Foundation Outline (Prof. William Ewald) Essay

43052 Words Aug 21st, 2015 173 Pages
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Foundations of the U.S.
Legal System
Prof. William Ewald

Wim De Vlieger
Suvitcha Nativivat
Alasdair Henderson
Ana Carolina Kliemann
Alexey Kruglyakov
Rafael A. Rosillo
Pasquale Siciliani
Paul Lanois
Gloria M. Gasso
Kamel Ait El Hadj
Yuanyuan Zheng
Ana L. Marquez
Pumthan Chaichantipyuth
Wenzhen Dai

Penn Law
Summer 2006

I. Introduction and Historical Background A. What the course will cover?

This is not an introductory course. You are all lawyers; I shall assume a good deal of professional expertise, and that many of you already have a body of knowledge about American law. The task: prepare
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Apply different body of law to different range of cases, unlike e.g. German Lander where less distinction esp. in private law. So no national body of American tort, contract, property or even criminal law (even if often few differences). Federal law largely constitutional in scope. b) No simple divide – state courts can apply some aspects of federal law and vice versa.
4) Tendency to litigate, i.e. to take all problems to court. (less so now with growth of ADR)

These factors have interacted. In contrast to much of the world, we have a common law system; but in contrast to much of the common‐law world, our basic system even of private‐law adjudication has been deeply modified by the constitutional and political style of the courts.


Result: a highly ‘political’ system of law, with a great deal of fundamental disagreement. The debates have influenced judicial opinions, legislation, the composition of the bar, and legal scholarship. 
US system is well on way to full politicisation of law and the judiciary. Judges far more powerful than in most systems.

Federal system – 50 different bodies of law – means there are far more tensions and competition between laws. [Free market – capitalist approach

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