#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.

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

avatar Benedikt Schmitz
Podcaster
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avatar Larry Catá Backer
Professor of Law

Click here for legal information.

#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.

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

avatar Benedikt Schmitz
Host
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avatar Jeroen ten Voorde
Associate Professor

Click here for legal information.