The seminar will examine the criminal justice systems of other countries in order to understand in greater depth that of the United States.
What aims do different criminal justice systems pursue? How do legal institutions and practices reflect these different aims? Are criminal procedures converging as a result of the globalization of crime? What standards can we use to evaluate the effectiveness and legitimacy of criminal procedures in different societies?
Seminar participants will study and write about topics such as police and investigative practices, prosecutorial and judicial discretion, the role of juries in adjudication and punishment, plea bargaining and its alternatives, the right to counsel, punishment practices, and the role of victims in the criminal justice system.
This guide includes electronic and print sources relevant to Comparative Criminal Procedure. It includes both primary and secondary legal sources. Direct links to electronic sources are included wherever feasible.
Recommended starting points for research in this area:
(1) Search for articles and papers relevant to your research topic in law journal databases such as Hein Online's Law Journal Library (see link below under the heading "Law Journals - Full-Text"), Social Science Research Network (SSRN)/Legal Scholarship Network (see link below under the heading "Working Papers"), and the Index to Foreign Legal Periodicals (see link below under the heading "Law Journals - Indexes");
(2) Use the SMU Libraries' Catalog and WorldCat to locate books on your research topic; books that you find in WorldCat that are not available at SMU may be delivered to you by interlibrary loan. Details on requesting an interlibrary loan are linked from the SMU Law Library's home page; and
(3) Determine what databases (both those avaialble for free on the Wolrd Wide Web and those available only through a subscription purchased by the SMU Law Library) may be helpful for your research topic. Some generally recommended databases are provided below under the headings "Websites & Blogs", "Foreign Legislative Materials", "Empirical Research", and elsewhere in this course guide.