Peasants, Tanners, and Psychiatrists: Using Films to Teach Comparative Law

Films are very popular with our faculty and students.  The law library has a large and growing film collection.   In Advanced Legal Research we show An Act of Congress and clips from Party Girl and Hair.  This new working paper discusses six films, all of which we need to add to our collection.  The films are:  The Return of Martin Guerre, Dingaka, The Story of Qiu Ju, A Question of Silence, The Conviction, and The Red Corner.

“Peasants, Tanners, and Psychiatrists: Using Films to Teach Comparative Law”

International Journal of Legal Information, Vol. 36, No. 1, Spring 2008
Villanova Law Public Law & Legal Theory Research Paper No. 2008-15

JOSEPH W. DELLAPENNA, Villanova University School of Law

Films have proven to be a useful teaching tool for a course on Comparative Law. The films serve to introduce the class to the look and feel of legal proceedings from selected foreign legal systems and to illustrate particular aspects of how these legal proceedings differ from our own. The article summarizes the results of more than 10 years of experience in using films. It will be of interest to others who teach Comparative Law and also to lawyers, judges, and students who want a video means of oriented themselves to foreign legal traditions. The article discusses the limitations of such films as teaching (or orientation) tools, both in general and with regard to each particular film.

Source: LSN Legal Education Vol. 5 No. 23,  05/16/2008

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