Faculty Profiles

Stephen Gardbaum

Stephen Gardbaum

MacArthur Foundation Professor of International Justice and Human Rights
B.A. Oxford, 1980
C.P.E. College of Law, London, 1981
M.Sc. Sociology and Politics, University of London, 1985
Ph.D. Political Theory, Columbia, 1989
J.D. Yale, 1990
UCLA Faculty Since 1998

LAW 278 - Comparative Law

This introduction to comparative law course focuses primarily – but not exclusively -- on studying two legal traditions, (1) the civil law tradition that originated in continental Europe but subsequently expanded into many parts of the world, including Latin America, Asia, and Africa and (2) the English common law, and comparing them with both each other and the U.S. legal system. At the beginning of the course, we will consider various methodological and theoretical approaches to comparative law in general, which also take into account some of the other major legal traditions – most of which are covered individually by specialized courses at UCLA (e.g., Islamic law, Jewish law, Chinese law, Japanese law).    Then, we will turn to studying the history, culture, distribution, court systems, legal education and professions, sources of law, and procedural law of the civil law tradition, with particular emphasis on France and Germany. We will also consider some aspects of contract, tort, and constitutional law in these countries. In the last third of the course, we will study similar aspects of the English common law system. Reasons for continuing differences between the two legal traditions, as well as certain converging trends, will be explored, together with a comparison between the common law systems of the United Kingdom and the United States. No prerequisites. Final exam.