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AU Scholars | Criminal Law and Theory


The course will focus on the theory and practice of the criminal law. We will start by exploring the concept of a crime, and then examine the purpose, constraints, and general principles of the criminal law. We will consider theoretical accounts of what makes us beings who may be fairly called to account for wrongful acts through the criminal law, as well as the conditions under which otherwise wrongful acts are justified and/or excused. To complement our study of criminal law theory, we will also spend weekly lab sessions visiting sites of criminal law practice in the DC metropolitan area. Ideas for labs include: observing arraignment court and (part of) a trial (both at the DC Superior Court), pedagogical visit to the United States Sentencing Commission, and campus talks by individuals from Bureau of Prisons.