Oxford Study Abroad


Academic Program

2015 Course Offerings

Five different courses are offered, each with a class size of approximately 35 students. Students enrolled in the program may choose any combination of the following five courses and earn up to six semester hours of credit:

Comparative Legal Professions (3 semester hours)
This course examines the legal professions in England and the United States. It examines the ways in which services are delivered to clients in the two countries and will challenge commonly held assumptions about lawyers and the legal profession. Reference also will be made to the comparative ethical requirements imposed upon lawyers in the United States and England. The course will be taught by Christopher Whelan who has taught legal profession courses in both Great Britain and the United States and serves as associate director of International Law Programmes at the University of Oxford. This course may satisfy state bar or law school requirements in professional responsibility. Students are advised, however, to check their local requirements.

Comparative Sentencing and Punishment (1 semester hour)
This course explores some of the major issues surrounding the administration of criminal justice in England and the United States. The course focuses on generic questions and deals with broad principles and general problems in an effort to get students thinking about how law works as a means of social control. It takes a socio-legal view, focusing on the key institutions of the criminal justice system in both countries. The course will be taught by Keith Hawkins, professor emeritus of law and society at the University of Oxford.

European Union Law (3 semester hours)
This course introduces the institutional and constitutional framework of the European law in its political, economic, and international context. It also examines the economic objectives of the European Union, the role of law in achieving those objectives, and the feasibility of law-based market integration. The course will be taught by Whelan.

Comparative Constitutional Law (3 semester hours)
How should democracy be structured?  What individual and group rights should be protected?  And how can we make sure that those rights are honored? This course addresses these questions by examining the constitutions and leading judicial decisions of various democratic countries — including the United States, United Kingdom, and Commonwealth states — as well as decisions of the European Court of Human Rights.  We will focus on (1) the basic structure of democracy, (2) protection for basic rights like free speech and voting, and (3) equal treatment for groups defined by race, sex, sexual orientation, and poverty.   In each area, we’ll address questions of constitutional design as well as the challenges in enforcing constitutional guarantees.   Throughout the course, we’ll consider how U.S. constitutional law might be improved through the study of other countries’ constitutional law and international law. This course will be taught by Daniel Tokaji.

Comparative Criminal Procedure (2 semester hours)
The laws of Criminal Procedure regulate and restrict the power of the state in investigating and prosecuting crime.  In so doing, they necessarily strike a balance between liberty and security.  The United States and Great Britain have made different choices in striking that balance, and this class will explore those differences.  First, the class will provide a broad overview of the two criminal justice systems.  The class will then focus on three areas in which the two systems differ: search and seizure, stop and frisk rules, and interrogations.  Through the use of case studies and exercises, we will compare and evaluate the two systems and try to understand why these two similar but distinct societies have made different choices in designing their respective criminal justice systems. This course will be taught by Ric Simmons.

The academic program has been approved by the American Bar Association’s Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, and credit is awarded by The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law.

Guest Lectures

In addition to the regularly scheduled classes, the program features at least six lectures by prominent scholars in their respective fields. Topics of past lectures have included “Tony Blair’s Domestic Policy Triumphs 1997-2007,” “From Blair to Brown: British Foreign Policy in Flux,” and “The Conservative Challenge: The Politics of David Cameron.” Cost is included in program tuition.

Side Trips

The program also includes numerous educational and cultural side trips. Students typically will visit courts in London (including the Old Bailey), the English Inns of Court, and the Houses of Parliament. Trips also will be scheduled to the Royal Shakespeare Theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon, Windsor Castle, and Runnymede. Cost is included in program tuition.