Courses Offered in London
The following classes were offered Summer 2020. Courses change each Summer, so be sure to check back for this summer’s offerings. Each summer will include a comparative law course and a special topic.
Comparative Criminal Procedure (3 credit hours) - Professor Kami Chavis
This course will examine six distinct stages of this process: (1) investigation, (2) arrest, search, and seizure, (3) interrogation, (4) pre-trial court procedures, (5) the trial itself, and (6) sentencing, custody, and appeals. In each phase, students first examine principles and practices of criminal procedure in the U.S., and then examine these principles and practices several other countries, including England, France, Germany. This approach and the texts we use will help us explore a number of key topics in the field of criminal procedure: the role of screening mechanisms in excluding weak cases before trial; the willingness of different legal systems to suppress illegally obtained evidence; the ways legal systems set meaningful evidentiary thresholds for arrest and pretrial detention; the problem of wrongful convictions; the way legal systems balance the search for truth against other values, such as protections for fundamental rights; emerging legal protections for criminal defendants, including new safeguards against custodial questioning in the European Union. Finally, we will examine how best practices identified in other systems (e.g., England, France, Germany) compare with current practices in the United States and whether the system in the United States is preferred or if it could be improved by considering these practices.
The course will also satisfy the requirement for LAWR III or LAWR IV. As such, there will be no final exam. Instead, the course will require a couple of short drafting or critiquing assignments prepared in London and a final paper due in late August or early September. The final paper will be a scholarly paper exploring a pre-approved topic. The professor will provide guidance to the student in drafting the paper.
History of the Common Law (2 credit hours) - Professor Kami Chavis
This course will explore the rich legal heritage of England and the United Kingdom, including the origins of the common law and the creation of the modern court system. Students will trace the roots of the common law tradition, learn about the institutional development of the English system of justice, and examine the role that English common law played in the development of colonial American law. We will take advantage of our presence in London to visit important structures and documents in the development of English common law. Field trips are being planned to the British Library (to visit an original copy of the 1215 Magna Carta), Central Criminal Court (also known as Old Bailey), the Royal Courts of Justice, and Westminster Abbey (the perfect location to discuss the relationship between ecclesiastical law and the common law). Students will be evaluated based on short writing assignments and participation. No prerequisite is required.
Wake Forest Students: Please note that Comparative Criminal Procedure will be GRADED ONLY and may satisfy the LAWR III/IV requirement. History of the Common Law will be pass/fail only and will NOT satisfy the LAWR III/IV requirement
Non-Wake Forest students should confirm that credit for these courses is accepted in their home law school. Grades for non-Wake Forest students will be only on a Pass/Fail basis (with a “C” being the minimum grade to earn a passing grade.)