Political Science | Intro to Law
Y211 | 28468 | Dalecki

Law is defined as rules of conduct that govern a society.  In a
democratic society, law serves as a guarantee of governmental
accountability and social rights.  Specifically, law is intended to
assure that no person or branch of government may rise above rules
made by elected public officials, that the rights of citizens are
protected from arbitrary use of power, and that rules of societal
conduct are clear, fairly enforced, and guarantee predictability as to
how a society functions.  The expression “the rule of law” (or
“everyone is subject to the law”) is often used to encapsulate the
essence of this set of principles.  Yet, how was the concept of the
rule of law established and formalized?  How is the rule of law
supposed to promote equality under the law?  Is the rule of law
neutral and objective?  The goal of this course is to explore these
and similar questions and examine: (1) origins of the concept of the
rule of law, (2) debates over its political implications, and (3)
controversies over the appropriate role of the guardians of law (the
Supreme Court, in particular).