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CJS 3319 SPRING 2006 COMPARATIVE JUSTICE SYSTEMS WEB SITE: COURSE DESCRIPTION: Conceptualizations of justice, legality, crime, and human rights differ markedly across cultures. These conceptualizations are closely linked to the legal order, the state, and legal ideologies. This course examines the way in which different societies and the international community 1) understand the meaning of human rights, crime, and justice, and 2) establish and operate legal systems to foster these understandings. To this end, the course is generally divided into four sections. Section One will explore the definition of justice and the rule of law, and the evolution of the four major legal systems in the world, including: Common Law, Civil Law, Socialist Law, and Religious/Philosophical Law. Having established the conceptual parameters of the course, Section Two will compare the justice systems of France, China, and England with the United States, with the analysis to include court systems, constitutional review, criminal procedure, sentencing, and prisons/corrections. Students will also have the opportunity to select a country in which they have a particular interest to conduct additional comparative analysis. Section Three will examine supranational courts and the role each of these courts play in justice systems of the model countries. Section Four will focus on human rights dilemmas, exploring the questions: 1) What are human rights and are they universal? and 2)Should there be one standard of justice with respect to human rights? As time permits, we will also examine the issues of transnational crime and terrorism, and the different responses to these issues of various countries around the world. The purpose of comparative analysis is threefold. First, in our world of increasing global economic interdependency, it is important to step outside our insularity to gain an understanding of other nations and cultures. Second, the increased internationalization of crime requires that we understand and appreciate the justice systems of other societies. Third, by examining crime and justice in other societies, we can better understand our own country’s vision of these problems and their potential solution. COURSE OBJECTIVES: 1. To provide a framework and context with which one can comprehend and critically evaluate how different societies define law and differences in the process by which justice is achieved. 2. To introduce the student to major types of justice systems in the world today, including the different ways in which nations have constructed the relationship between citizen and state and defined the rights of human beings. 3. To develop the analytical tools requisite to constructive thought about the differences between nations on a number of fundamental criminal justice issues. 4. To develop depth of perspective on issues of transnational crime and issues with global implications. 5. To provide students with a comparative basis from which to consider the problems of crime and justice in the United States.


REQUIRED TEXTBOOKS: Both books are available at Off Campus Books. 1. World Criminal Justice Systems: A survey, by Richard J. Terrill, 5thd Edition. Published by Anderson Publishing Co., 2003, ISBN 1-58360-540-1. 2. Bitter Winds: A Memoir of My Years in China’s Gulag, by Harry Wu and Carolyn Wakeman. Published by John Wiley & Sons, 1994. Supplemental Readings on Web Site as assigned. COURSE REQUIREMENTS: 1. Regular attendance and substantial participation in class discussion and debate 2. Successful performance on the following assignments: A. Two Exams 25 % B. One Group Project 30 % (Individual paper 25%, Group presentation 5%). C. One Short Essay Paper 25 % D. One Current Events Discussion Topic 10 % E. Participation 10% The grading scale for the course is posted on the Web Site.

DESCRIPTION OF REQUIREMENTS AND METHOD OF EVALUATION: EXAMS: Two exams will be given. The dates are listed on the attached course calendar. The exams will consist of multiple choice and short answer questions, graded on a 100 point system. The average of the two exams will be worth 25% of the final grade. SHORT ESSAY: A separate assignment sheet for this project has been posted on the Web Site. All members of the class are required to read the Wu book Bitter Winds, and write an essay about the book. (Graded on a 100 point scale, worth 25% of the course grade). GROUP PROJECT A separate assignment sheet for this project has been posted on the web site. Each group will select a country on which to conduct an in-depth comparative analysis. As stated on the assignment sheet, there will be an individual and a group component to the grade. CURRENT EVENTS DISCUSSION TOPIC: Each student will be required to sign up for one class period during which they should be prepared to present a brief report on one current events/news topic (current within the last 3 months) concerning some aspect of the criminal justice system of another country. The report will be informal and oral, and the student should be prepared to describe the topic/event, the source, the significance, and the type of legal tradition followed by the county you are reporting on. There is a link on the Web Site that will allow you to make this determination. To receive full credit for this assignment, the student should turn in a two-three paragraph summary (topic, source, and significance) at the beginning of the class. Of the topics


turned in on a given day, approximately five will be selected for class discussion (as time permits). Everyone who turns in a summary on the due date will receive credit for the project, regardless of whether the topic is discussed in class. This assignment will be graded on a 100 point scale, worth 10% of the course grade. PARTICIPATION POINTS: Participation is a critical component of your success in the class, and is worth 10% of your final course grade (evaluated on a 100 point scale). As an incentive (and to demonstrate how serious I am about this subject), I will be awarding participation points. There are 100 points possible, and I have reserved 10 of the points to be awarded at my discretion at the end of the semester based on my subjective determination of effort, discussion, and overall participation. (See Reading and Discussion section of the syllabus). The remaining 90 points will be awarded at various times throughout the semester for participation in class events. Most of these events will be announced in advance, but I reserve the right to award points on any given day if appropriate. Under NO CIRCUMSTANCES will participation points be “made-up”, as allowing make up work for participation defeats the intended purpose. EXTRA CREDIT: A separate assignment sheet will be distributed for this project, worth up to 10 additional points added to your lowest exam score. To receive credit for this project, it must be turned in no later than April 12, 2006.

OTHER IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Instructor Availability. I do not maintain regular office hours at UTD, but can usually be found in the classroom one half hour before class. I am also available after class, and I am happy to meet with you at other times to answer questions or discuss any problems or concerns you may have. Please contact me to arrange a mutually convenient time. My contact information is as follows: Or We are required by law to communicate about items that implicate your privacy (grades) ONLY from an email sent via your official UTD email address.

Assignment Due Dates/ Makeup Work. All assignments are due on the dates assigned. No late assignments will be accepted. If you are unable to attend class on the day an assignment is due, it is your responsibility to send me the assignment by email (Word or WordPerfect format only) by midnight on the due date. I recognize that emergencies do sometimes occur, but have discovered that my definition of an emergency frequently differs from that of students. The demands of work, family, and other courses do not constitute an emergency situation. An emergency usually involves death of an immediate family member, serious illness or injury. Should one of these extreme events touch your life on an exam or project due date, you must contact me BEFORE the class in question to advise of the problem, and be prepared to submit documentary evidence of the problem upon request. I will then determine if make up arrangements should be made. I cannot stress enough that this EXTREME CIRCUMSTANCES clause is the exception and not the rule. This is not to be construed as an invitation for the untimely demise of multiple grandmothers on exam days.


“The Dog Ate It”. Please keep a copy of your writing assignments. Also, to sidestep easily avoided problems related to computer failures—keep a copy of your work on a floppy disk or CD and be ready to make alternative arrangements for last minute printing. A crashed computer does not qualify as an extreme event under the EXTREME CIRCUMSTANCES clause above.

Course Reading/Participation. Students are expected to read the assignments before class and make a significant effort toward meaningful participation in class discussion. Be advised that lectures and class debate will supplement the reading material. You will miss important material if you are not in class, and this is likely to have an adverse impact on your overall course grade. Moreover, the instructor reserves the right, in the case of students on the borderline between letter grades, to consider significant and meaningful class participation, effort, and attendance in determining whether to award the higher letter grade. The Web Site. Students should check the web site regularly, and at least once before coming to class each week. It would be a good idea to bookmark the site on your computer. I will post important information concerning the class on the site, including any changes to the course calendar and other important announcements. Required readings will be posted on the site as announced. I will also post discussion questions, study aids, supplemental readings, and other items of interest periodically throughout the semester. Academic Dishonesty. Do not even think about it. The official UTD policy concerning Academic Dishonesty is incorporated herein by reference and commended to your reading. Cheating (which by definition includes plagiarism) will not be tolerated, and University policy will be enforced.

TENATIVE COURSE CALENDER AND ASSIGNED READINGS: (Subject to modification as deemed necessary by instructor. Significant modifications will be announced in advance and posted on the web site). NOTE THAT THE WU READING DOES NOT HAVE SPECIFIC ASSIGNED READING DATES. YOU SHOULD COMPLETE THE READING IN SUFFICIENT TIME TO WRITE THE ESSAY. WEEK 1 JANUARY 11 Course Introduction and First Assignment (Identify at least two areas of the U.S. Criminal Justice System that you believe do not function properly or need work). Overview of U.S. System, Why study Comparative Justice, and the Four Major Legal Traditions, Group Assignments and initial meeting, Current Events sign up.






England (Read Terrill pp. 1-30) Country and topic Selection for group project reported to instructor



England cont’d (Read Terrill pp. 31-74)



Film (15 participation points)



France (Read Terrill pp. 199-228) Group Project Meeting to evaluate/exchange initial sources (5 Participation points) EXAM 1





France cont’d (Read Terrill 229-278)



SPRING BREAK (Have fun, be safe)



ESSAY DUE ON WU BOOK Supranational Courts and Human Rights (Readings to be posted)



China (Read Terrill pp. 549-566 and 585-603)



China (Read Terrill pp. 604-637) Group Meeting (5 Participation points)






In-class Project (Country Creation) (25 participation Points) EXTRA CREDIT ASSIGNMENT DUE