240F - 001 | Law 241.7 | CCN: 33131

Legal Rhetoric and Philosophy

Instructor: Marianne Constable,

4 Units

This incarnation of the seminar explores problems of knowledge, largely in the context of the development and practice of Anglo-American trial courts. After a general introduction to the history and role of courts, which will also serve to introduce legal procedure and the fact/law distinction, we’ll turn to particular issues of evidence and testimony, paying special attention to speech and hearing. We’ll also attend to documents and other sorts of material evidence. The aim, with regard to non-professional-law students, is to familiarize you enough with legal terms and issues that you are able to connect law, whether through history, politics, or philosophy, to your own (social, cultural or rhetorical; disciplinary or interdisciplinary) interests.

Required books are listed below (check campus library). Required articles will be available through bCourses or the campus library. Presentations and a final paper are required.

Note: This seminar on law and the problems of knowledge will be offered as a room-share with the law school’s Law 241.7 Evidence Law in Social and Historical Context. Law school instruction begins and ends one week earlier than the rest of campus. Please contact the instructor if this is an issue.

Required readings:
J.L. Austin, How to do Things with Words
Harold Berman, Law and Language
Robert Burns, A Theory of the Trial
Jennifer Hamilton, Indigeneity in the Courtroom
Shapiro, Barbara J. Beyond Reasonable Doubt and Probable Cause: Historical Perspectives on the Anglo-American Law of Evidence. Berkeley: University of California Press, c1991 1991. http://ark.cdlib.org/ark:/13030/ft409nb30v/
Jill Stauffer. Ethical Loneliness: the Injustice of Not Being Heard
Articles and Reports, posted as links or pdf’s in a bCourse site.