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Course Description

Americans live in a "legal world" but often have no understanding about how our legal world fits within the worldwide legal system or even the difference between our federal and state court systems. What are the differences between common and Sharia law, common and civil law, criminal and civil law? Why is one state's law more similar to French or Russian law than to the law in the other 49 states? How do federal and state courts interrelate? Are more serious crimes or higher money damage cases tried in "higher" federal court instead of "lower" state court?  Why are "checks and balances" and "separation of powers" important? What are Americans' constitutional rights? This course will explore legal systems around the world, the U.S. legal system's "old English" origins , U.S. federal and state constitutions, and our court systems. Lecture (plus Questions) 
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