## Friday, December 31, 2010

### (True) Euclidean Logic & the Law

An article in the New York Times reports on math & science education in China. The reporter David Barboza tells this anecdote:
In Li Zhen’s ninth-grade mathematics class here last week, the morning drill was geometry. Students at the middle school affiliated with Jing’An Teachers’ College were asked to explain the relative size of geometric shapes by using Euclid’s theorem of parallelograms.

A teacher instructed students in class at the middle school associated with Jing’An Teachers’ College in central Shanghai.

“Who in this class can tell me how to demonstrate two lines are parallel without using a proportional segment?” Ms. Li called out to about 40 students seated in a cramped classroom.

Question: Should law students, lawyers, judges, and ... er ... law teachers be able to reason about this sort of problem?

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The dynamic evidence page

It's here: the law of evidence on Spindle Law. See also this post and this post.

## Thursday, December 30, 2010

### Thoughts about a course in constitutional criminal procedure

I am meditating about my developing unorthodox course in constitutional criminal procedure.

I want my students to become acquainted with some basic constitutional rules & principles, but I do not want to use much course time to get my students to memorize leading cases and their holdings (which they will probably quickly forget after the examination). So I am thinking about using the bulk of class time to having students make arguments from specific constitutional perspectives about specific problems . Hence, at times I may ask students to play the role of Justice Black, Justice Frankfurter, or Justice Scalia. At other times I may ask students to formulate a constitutional argument not yet clearly ever embraced by any member of the Court.

I think such a course could be fun and instructive. But would it work?

On reflection, I think roles should be assigned a full week before class and the arguments should focus on the issue or issues in the "leading cases" that we will study. Correct? I think I might ask students to outline their arguments in advance in Google Docs that can be shared with every member of the class. Does this sound like a good idea?

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The dynamic evidence page

It's here: the law of evidence on Spindle Law. See also this post and this post.

## Monday, December 27, 2010

Academic corruption may not be as serious as legal corruption in Russia. But to this academic, it is worrisome that at the University of North Carolina in 2008 "A’s have become the most frequent grade"

Why do the faculty at UNC and other colleges say that a large number of students are very much above average? Plainly it is because faculty are rewarded if they do so and are punished if they give lower grades.

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The dynamic evidence page

It's here: the law of evidence on Spindle Law. See also this post and this post.

### Legal Travesty in Russia

The U.S. Administration may want to rethink whether it really wants to "reset" relations with Russia. After eight years of prison for Mikhail Khodorkovsky, a corrupted judicial system has convicted Mr Khodorkvsky of new offenses and is perhaps prepared to imprison Mr Khodorkovsky for some additional years. See Andrei Ostalski The verdict that may shake Russia BBC News (Dec. 27, 2010). The Obama Administration professed to want to bring "change" to America. But perhaps the change it desired does not include a serious concern about human rights violations in other countries.

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The dynamic evidence page

It's here: the law of evidence on Spindle Law. See also this post and this post.