Comparative Criminal Procedure

Credits: 2.00
Faculty: Martin Marcus

Recommended: Criminal Procedure I or Criminal Procedure II

This course will examine inquisitorial systems of criminal justice, primarily the French and German, and compare them with the adversarial system of the United States. The class will analyze differences in investigative procedures, charging mechanisms, summary adjudication devices (the guilty plea and its Continental analogues) and trial procedure, considering along the way the differing roles of the police, prosecutor and court in the two systems. By developing these comparisons, the course will seek not only to familiarize students with the inquisitorial approach, but also to understand better the assumptions of our own adversarial system and the role of the various actors in it. Finally, the course will consider the potential for and limitations of comparative analysis in proposing reform of one system based on the procedures and experience of another. Students will be encouraged to write a paper on some aspect of comparative law which may satisfy the Upperclass Writing Requirement, or they may elect to take an examination.