1. What is the composition of the US Supreme Court? 2. How are SC justices appointed? 3. What types of jurisdiction does the USSC have? 4. Can the SC affect federal legislation? What is judicial activism? 5. What court decisions can be reviewed by the USSC? 6. Briefly describe the procedure of the USSC! 7. Explain the jurisdiction of district and circuit courts!
Developed at the Harvard Law School in late 19th century by Dean Christopher C. Langdell Harvard Law School – the oldest US law school still operating, est. in 1817 Considered the best law school in the US right after Yale Law School Highly selective admission – only about 10% of applicants get admitted every year Among HLS graduates are President Barrack Obama and Chief Justice John G. Roberts
The method used previously was doctrine- based Involved analysis of the abstract principles of law Langdell thought it would be more useful for students to focus on legal opinions He developed the case method, which consisted of analyses of real-life court cases
He thought this was the most suitable way to study American law, as it was a common law system He collected paradigmatic cases from judicial practice into a textbook, called a casebook This method continued to be developed by other professors Cases taken from law reports
Some would narrow down the cases to the basic facts, while others would use the original law reports The focus was on the judicial opinion, but the point was to find connections between the abstract doctrines and the actual facts of the case and the points of law The point was to see how law is interpreted and administered in practice Students invited to criticise the courts’ reasonings and decisions
What proved especially valuable was comparing how similar problems were interpreted and handled differently within different state legislations This way the student may not gain comprehensive knowledge of the doctrine in a certain area of law, but learns about the ways legal problems arise and are solved in practice
1. What, in your opinion, are the benefits and drawbacks of the case method? 2. Do you think it is a valuable method of teaching law in a civil law country? 3. Law teaching in eastern Europe is generally more academic, while in western Europe it has a more down-to-earth, practical approach. What is your opinion on the two approaches?
Direct Discrimination Direct Discrimination occurs when someone is treated less favourably than another person because of a protected characteristic they have or are thought to have (Perceptive Discrimination), or because they associate with someone who has a protected characteristic (Associative Discrimination). Protected characteristics Protected characteristics: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, sexual orientation.
Christian Social Worker Mr Chase, a committed Christian, was employed by Liverpool County Council as a social worker. He was summarily dismissed on 27 May 2007 following disciplinary proceedings, which had been started after a number of allegations of misconduct. These included giving a service user a Bible and promoting Christianity to service users despite being told that it was inappropriate for social workers to do so. Chase brought an employment tribunal claim for unfair dismissal and unlawful discrimination contrary to the Employment Equality (Religion or Belief) Regulations 2003. In respect of the discrimination claim, Chase claimed he had suffered direct discrimination as he had been dismissed because of his Christianity, and so had been treated less favourably on the grounds of his religion than others would have been treated.
DECISION The tribunal rejected Chase's claims. In response to the claim of unlawful direct discrimination, it found that he had not been treated less favourably on the ground of his religion itself, but rather he was dismissed for "improperly foisting" his religion on the service users. His Christianity was relevant to the reason for the dismissal, but it was not the reason for the dismissal. Liverpool County Council, the tribunal found, would have acted in the same way regardless of the religion that it was believed Chase had been promoting. He was, therefore, not treated differently to another person on grounds of his religion.
APPEAL Chase appealed, arguing, among other things, that the tribunal had used the wrong comparator. He claimed this should have been someone "of either no belief or of an unrelated belief" who also foisted his views on others, not someone of a similarly protected belief. The Employment Appeal Tribunal dismissed the appeal, noting that it could see nothing wrong with the tribunal's description of the correct comparator in these circumstances as a person who, in the course of his work, inappropriately promoted any religion or other strong personal view. More importantly, it held that debating the correct comparator was academic, because the council's true reason for the dismissal was Chase's promotion of his religion to service users, and not his religion itself. Chase's appeal against the finding that the dismissal was fair was also not upheld.