Access to Commons Course Syllabus
Instructors: Filippo Valguarnera and Saki Bailey

Description: This course is aimed at acquainting students with the Comparative Law approach and Social Policy oriented approaches to studying the commons and the Legal Theory behind each.

Assignments and Evaluation: Students are asked to do weekly readings, research assignments, a multiple choice exam, and completion of a final research report.

Participation: 20%
Multiple Choice Exam: 30%
Final Research Project: 50%

Research Paper and Presentation: Students will work individually or in groups (depending on class size) on a research project using the methods and theories presented in class to investigate “access to commons” within the context of a specific country’s legal system and sociological reality.

Classes and Assignments

1st Class: Joint session
Introduction to the Study of “Access to Commons” and Context for Studying the Commons

2nd Class: Filippo
Comparative Law Functionalism and Fact Based Method

3rd Class: Filippo
Comparative Law Sacco and Legal Formants

4th Class Filippo
Answering the Questionnaire: Results from reporters and from students

5th Class:
Critique of Comparative Law Part I &II: Legal Realism and Ostrom

6th Class: Saki
A New Approach: Value Driven Analysis and Application

7th Class: Saki
Exam & Discussion of reports

Final Research Project Assignment for Access to Commons

Students will work in groups or individually (depending on class number) on a research report that answers one (or several depending on group size) of the assigned questions from the “Access to Commons” questionnaire discussed throughout the course. The reports will be discussed in the last session (July 15th). The final paper is due by email on July 30th.

Each report should include the following:

1) Title page indicating your name and country (and all group members if in group)
2) Part I. Common Core “Outside In” Approach
  1. Relevant law analysis: Present and analyze the law applicable to solving the factual scenario according to the assigned country’s legal system.
  2. Meta-legal analysis: Present and analyze social and political institutions within the assigned country relevant to the factual scenario
3) Part II. Conceptual “Inside Out” Approach
  1. Commons as a Legal Institution: Locating examples of Commons that correlate to the conceptualization of commons as a legal institution offered in class.
  2. Analyzing according to selected values.
Each person/and or group member (depending on class size) is responsible for and update of their project in the form of a short presentation to be discussed with the class.