#5 United States Law

European lawyers tend to have a hard time with United States Law at first. Too different are “both” systems, it seems. But is the Anglo-American legal order really that different?

The fifth main episode of Maastricht Law Talk leaves the European continent for a while: It covers the United States legal system. From a federal judge being able to block the president’s executive orders to the harmonisation process of law.

Larry Catá Backer is Professor of Law and International Affairs at Penn State University. He is an expert on corporate, enterprise, and constitutional law and is currently working on his new book on an “Introduction to U.S. Law”. You can find his work and latest research on his website Backer in Law or on his blog Law at the End of the Day.

If you haven’t yet listened to our episode on constitutions, you might want to do that first. Click here to listen to the episode.

Larry and I talk about

  • the federal structure,
  • common law as a concept,
  • “codification”,
  • harmonisation of law,
  • the appointment and election of judges,
  • popular democracy and democratic deficits,
  • the U.S. Supreme Court,
  • federal and state powers,
  • the presidential election,
  • gerrymandering,
  • executive orders,
  • judicial review, and
  • much more.

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avatar Benedikt Schmitz
Podcaster
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avatar Larry Catá Backer
Professor of Law

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#4 Contract Law

Unfortunately we have encountered some problems with our audio files after recording. Therefore, especially during the first 5 minutes, the audio quality might not live up to our standards. Please accept my apologies for this!

Did you get a coffee this morning or maybe a sandwich for lunch? Whether or not you were aware of it: You have concluded a contract.

This fourth main episode of Maastricht Law Talk covers the law of contract. Contracts are everywhere: We rent apartments, subscribe to Netflix, and pay the electricity supplier. We also buy coffees, sausage rolls, and drinks.

My guest today is Jan Smits, Full Professor of European Private Law at Maastricht University (UM). He is also the head of the department for private law at UM and director of the Maastricht European Private Law Institute. Jan obtained his PhD on “the reliance principle and contractual liability” from Leiden University. Learn more about him on his personal website right here and click here for his new book.

If you haven’t yet listened to our first episode on “What is Law?”, you might want to do that first. Click here to listen to Bram Akkermans and me covering the very basics of law.

Jan and I discuss

  • why we live in a contract society,
  • the importance of contracting,
  • common misconceptions,
  • how a contract is formed,
  • why contracts do not have to be written,
  • whether we are always bound by them, and
  • much more.

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avatar Benedikt Schmitz
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avatar Jan Smits
Full Professor

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#BREXIT It is not easy

This week’s episode is all about the United Kingdom leaving the European Union. With me for a second time is Aalt Willem Heringa – an expert in his field. If you haven’t listened to our episode on constitutions yet, you might want to do that first.

Aalt Willem is Full Professor of Comparative Constitutional Law at Maastricht University and recently started a research blog platform called Law Blogs Maastricht. Click here to find out more.

We talk about:

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avatar Benedikt Schmitz
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avatar Aalt Willem Heringa
Full Professor

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#FACT Scots despise English Law

Hi, it’s Benedikt again and we are working hard to bring you a new full-feature episode soon. In the meantime however, Bram Akkermans has a fun fact for you: Why English and Scottish lawyers aren’t the best colleagues.

Bram Akkermans is Associate Professor at the Maastricht University Faculty of Law and was my first guest on the show. Click here to listen to the full episode on “What is Law”?

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avatar Benedikt Schmitz
Host
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avatar Bram Akkermans
Associate Professor

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#XMS The Law to Gift

It’s holiday season! Whatever you celebrate, very often this includes giving presents. For most, gifting is as normal as buying tomatoes in the grocery store. The law however has quite a hard time dealing with it.

My guest for this special Christmas episode is William Bull, Lecturer at Maastricht University. William wrote his PhD on “Optional instruments of the European Union; A Definitional, Normative and Explanatory Study” and studied English and Italian law at the University College London. Currently he is teaching Comparative Contract Law and a Legal Research course.

William and I briefly discuss

  • what an immediate donation is,
  • the Common Law concept of consideration,
  • why you might want to look for a notary, and
  • why gifting isn’t as easy as it seems.

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avatar Benedikt Schmitz
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avatar William Bull
Lecturer

Click here for legal information. This episode also contains the following intellectual property:

Oh, Christmas Tree by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

#2 State-Caused Harm

Punishing people for breaking the law seems self-evident to most. But why do we punish? Why is the state allowed to inflict harm on others?

This month’s episode of Maastricht Law Talk deals with the theories and philosophies behind criminal law. It features everything from the emergence of criminal law through tribal law, to the development of common modern ideas during the Enlightenment, and the current state of criminal law and criminal procedure as influenced by recent events creating new policing policies.

Jeroen ten Voorde is Associate Professor of Criminal Law and Criminal Procedure at Leiden University and Professor of Philosophy of Criminal Law at the University College Groningen. He is also a judge substitute at the North-Holland court and an advisor to the Dutch Ministry of Justice on honour-related crimes.

Jeroen and I discuss

  • what State-Caused Harm is,
  • how criminal law came along,
  • the influence of the Enlightenment,
  • what makes certain behaviour a criminal offence,
  • why we punish others,
  • the very important principle of legality, and
  • different theories of criminal procedure.

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avatar Benedikt Schmitz
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avatar Jeroen ten Voorde
Associate Professor

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#1 What is Law?

Here we are! Maastricht Law Talk’s first episode asks the question “What is Law”? Prof. Dr. Bram Akkermans, Associate Professor for European Private Law at Maastricht University, joins me to talk about the very basic foundations of law.

We discuss

  • why we need legal rules,
  • the influence of morality,
  • who can be a legal subject,
  • which laws are applicable and who creates them,
  • why animals are property,
  • the difference between private and public law,
  • what differentiates English law from the dominant law on the continent,
  • the principle of separation of power, and
  • much more.

If you liked this episode, subscribe here to the podcast.

avatar Benedikt Schmitz
Host
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avatar Bram Akkermans
Associate Professor

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