Criminal Justice Policy

Law 434



Rigorous Writing Experience (RWE)



This seminar will focus on legal policy issues related to self defense in the criminal law.  Particular attention will be paid to self defense cases involving the use of lethal force, specifically the use of firearms.  Specific topics will depend on class interest, but the initial phase of course will focus on case studies of controversial shootings where self defense was raised as a defense.  Extensive use will be made of courtroom documents from select cases that are available on the course website.  Students will be asked to write a research paper advocating a specific policy proposal of their design as well as a shorter op-ed style essay.  The latter portion of the course will simulate a criminal law reform commission in which students will deliberate and vote on the policy proposals of their classmates.  A secondary goal of the seminar is to develop a student's skills of persuasion and consensus building in small group settings.

J. Kennedy

UNC School of Law | Van Hecke-Wettach Hall | 160 Ridge Road, CB #3380 | Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380 | 919.962.5106

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