This course is based on cases and materials from Property, Contracts and Torts as taught at Harvard Law School, along with materials on similar issues as they arise in the French and German legal systems. The course will begin with introductions to Western European civil law systems, and to the discipline of comparative law. It will survey the ways in which legal thinkers have tried to unify contract, property and tort law as aspects of the larger category of private law, and related that field to constitutional law. The emphasis will be on theories of the politics of private law, meaning on the ways in which different private law rules, and also different theories of the field, have been integrated into larger notions of left/right or liberal/conservative conflict.
This course is one of the 1L required international or comparative courses and is available to first-year and LL.M. students only.