to the early twentieth century.  The course considers major discussions of such themes as the relationships between law, politics, society and economy; the connection between historical change and legal change; the role of law in the processes of social integration and social discipline; and the distinctive elements of legal ordering in the modern west.

107:  Theories of Justice, Song, 4 units, Core (H) or Area II or III or IV

This is a lecture course in political philosophy, focusing on liberal political theory which emphasizes the protection of individual freedom as against social demands, the maintenance of social and economic equality, and the neutrality of the state in conditions of cultural and religious pluralism.  By studying mainly modern authors, we will attempt to understand the importance of these goals and the possibility of their joint fulfillment. Attention will be paid to the work of John Rawls, to the problem of moral and political disagreement, and the relation between “ideal” thinking about justice and thinking about justice in conditions of racial, gender, and class hierarchies.

136: Law and Rights in Authoritarian States, Stern, 4 units, Area IV or V

This course investigates the reasons why authoritarian leaders devolve power to courts and the control strategies they deploy to keep judges, lawyers and plaintiffs in check. The course will mix more theoretical readings on approaches to law and the logic of courts with empirical studies of how law works in four settings: Nazi Germany, East Germany, China, and Russia. Throughout the semester, we will ask ourselves how world historical time (e.g. the rise of rights talk, the global trend increased judicial power) and regime type (e.g. military dictatorship, competitive authoritarianism, one-party states) influence both the letter and the practice of law. In addition to scholarly books and articles, course materials will include original court documents as well as memoirs and films that illustrate how ordinary people experience the legal system.

137: Equality Rights, Prof. Lindsay Harris, 3 units, Area IV or V  

Comparative Equality Law uses a problem-based approach to examine how the law protects equality rights in different jurisdictions. The course will comparatively examine US, European, and other national, regional and international legal systems (including those of India, Brazil, Colombia, Canada and South Africa) and provide a global overview of legal protection from and legal responses to inequalities. The course covers 5 topic modules: Theories and sources of equality law; Employment discrimination law (race, sex, age, disability, LGBTQ+); Secularism, human rights and the legal rights of religious minorities; Sexual harassment/Violence; Affirmative action (race, caste, origin), and gender parity.

Note the odd times at which this course meets!
Comparative Equality Law meets on Tuesday mornings.
The class meets at 8am to 10am on Zoom which is 15:00 UTC (Coordinated Universal Time) to 17:00 UTC. For most of the semester that’s 8am in Berkeley, but when we move from “daylight savings time” to “standard time” in November, 15:00 UTC becomes 7am in Berkeley. Because the course includes students and faculty from at least eight time zones in North America, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia it is essential to set the course meeting time in Universal time instead of Pacific time. And, because most of our partner universities start their classes on the hour, we will not use “Berkeley Time”.

142:  Monetary Law and Regulation, Bruno Salama, 4 units, Area III or V

This course surveys the history of US monetary law from its inception to the coming about of cryptocurrencies. We begin with a discussion of monetary affairs in colonial times and during the American Revolutionary War. We then examine the framework established at the Constitutional Convention. We cover the 19th century and New Deal Supreme Court cases that shaped US monetary law as we know it today. Finally we discusses contemporary legal dilemmas such as the regulation of bitcoin and stablecoins, the creation of central bank digital currencies, the workarounds of the US debt ceiling and the debate over the spectrum of the Fed’s legal authority. We conclude by revisiting some classic questions concerning the nature and functions of money.

145:  Law & Economics I, Bruno Salama, 4 units, Core (SS) or Area III

This course introduces economics as a tool for analyzing, evaluating and interpreting the legal framework that underpins a market economy. The first part examines the most basic legal foundations of markets, namely property, contract, corporate, tort, administrative and criminal law. The second part introduces relevant topics in the regulation of markets. It covers a few conceptual questions (the role of efficiency considerations in law and policy, the concept of regulations and the role of courts, and the dilemma between growth and distribution) as well as applied topics such as insurance, bankruptcy, labor, family, antitrust, and intellectual property law.

157:  International Relations & International Law, Sarah Graham -, 4 units, Area IV or V 

This course will evaluate and assess modern theories of international law. We will examine the work of legal scholars and look to political science and economics to see how these disciplines inform the study of international law. We will also examine a host of fundamental questions in international law, including, for example, why states enter into international agreements, why states comply with international law, and what kind of state conduct is likely to be influenced by international law.

159: Introduction to Law & Sexuality, Sonia Katyal, 4 units, Area II or IV

This course focuses on the legal regulation of sexuality, and the social and historical norms and frameworks that affect its intersection with sex, gender, race, disability, and class. We will critically examine how the law shapes sexuality and how sexuality shapes the law. Our subject matter is mostly constitutional, covering sexuality’s intersection with privacy, freedom of expression, gender identity and expression, equal protection, reproduction, kinship, and family formation, among other subjects. We will study case law, legal articles, and other texts (including visual works) that critically engage issues of sexuality, citizenship, nationhood, religion, and the public and private spheres domestically and internationally.

160:  Punishment, Culture, & Society, Kristin Sangren, 4 units, Core (H,SS) or Area I or II

This course surveys the development of Western penal practices, institutions, and ideas (what David Garland calls “penality”) from the eighteenth-century period to the present. Our primary focus will be on penal practices and discourses in United States in the early 21st century. In particular we will examine the extraordinary growth of US penal sanctions in the last quarter century and the sources and consequences of what some have called “mass imprisonment.” To gain some comparative perspective the course will also take up contemporary penality (or penalities) in Europe, South Africa, Central America, and Asia, as well as US penality and society at some earlier conjunctures.
In our analysis of penality, we will draw upon a range of social science theories with general relevance but with particularly rich application to the study of punishment. These theories provide the “tool kits” we will use to interpret and analyze multiplex implications of punishment and its relationship to changes in economic, social, and political relations associated with modernization and more recently the globalization of modern capitalism. The course will examine many examples of penal practices and the ideas associated with them including mass imprisonment, the death penalty, and restorative justice. In the last portion of the class we will examine the recent crisis in California’s juvenile prisons through the lenses both of different social theories and the examples of different national and historical penal patterns.

162AC – Restorative Justice, Julie Shackford-Bradley, 4 units, Area IV

This course will examine the theory and practice of restorative justice, with an emphasis on the ways that criminal justice systems implicate the emotions and the social integration of both victims and offenders.  The course will begin with a critical examination of the current focus of the criminal justice system on retribution and incarceration. It will explore the racially disproportionate effects of this system, a product both of governmental failures to recognize the continuing economic, social and psychological effects of slavery and Jim Crow, and law’s failure to look beyond a narrow, individually-oriented notion of discrimination. The course will also interrogate the ways that existing approaches function – at times, purposefully – to foster vengeance and contempt toward offenders as a social category, complicating the process of re-entry and reintegration.

****CANCELED**** 168: Sex, Reproduction, and the Law, Mark Leinauer, 4 units, Area II  ****CANCELED****

This course examines recent American legal and social history with respect to reproductive and sexual behavior. We will consider two theoretical aspects of the problem: first, theories of how law regulates social behavior and second, more general theories about how reproduction is socially regulated. Armed with these theoretical perspectives, the course will then examine closely a number of legal/social conflicts, including sterilization, abortion and contraception.

170: Crime & Criminal Justice, Hadar Aviram, 4 units, Area I

NOTE: Lecuture will be online, Discussion sections will be in person.

This course introduces scholarly frameworks for thinking about crime and criminal justice, and traces through case law and scholarship the evolution of these earlier conceptions into today’s policy debates. It examines the scope and nature of crime in the United States from a comparative and interdisciplinary perspective, focusing on the uses and limits of the criminal justice system. The course will introduce concepts of criminal process and the main elements of the criminal justice system, including police, courts, and corrections. It will consider the main institutional features, problems, and critiques of the processes through which suspects are apprehended, tried, sentenced, and punished. Past and current trends and policy questions will be discussed.

****CANCELED****172AC:  Decolonizing UC Berkeley, Nazune Menka, 4 units, Area II or V ****CANCELED****

This course seeks to engage students in a critical investigation of the origins of the University of California through a settler colonial lens, and with the aim of decolonizing the University’s narrative history. Decolonization is a process by which narratives, world views, cultures, and institutions, once erased by colonization are returned, respected, and honored. Drawing upon the work of the UC Berkeley Truth & Justice Project, this Course will explore the history of UC and its racial and colonial foundations. We will focus on decolonization and therefore center Indigenous and other racialized communities, discussing injustice in various communities and from various perspectives.****CANCELED****

173AC: Making Empire: Law & the Colonization of America, Tomlins, 4 units, Area II or V

This is an intro to the origins, development, and expansion of European settlement on the North American mainland. We will concentrate on the impulses – commercial, ideological, and racial – that drove European colonizing; the migrations (voluntary and forced) that sustained it; and the political and legal “technologies” that supplied it with definition, explanation, and institutional capacity. We will pay attention to themes of sovereignty, civic identity, race, and “manifest destiny” and will discuss how law provided both the language and technical capacity to transform territory into property, people into slaves, and the land’s indigenous inhabitants into “others” who existed “outside” the civic order of the American Republic.

184: Sociology of Law, Kristin Sangren, 4 units, Core (SS) or Area IV

This introductory course explores major issues and debates in the sociology of law.  Topics include theoretical perspectives on the relationship between law and society, theories of why people obey (and disobey) the law, the relationship between law and social norms, the “law in action” in litigation and dispute resolution, the roles of lawyers, judges, and juries in the legal system and in society, and the role of law in social change.  The course will examine these issues from an empirical perspective.


190.1: Liberty, Equality, Privilege & the Constitution, Alan Pomerantz, 4 units, Area IV 

The course will examine current Supreme Court decisions that address the conflict between individual liberty and governmental mandated equality as informed by privilege. Specifically, recent Supreme Court decisions have addressed and modified numerous rights and liberties once thought to be protected by the Constitution, based on the Court’s current reasoning that when the Constitution is silent, or "neutral,"  the extent of protection from governmental abridgment of personal liberty and individual sovereignty should be left to the people and their democratically elected representatives.  Recent topics have included woman’s equality including abortion; LGBTQ+ rights including marriage equality and gender identity; the conflict between privacy and collective morality; religious exercise and state sponsorship of religious institutions; speech and expression; racial profiling; affirmative action; and voting. The class will be conducted primarily using the Socratic method. We will read important historical and current Supreme Court cases, as well as political and legal commentary from across the political spectrum. The prime focus of the seminar is to encourage students to develop and defend their own views and opinions regarding the relevant topics and to enhance their critical thinking skills.   

***CANCELLED***190.2: Intro to International Criminal Law,  Monica Castillejos Aragon, 4 units, Area II or V  ***CANCELLED***

This seminar is aimed at introducing the students to the principles and concepts of international criminal law. It will address the historical development of international criminal law, and general principles, and discusses the nature and scope of four core crimes under international law: genocide, crimes against humanity, war crimes, and the crime of aggression. This course will also review procedural rules and principles. With a practical application, students will thus be able to acquire a general understanding of how international criminal law ensures justice for victims of international crimes and how it has responded to any attempt of impunity in the commission of crimes under international law.  ***CANCELLED***

190.3: Gender, Religion and Law: The Case of Isreal, Masua Sagiv, 4 units, Area II or IV

The course will explore the intersection of gender, religion, and law in Israel, as manifested in social movement activism through law and society. The course will illustrate and reflect upon different strategies and spheres for promoting social change, by examining core issues involving gender, religion and law in Israel: religious marriage and divorce, gender equality in the religious establishment, spiritual leadership of women, free exercise of religion (at the Western Wall and Temple Mount), conversion, and segregation in education. Spheres of activism to be covered include parliament, state courts, alternative private initiatives and courts, and social media.

190.5:  The Law and the History of Economic Institutions of Capitalism, Veronica Santarosa, 4 units, Area III

This seminar will focus on the formation and evolution of economic and legal institutions from the height of the medieval Commercial Revolution to the present day. In the absence of strong states, how could the law support the rise of anonymous long-distance trade, early entrepreneurial activity, and the ascent of financial capitalism? Major topics will include the institutions that governed the organization and finance of early trade, the
legal history of commercial law, the organization of enterprises, the venues for contract enforcement, the regulation of financial intermediaries, sovereign debt, and the evolution of the global governance and financial architecture. The course readings will explore a wide range of recent scholarship on economic history and legal history, with emphasis on social science approaches.

190.6:  Comparative Constitutional Law, Shapiro, 4 units, Area V
An examination of constitutional decision making in a number of countries based on selected high court opinions.

190.7:  Anti-Semitism and the Law, Steven Solomon, 4 units, Area I or II
This class will explore the intersection of antisemitism and the law.  It will begin by covering the history of law as a vehicle for institutionalizing antisemitism, law as a vehicle for combating antisemitism, and law as a political tool to combat antisemitism.  Historical topics will include, the Dreyfus case, the Holocaust denial trial of Irving v. Lipstadt, the Damascus blood libel trial of 1840, the blood libel trial of Mendel Beilis, and the impact of the lynching of Leo Frank.  We will also review discriminatory laws in the United States and other areas and countries against Jews, including in Nazi Germany.  Other topics covered will include the intersection of legal antisemitism definitions and anti-Zionism, the intersection of free speech laws and antisemitism (e.g., the Skokie march), the historical discrimination of college and university campuses against Jews through admission quotas as well as the modern day application of Title VI of the Higher Education Act to issues of antisemitism on college and university campuses. 

190.8:  Memory in Legal Principle & Process, Daniel Levy, 4 units, Areas I

Human memory plays a key role in legal thought, institutions, and procedures. In a wide range of circumstances – evaluating the reliability of testimony, appreciating challenges to judges and jurors in learning and retaining information presented during a trial, assessing intent and culpability for
plagiarism, or considering the admissibility of a plaintiff’s repressed memories – assumptions about the nature of memory play a vital role. This course will explore recent progress in the understanding of the nature and brain substrates of human memory. For each topic, the relevant basic cognitive psychology
and neuroscience information will be introduced in non-specialist terms. We will then consider the implications of those insights for philosophical attitudes, legal processes, and societal institutions

190.9: Law and American Pacific Empire, 1836-1945, Kyle Deland, 4 units, Area II or IV or Area V

In this special topics seminar in the Legal Studies Department, we will study law and the American colonization of the Pacific from 1836 to 1945. In particular, the course focuses on the fields of Criminal, Property, Constitutional, Civil Rights, Indigenous, Immigration, and International Law across case studies of the major sites of American Empire during this period: Oregon Territory, California, Hawai’i, Alaska, and the Philippines. The scope of the class also includes transimperial and comparative studies of the British Empire in Australia, British Columbia, and New Zealand, the Empire of Japan, Indigenous North American and Polynesian States like the Kingdom of Hawai’i, and the Chinese Pacific Diaspora. We will explore and critically examine the transformation from the “First” American continental empire to the “Second” American overseas empire through the lenses of race, indigeneity, capitalism, legal pluralism, and power. 

H195A:  Honors Seminar, Morrill, 5 units, Area N/A

Students contemplating an Honors thesis must be enrolled in the first half of the program with LS H195A in the Fall of their senior year, which is aimed specifically at preparing them for the task. The seminar will cover such important subjects as selecting a thesis topic that is both interesting and capable of investigation within the limits of a single semester, developing and implementing an effective research strategy, and completing the writing.  UCB GPA 3.5  Legal Studies GPA 3.5 required.

During the following Spring semester, students who continue with the Honors Program (LS H195B) will complete a substantial research paper under the supervision of a faculty member.

To apply for the Honors Seminar LS H195A for Fall, please refer to the application info under ‘Research Opportunities’ then ‘Honors Program’ on the Legal Studies website.