Area of Study & Practice
- Environmental Law
- Gov't Regulation & Administrative Practice
- Interdisciplinary Studies
- International, Transnational, and Comparative Law
- Public Policy
JD Graduation RequirementsThis course typically satisfies all or some of the following JD graduation requirements:
Risk Regulation in the US, Europe and Beyond
This seminar pursues an advanced, integrated analysis of the law, science and economics of societies' efforts to assess and manage risks of harm to human health, safety and the environment. The course will examine the regulation of a wide array of risks, such as those from medical care and drugs, food, automobiles, drinking water, air pollution, energy, global climate change, and terrorism. Across these diverse contexts, the course will explore the treatment of several basic issues confronting any regulatory system: risk assessment, risk management (including the debate over "precaution" versus benefit-cost analysis), risk evaluations by experts vs. the public, and risk-risk tradeoffs.
The course examines these issues in part through a comparative approach to risk regulation in the United States and Europe, including the regulatory reform; efforts in the US and the recent "precautionary principle" and "better regulation" initiatives in the EU. What are the differences between US and European regulation? Is Europe now "ahead" of the US? What explains the differences - - why do different legal systems choose different risks to regulate or different ways of regulating? What are the consequences of these choices? What can the US and Europe learn or borrow from each other when regulating risks? The course will draw on new research into these questions generated by a four-year project organized by Prof. Wiener.
Students' written work in the course (a 2-credit paper) may analyze specific risk regulations; compare regulations, institutions or tools across countries (including the US, Europe, and/or other countries); formulate and advocate original proposals to improve the regulatory state; or other related topics. Enrollment limited to 20.
PLEASE NOTE: In Spring 2012, Law 590 will be offered jointly with History 325, "Readings in the History of Politics and Public Life" as a university-wide advanced seminar on Regulation, co-taught with Prof. Ed Balleisen (History Dept. and Kenan Institute).
Please note that course organization and content may vary substantially from semester to semester and descriptions are not necessarily professor specific. Please contact the instructor directly if you have particular course-related questions.