Law 277 - Comparative Constitutional Law

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
Course Description:

This course will focus on the comparative study of constitutional law in both older and newer democracies around the world.  It will begin with discussion of the contemporary issue of "democratic erosion" or "illiberal democracy" as manifested by the rise to power of populist political leaders in such countries as the United States, Brazil, Venezuela, Hungary, Poland, Italy, Turkey, and India in the past few years.  We may also consider recent instances of both revolutionary constitutionalism in the Middle East and "transformative constitutionalism" in South Africa, Colombia and/or India.  We will then turn to selected topics in comparative constitutional design and structure, including processes and contexts of constitution-making, variations in the institutions and practices of judicial review, constitutional amendments, executive-legislative relations, the differing forms and goals of federalism, and how and to what extent private actors may be bound by constitutional norms.  In the final third of the semester, we will study various constitutional rights and their limits, including freedom of speech and expression, freedom of religion, socio-economic rights, privacy rights, and differing conceptions of equality.  Examination. 

Course Learning Outcomes:

At the end of this course students will be able to:

-- interpret and apply constitutional provisions to determine how various legal and social issues may be resolved;

-- understand the range of goals that constitutions can seek to achieve, as well as the different means for achieving them;

-- provide advice to clients, US lawyers, and policymakers on the constitutional law and orders of various countries.   

Course Information:
​Faculty Term Course Section ​Schedule ​Units Requisite Satisfies SAW
Stephen Gardbaum 19F 277 LEC 1 MW 10:35 AM - 12:00 PM 3.0 No No