Introduction to US Constitutional Law

Level: 
Master's
Course Status: 
Mandatory
CEU credits: 
2
ECTS credits: 
4
Module: 
I
Academic year: 
2009/2010
Academic year: 
2010/2011
Academic year: 
2011/2012
Academic year: 
2012/2013
Academic year: 
2013/2014
Instructor(s): 
Renáta Uitz

This introductory course is intended to familiarize students in the Comparative Constitutional Law program with the precedent-based approach to constitutionalism through the experiences of the U.S. constitutional system. The course commences with a survey of structural issues (including federalism, separation of powers and constitutional adjudication). This is then followed by discussion of select problems of fundamental rights protection in courts using examples of equal protection, liberty and privacy. Constitutional problems will be presented in their broader historical and societal context.. Note that US jurisprudence on other fundamental rights (such as free speech or freedom of religion will be covered in separate courses in detail during the academic year).

The primary aim of the course is to make students feel comfortable in a legal setting where court decisions are a primary source of the law and of constitutional liberties. In addition, the course hopes to present constitutional litigation as a means of understanding governmental operations and defending individual rights.

Assessment is based on class participation, written assignments and a written, in-class final exam.