The Evolution of Rights and Laws
General Catalog Course Title:
The Evolution of Rights and Laws
Terms Offered:
Fall 2013
Fall 2012
Course Thread: 
Human Rights
Holub, Renate

In this seminar we will study the evolution of rights and laws in a global context. First, we will familiarize ourselves with the Law of the 12 Tables, one of the early constitutions that emerged in the Roman Republic. We will then examine the Codex Iuris, a foundational text in the codification processes of European Law. After comparing medieval constitutions from Italy, Spain, Germany, and France, we will accelerate our historical pace and look at the modern transatlantic constitutions. Finally, we will examine constitutions that have emerged in post-colonial nation states, and we will have a look at Sharia Law. Theoretical texts will accompany our institutional analysis. We will look at Plato and Cicero, then we will move on to Dante and Vico, before embarking on readings by Islamic scholars. We will conclude this seminar by looking at some features of international law, from both a transatlantic approach and from a third-world approach.

For more detailed information about classes, please visit the UC Berkeley Online Schedule of Classes.