Current Courses

LAPA''s course offerings meet a growing demand for law-related teaching at Princeton. LAPA-sponsored courses have enriched Princeton''s curriculum with classes that address a wide range of topics and target several different segments of the student body. In previous semesters, offerings have included freshman seminars on such topics as "The Supreme Court and Constitutional Democracy," "Who Owns the Past?" and "Multiculturalism and Constitutional Justice;" an English Department graduate seminar entitled "Legal Slaves and Civil Bodies: Interpretation, Literature, and the Law"; a Politics Department undergraduate seminar on "Citizenship" and a Woodrow Wilson School course on "Regulation of the Telecommunications Industry."

Opportunities to learn about legal processes, institutions, and history are widespread across many campus departments. Included below are abbreviated descriptions of some of the law-related graduate courses (Fall ''08), undergraduate courses (Fall ''08), and freshman seminars that are offered during the 2007-2008 academic year. Not all courses listed here have been sponsored by LAPA, but they are included on this page in order to publicize cross-disciplinary opportunities to interested students. For more information on these and other current courses, please consult the Office of the Registrar''s Course Schedule. See also the law-related course offerings from previous years (2007—2008, 2006—2007).

Fall 2008

Graduate Courses

HIS 522 Law and Society in Colonial India

Professor: Bhavani Raman

This graduate level seminar will meet weekly to examine the formation of a new legal culture in India under British colonial rule. Its main interests concern the struggles over the establishment of liberal legal idioms, writing and legal codification, and the making of the colonial legal subject. Some themes of the seminar will include the rule of Orientalist discourse in the making of colonial law; the spatial form of the courtroom and jails; criminality and criminalization; personal law and the regulation of sexuality; ideas of secularism and religion and the role of legal discourse in the quotidian maintenance of colonial rule in India.

NES 516 Introduction to Shafi`i Law

Professor: Aron Zysow

This course provides an introduction to the terms and concepts of Islamic law through the reading of a popular short work (mukhtasar) of Shafi`i law. The sources of the law in the Qur''an and hadith will be discussed, and some attention will be given to points of dispute (ikhtilaf) among the law schools (madhhahib). Further readings will address the structure of legal authority within Shafi`ism. Prerequisite: a reading knowledge of Arabic.

POL 565 Theories of Judicial Review

Professor: Paul Frymer

Explore questions of order and change in American constitutional doctrine and institutional relations and powers across time. Students will consider diverse theories of constitutional and institutional change, including those drawn from comparative politics. Emphasis will be on the relationship between paths of constitutional development and both conventions of legal and constitutional reasoning, and political, economic, social, and intellectual currents, settlements, and crises.

Fall 2008

Undergraduate Courses

ECO 324 Law and Economics

Professor: Thomas Clark Leonard

An introduction to the economics of law. Application of price theory and welfare analysis to problems and actual cases in the common law - property, contracts, torts - and to criminal and constitutional law. Topics include the Coase Theorem, intellectual property, inalienable goods, product liability, crime and punishment, and social choice theory.

NES 347 Islamic Family Law

Professor: Hossein Modarressi

This course examines the oulines of Islamic family law in gender issues, sexual ethics, family structure, family planning, marriage and divorce, parenthood, child guardianship and custody, etc. The course starts with a general survey of Islamic legal system: its history and developments, structure and spirit, and the attempts of the Muslim jurists to come to terms with the challenge of time.

NES 371 The Doctrine of Jihad

Professor: Aron Zysow

This course surveys the development of the doctrine of jihad (war against non-Muslims) from the sacred sources, the Qur''an and hadith, through classical Islamic law to more recent debates. The contributions of contemporary ideologists of jihad will be examined against this background. The focus throughout will be on the questions of authority in Islam underlying this subject. No previous study of Islam is required.

POL 319 Law, Politics, and Violence

Professor: Beth Kiyoko Jamieson

We will examine the paradox that law serves both as an antidote to force as well as the embodiment of force legitimated through state power. We will begin with a consideration of the threat of violence in the rule of law. We will consider several justifications for the use of state power, as well as challenges posed by natural law and by nonviolent resistance. We will look closely at the criminal justice system, discussing topics including: capital punishment, the appeals process, prisons, mandatory sentencing, juvenile justice, jury nullification, prosecutorial discretion, indigent defense, victims'' rights, and racial profiling.

REL 347 Religion and Law

Professor: Leora Faye Batnitzky

A critical examination of the relation between concepts of "religion" and "law," as they figure in modern Christian and Jewish thought, as well as in contemporary legal theory. If religion gives law its spirit, and law gives religion its structure, then what is their practical relation in both religious and secular life? This course explores the relation between Jewish and Christian conceptions of law, both in their ancient and modern contexts, and the relation between traditional religious and modern secular views of law.

Note to Faculty: If you would like your course included, removed, or if you would prefer a different wording of the abbreviated description for your course, please contact Sara Nephew Hassani at