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August 15, 2006

Teaching Statutory Construction

Where I teach at Mercer, we have long-had a required course in "Statutory Interpretation." It has morphed in size and shape over the years, but in its current form is a 1-hour, third-semester course. I've learned recently that at least a few other schools are looking at creating a separate course in statutory interpretation but, so far as I know, we're the only school that requires it. (We require too much, but that's for another blog.)

I believe the course is teaching some valuable skills to students -- skills that are unintuitive and valuable. As you no doubt appreciate, statutes have become pervasive in this society, rendering statutory interpretation a skill likely as often applied by practicing lawyers as common law synthesis.

I actually think the course ought to be a 2-hour course, not 1. If you know of other schools that have a required course in interpretation (not legislation, as such, but interpreting enacted text), I'd love to know.

August 15, 2006 | Permalink


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