Law, Justice &
Tu Th 10:30-11:50 am
Course Transferable to UC/CSU
Dr. Robert T. Carroll
Readings in the Philosophy of Law, 4th ed., John Arthur & William H.
Shaw (Prentice Hall, 1993); [ISBN
0131931512]. Recommended, but not required, is the Student
Success Guide (SSG) by Robert T. Carroll. Part II of the SSG,
Writing Skills, is
especially recommended, since you will be doing quite a bit of writing for this class.
Although there is no prerequisite, be advised that you should be eligible for English 1A
and able to write at the college level to succeed in this class. Texts are available in
the College Store and one copy of each will be on reserve in the College Library. The
Arthur & Shaw text is also available on-line from (make sure you get the
Course Description & Outline: (note:
all page numbers refer to the Arthur & Shaw text, 4th ed.)
Law in Action
The Practice of Law
M Freedman: Lawyer’s Ethics in an Adversary System
The Rule of Law
2. Lon Fuller: “Eight Ways to Fail to Make Law”
3. H. L. A. Hart: Grudge Informers and the Rule of Law and Lon Fuller: "The
Problem of the Grudge Informer"
The Moral Force of Law
4. Plato – Crito
5. S. Levinson: On Interpretation: The Adultery Clause of
the Ten Commandments
6. E. H. Levi "A Case Study of Interpretation: The Mann Act"
7. Cases of Interpretation – The Mann Act (97-103); Riggs v. Palmer
8. C. G.Post "Stare Decisis: the Use of Precedent"
Homework: unit I
All assignments are from Arthur and Shaw, Readings in the Philosophy
of Law, 4th edition
Part 1. Law in
- Freedman: p. 9, no. 2.
- Fuller: p. 32, no. 1.
- Hart: p. 33, no. 3
- Fuller: p. 38, no. 4.
- Plato: p. 50, no. 4
Part 2. Legal
- Levinson: p. 67, no. 3
- Levi: p. 73, no. 2
- Cases of interpretation: a) p. 76, no 2; b) p. 77,
no. 2; c) p. 79, no. 4 d) p. 90. no. 1.
- Post: p. 102, no. 1
Action: Key Concepts
common law (case law)
dignity of the individual
distinguishing vs. following precedent
ex post facto legislation
fidelity to law
legal positivism (H.L.A. Hart)
right to counsel
stare decisis (precedent)
Relation of law to morality: moral
rules vs. legal rules; is there a moral obligation to obey the law; how do
and how should laws reflect a society’s moral values
Making, interpreting, and applying law:
how is and how should the law be made, interpreted, and applied; procedural
vs. distributive justice
II. Philosophical Issues in Criminal Law
Punishment in theory and practice
1. Who should be punished?
2. R. Brandt "The Utilitarian Theory of Criminal
3. H. Morris:
“Persons and Punishment”
4. Capital Punishment: Gregg v. Georgia
5. Cruel & Unusual Punishment. case: Rummel v. Estelle
Problems of Criminal Liability
6. The Battered Woman’s Defense: State v. Leidholm
7. R. J. Gerber "Is the Insanity Test Insane?"
Rights of Defendants
8. K. Kipnis: "Criminal Justice and the Negotiated Plea"
9. Wilkey & Sachs: A Debate on the Exclusionary Rule
Homework Unit II
Part 1. Punishment in theory and practice
- Provetie the dog: p. 246, no. 6
- Brandt: p. 252, no. 2
- Morris: p. 258, no. 1
- capital punishment: p. 330, no. 1
- Rummel: p. 338, no.1
Part 2. Criminal liability
- State v. Leidholm: p. 367, no. 3
- Gerber: p. 383, no. 4
Part 3. Rights of Defendants
- Kipnis: p. 276, no. 1
- Exclusionary rule: p. 302, no. 2
Philosophical Issues in Criminal Law: Key Concepts
battered woman's defense
battered woman's syndrome
cruel and unusual punishment
good faith exception to the exclusionary rule
irresistible impulse rule
justifying reasons vs. excusing reasons
retributive theory of punishment
right to be punished
utilitarian theory of punishment
Philosophical Issues in Criminal Law: Themes
Punishment and Justice: theories of
punishment; responsibility and fairness.
Philosophical Issues in Constitutional Law
The Problem of Interpretation of the
1. Federalist Papers (524-530)
2. W. H. Rehnquist: "The Notion of a Living Constitution (540-545)
3. R. Dworkin: "Constitutional Cases" (546-554)
Freedom of Religion, Free Speech, and
4. Right to privacy: Griswold v. Connecticut (585-588)
5. John Locke, “Letter Concerning Toleration” (565-569)
6. School Prayer. Case: Engel v. Vitale (569-572)
7. Secular Humanism and Religious Establishment. Case: Smith v. Board
of Education of Mobile (576-579)
8. J. S. Mill: “On Liberty of Thought” (608-612)
9. Free Speech: a. Texas flag burning; b. Nazi marches c.
Paris Adult Theatre & American Bookseller's (619-623)
10. Michael M. v. Sonoma County (646-648)
11. Harris v. Forklift Systems (648-650)
12. Gender discrimination. Cases: Michael M. v. Sonoma County (646-648)
13. Equality versus speech: creating a “hostile environment.” Case: Harris
v. Forklift Systems (648-650)
Homework Unit III
Part 1. Problems interpreting the Constitution
1. Federalist Papers: p. 530, Q. 3.
2. Rehnquist: p. 545, Qs. 1 and 2.
3. R. Dworkin: p. 535 Q. 2
Part 2. Freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and privacy
4. Griswold v. Connecticut, p. 589, Q. 2.
5. Locke: p. 569 Q. 2.
6. School prayer: p. 572 Q 1 and Q 2.
7. Secular humanism: Smith v. Board
of Education of Mobile, p. 579, Q. 3.
8. Mill: p. 612, Q. 2.
9. free speech cases: p. 615 Q4; p. 618 Q 5; p. 621 Q. 1; and p. 623 Q 4.
10. case: Michael M. v. Sonoma County, p. 648. Q 1.
11. case: Harris v. Forklift Systems, p. 650, Q 3.
12. Gender discrimination. Cases: Michael M. v. Sonoma County p. 648. Q 1
13. Equality versus speech: creating a “hostile environment.” Case: Harris
v. Forklift Systems p. 650, Q 3.
Philosophical Issues in Constitutional Law:
clear and present danger test
Dworkin's concepts of "political skepticism," "judicial deference," and
concept vs. conception
equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment
Establishment Clause of the First Amendment
Free Exercise clause of the First Amendment
"fighting words" (Chaplinksy and Nazi march)
harm principle of J.S. Mill
obscenity test as set down in Miller v. California
prior restraints & the 1st Amendment
right to privacy
tyranny of the majority
Philosophical Issues in Constitutional Law: Themes
Problems with interpreting and applying
the Constitution; judicial review, democracy, and protecting constitutional
Exams & Grading Policy:
There will be three exams of equal worth; an exam on each of the three areas
described in the course outline. Each exam will consist of two parts of equal value: one
part will test your knowledge and understanding of concepts of basic theories; the other
will test your ability to relate issues and think critically about them. The former will
involve giving short answers to questions such as the following: What is stare decisis?
What is legal realism? Describe the basic features of the utilitarian and retributive
theories of punishment? The latter will involve writing a topical essay on one of the
themes for each unit.
Each exam will be given a letter grade of A= Excellent; B = Good; C=
Satisfactory; D= Unsatisfactory. Make up exams will be given only for good reasons such as
illness or deaths in the family. The following do not constitute good reasons for missing
an exam: I haven't had time to study; I'm not prepared; I've scheduled this vacation
months ago; my car was broken into last night.
The third exam will be given during the final exam period,
Tuesday, December 18, 10:15 AM-12:15 PM.
In addition to the exams, written assignments on the readings will be given.
The written assignments will be worth 25% of your grade. The other 75% will be based on
your exam grades.
Attendance and the quality of your participation in class discussions will also
be considered and will be used to determine borderline grades.
Attendance at all classes in expected. You may be absent twice the number of
weekly scheduled classes without being dropped from the course. If you miss more than this
number of classes, you may be dropped from the course. Attendance does not mean presence.
Attendance means you have read the assignment and are prepared to think critically about
the reading in an atmosphere of non-intimidation and genuine search for understanding.
Complex philosophical and social issues are best approached by groups of people
thinking critically about them. This requires discussion and debate in an open atmosphere.
A note for those who register late or drop a class: you are obligated
to notify the Registrar of your
adding or dropping a class. There are deadlines for adding or dropping. If you do not
formally add by the deadline you will not be allowed to enroll in the class. If you do not drop by the deadline, you may receive an 'F' for the class. The
instructor's signature is not needed to drop any class, but is required to add any class
that filled during registration.
Internet sites of interest:
General Law, Liberty or
Rule of Law
Eyewitness Testimony & DNA
Other sites of interest