Instructor(s): David Schneiderman

For graduate students, the course number is LAW7040HS.

This course can be used to satisfy either the Perspective or the International/Comparative/Transnational
course requirement.

Note: The Blackboard program will be used for this course. Students must self-enrol in Blackboard as soon as confirmed in the course in order to obtain course information.

This course introduces students to the basic themes of and controversies within U.S. constitutional law. Among the selected topics covered are the origins of judicial review in the U.S., the federal division of powers and the separation of powers. Turning to the Bill of Rights, we look principally at equal protection and the fundamental rights of liberty and privacy. The approach taken is a historical one premised on the understanding that what counts as good constitutional argument varies over time and is dependent upon legal, political, and socio-economic contexts. This suggests that, though constitutional law has a vocabulary or repertoire of moves all its own, it also has an intimate relation to political and social change. In addition to attending to modes of argumentation, we will consider competing theories of constitutional interpretation and, on occasion, comparable or comparative approaches.

Students will write a series of three short writing assignments covering the course materials comprising a total of 4,000 words and worth 65% of the final mark; and a 48 hour take-home examination (35%) that may be taken during any 48 hour period between the first day of the examination period and due no later than the set deadline for written work in the applicable term (see Take-home Policy for details).

At a Glance

Second Term
Perspective course



40 JD


T: 4:10 - 5:25
Th: 4:10 - 5:25