218.01 Comparative Law

This course provides an overview of comparative law. We will learn about the differences and similarities, both real and perceived, between different legal orders. We will compare both civil law and common law systems, and authoritarian and liberal legal systems. We will also investigate the rise and fall of foreign legal studies in the U.S., from soviet law in the 1960s-1970s, Japanese law in the 1980s-1990s, European Union law in the early 2000s, and Chinese law in the recent decade. We will investigate the impact of American law on foreign countries and international law, and foreign law in American courts. On a theoretical level, we will try to understand what it means to "compare", and how it can help us both to understand other legal systems as well as our own.

Class participation: 10%; 4 response papers (1 page per paper): 20%; final paper (26 pages minimum): 70%. JD students have an option to write a longer paper (30 pages minimum) to satisfy their writing requirements. Please seek the instructor's approval for this writing credit by the end of October. 

Fall 2021

Course Number Course Credits Evaluation Method Instructor
Course Credits
Research paper, 25+ pages
Class participation
Shitong Qiao
Sakai site: https://sakai.duke.edu/portal/site/LAW.218.01.F21
Email list: LAW.218.01.F21@sakai.duke.edu
Degree Requirements
Course Requirements - JD
Course Requirements - LLM-ICL
Course Areas of Practice