Legal Institutions and Social Change: From Latin America to the United States by Way of Europe
LLAS 3998-001; SOCI 3998-001
Instructor: Ángel Oquendo
While this is not an Honors course, Prof. Oquendo welcomes Honors students of any major and would be happy to offer Honors conversions for interested students.
This course has as its foci the history of interdependency between legal institutions and social change, as well as the multiple bodies of law emergent in particular historical contexts. It deals, at a law-school level, with constitutional law, as well as with specific areas of private law, such as civil law, civil procedure, and business law, and considers how, since early Rome, legal institutions further social change. It first introduces the civil law tradition, as well as legal history, comparing the Latin American experience with that of the United States and Europe. The discussion, which maintains this comparative aim
throughout, then moves on to constitutional law: to the notion of constitutionalism, to basic principles, to the vindication of rights, and to second and third generation entitlements. Thereafter the emphasis shifts to civil law—i.e., civil codes, interpretation, combating codified sexism, and civil remedies—and to civil procedure—specifically to the attainment of legitimacy through procedure, to procedural guaranties, and to collective actions. The class closes with an exploration of corporate law. Students will become fully conversant with the principal legal concepts used by lawyers in the regions traversed.
Professor Oquendo is a George J. and Helen M. England Professor of Law at UConn School of Law. He has lectured and published extensively in five languages and is an authority worldwide on comparative law and international litigation. He graduated from Yale Law School and clerked for Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.